The gaming community’s initial excitement for BioWare’s premature reveal of Dragon Age 4 at Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards has transitioned to anxiety thanks to suggestions it could fit EA’s “games as a service model” by being “Anthem with dragons”.
With Anthem being an intolerable bore that made watching paint dry seem riveting, it’s no wonder BioWare’s old-school fans are concerned about Dragon Age 4 possibly being similar.
Whereas Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition were all compelling single-player titles that relied heavily on choices and conversations, Anthem is a recycled multiplayer mess with a poor story, non-existent characters, limited dialogue choices, and abhorrent loot.
If Dragon Age 4 does turn out to be “Anthem with dragons”, then EA will have hammered the final nail in BioWare’s readymade coffin.
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Dragon Age 4 has been rebooted to better fit EA’s “games as a service” model
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier recently published an insightful report about the history and current status of Dragon Age 4. According to Schreier, the next Dragon Age game was initially planned to prioritise “choice and consequence”, but now it has been rebooted to better fit EA’s “games as a service” model.
Now, rather than utilising the tools and pipelines established with Inquisition, the rebooted Dragon Age 4 will supposedly be built on Anthem’s codebase, and will feature a “live service component built for long-term gameplay and revenue.”
Per PC Gamer, Casey Hudson said in early 2018 that Dragon Age 4 will be “story and character focused,” and that the “live” description simply means “designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.”
However, despite Hudson’s best efforts at assuring the fanbase that Dragon Age 4 will faithfully revolve around narrative and building relationships, it’s impossible for gamers not to bite their nails when anonymous BioWare staff have reportedly described the reboot as “Anthem with dragons”.
Dragon Age 4 as “Anthem with Dragons” would see EA’s final nail in BioWare’s coffin
It’s impossible to know how Dragon Age 4 is going to turn out (let alone what it’s going to be called), but, if it does adopt EA’s “games as a service” model and is comparable to Anthem, then you’d expect the game to be added to BioWare’s bookshelf of duds next to Andromeda and Anthem.
The “games as a service” model doesn’t mean Dragon Age 4 is definitely going to feature multiplayer, but the biggest worry is that it’s going to be another shameless excuse for EA to release another incomplete game by promising that more content will be added through constant updates.
Rather than forcing BioWare to make Dragon Age 4 as a “games as a service” title, EA should instead just let them create a single-player and complete game that can be added to later on through priced but worthwhile DLC. You know, like the good old days people took for granted.
Although BioWare has assured fans they’re safe from EA’s axe despite the incessant negativity surrounding Anthem, you’d expect another failure would see them greet EA’s other most notable victim, Visceral Games, beneath the ground.
Dragon Age 4 (or whatever it ends up being called) won’t be out for years, but it has to be a success otherwise BioWare's head will surely be on EA’s chopping block.
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