BioWare focuses its efforts on its two most powerful brands, with which they will try to get back to the top.
A video game studio that was a legend in the role playing genre. BioWare was very successful and is the developer responsible for some of the most important RPG sagas. However, the past few years have not been easy for Canadians. The first serious setback occurred with Mass Effect Andromeda, which had a bumpy premiere full of bugs and glitches. Electronic Arts decided then to paralyze all the content for a single player that they had planned for the following months. With Anthem, your game as a service, promises were not made from begging, but as often happens, words are blown away. Now, eyes are on the new Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
Because yes, the failure of Anthem forced BioWare to rethink its entire future. Given the exodus of players, he had no choice but to hold on to a burning nail and assign a small team to develop a version 2.0 of his looter shooter. Every once in a while, Austin’s study shows something new, but there isn’t even a planned window for the relaunch yet (if it ever happens). In addition, the situation turned around when the departure of two of BioWare’s most important personalities was announced: on the one hand, Casey Hudson, general manager of the company and director of the original Mass Effect trilogy, resigned from his position; on the other, the same happened with Mark Darrah, the hitherto head of Dragon Age.
The chess pieces have changed. Some figures have fallen, but the checkmate has not occurred. Christian Dailey, until now the head of Anthem 2.0, has gone on to lead the development of the next Dragon Age. At that point, it was normal to think that the future of his previous project was compromised, but the developer clarified that the new version of Anthem was in good hands. What happens is that according to Bloomberg, Electronic Arts was going to review the status of development to determine if they invest more or cancel it permanently.
Sarah Ryder in Mass Effect Andromeda.
Dragon Age, The Dread Wolf Rise
Before the new Dragon Age was officially announced, some sources pointed out that development had been restarted at least once. Be that as it may, during The Game Awards 2018 it was revealed that the video game was underway. More than two years later, its final title has yet to be revealed, as it is known simply as “the new Dragon Age.” There is no release date on the horizon either. During a shareholders meeting in 2019, Blake Jorgensen, CFO of Electronic Arts, mentioned that it would probably come out “after fiscal year 2022,” which begins on April 1, 2021 and ends that same day, but in the year 2022. Therefore, the release window is very vague, and will also depend on how much or little the latest internal changes have affected.
The data has been shared in small pills, mainly through the social networks of its own creators. Anyway, at the gala hosted by Geoff Keighley in 2020, they presented another teaser trailer, this time with a surprise: Solas, from Dragon Age Inquisition, will be back. The one who seems to be returning is Varric Tethras, one of the main characters in Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition, as he is the narrator of the teaser. Even so, at the moment no one at BioWare has made it clear if it will be one of the protagonists.
The book BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development dives into the studio’s history and reserves some space to look to the future. Despite the changes that have occurred internally, a detail to take into account is that it is confirmed not only that the code name of the project is Morrison (this was known before), but that Tevinter will be the chosen scenario in the that the adventure will take place, or at least part of it.
“As BioWare enters its 25th anniversary, the Dragon Age team is working hard on Morrison, the codename of the long-awaited game that will continue Dragon Age: Inquisition,” you note on page 324 of the book, in an entry titled The Frontiers. from Tevinter: A look at the continuation of Inquisition. The information is then completed with the following sentence: “The game, led by executive producer Mark Darrah [ya exproductor], will take the players to Tevinter ”, to continue the lines of the most recent installment. The threat looms over Thedas.
Little or nothing is known about the gameplay, as the little information dates back to a time when Dragon Age 4 was known by another codename (Joplin). Taking into account the profound changes that have occurred in BioWare and in the future of the project, it is very possible that the concepts of that time are very different from those of the product that is currently being developed. The developers explained that they had built a systemic narrative mechanics that will give the player the opportunity to persuade the guards without the scriptwriters having to write each of these scenes. The idea is to focus attention on the consequences of decisions. As for the concept of the story, BioWare has a plot that revolves around what happens when you don’t have the power.
Mass Effect, hopes from another? galaxy
The problems in BioWare date back a few years, but the moment it became clear that something was wrong was when Andromeda hit the market. Its graphical errors were the subject of derision on the Internet, something that not only affected the reputation of the studio very negatively, but also caused the cancellation of all the downloadable content planned for this title. The truth is that many of the initial ideas were discarded, hence the creative inconsistencies that were found in the video game. Since then, Mass Effect has been fallow, but the stories within this universe have not died out. The first light of hope is branded Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the remastered version of the original trilogy; the second is a completely new installment.
BioWare has taken a liking to The Game Awards. Anthem and the new Dragon Age appeared on that stage, as did the next Mass Effect, of which of course neither title nor approximate launch window is yet known. In almost 2 minutes of teaser trailer some conclusions can already be drawn. We will leave the fan theories aside, but we will mention the ones that have been officially confirmed. Many noticed that the sound of a reaper could be heard, a race of machines that is part of the plot of the trilogy. Mass Effect Project Manager Michael Gamble actively engages and interacts with fans on social media. In the thread about the teaser, someone asked him if the silhouette that is glimpsed in one of the silhouettes is that of a reaper … and he answered affirmatively.
This teaser also highlights the presence of Liara T’Sony, one of the protagonists of the original trilogy. By their appearance, it has been a while since the events narrated in Mass Effect 3. Asari are one of those long-lived races, much longer than human beings, so they can live for a millennium or so. Considering Liara was a young asari (100 years old), the time span is wide enough that it is difficult to establish a clear timeline at this point.
It is still unclear if BioWare will somehow tie the story of the trilogy with that of Mass Effect Andromeda. Although Liara did not appear as such in this chapter, we could hear her voice through recordings. Another aspect that indicates this possibility is what a follower comments on Twitter: “I have heard ‘Godspeed’ and the only thing that comes to mind is the first time [la nave] Tempest takes off ”. When Ryder gets on the ship, that word is heard … and it appears in the teaser! Michael Gamble has admitted that they introduced it on purpose. In one of the conceptual arts, the silhouette of an angara, one of the new races that appear in Andromeda, was glimpsed.
More unknowns than certainties, but the journey to discover all the details promises to be exciting.