Sources inside Electronic Arts are claiming that the publisher has done a severe about-face on the development of its upcoming Dragon Age sequel, pumping the brakes on the new title’s multiplayer components in the wake of the recent sunsetting of BioWare’s Anthem.
According to a report by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the still-unnamed Dragon Age sequel had its design concepts revised in 2017, with EA envisioning a multiplayer-centric affair, peppered with long-term monetization goals. This new take on the Dragon Age project was allegedly described by some employees as “Anthem with dragons,” and is supposedly what led to creative director Mike Laidlaw leaving the project entirely later in 2017.
The report states, however, that EA has been forced to further re-evaluate Dragon Age‘s design following the devastating failure of Anthem, which itself was designed as a multiplayer-centric, long-term-monetization vehicle. Equally as important to this turn of events is the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a single-player title that sold gangbusters despite, God Forbid, being a single-player title developed without a strict games-as-service model in mind. These two aspects, ultimately, may have saved the new Dragon Age from a fate worse than cancellation, as EA has reportedly instructed the development team to go all-in on the fantasy adventure’s single-player campaign.
There’s still quite a while to go before fans can tread the ruins of Thedas once again, with Dragon Age tentatively scheduled for release in the spring of 2022. But this news – if proven accurate – at least offers some form of hope to the fanbase that the long-awaited sequel might be back on track to deliver the epic narrative and encompassing adventure that made the franchise so enthralling in its heyday.
Electronic Arts pivots on Dragon Age game, removes multiplayer [Bloomberg / Eurogamer]