Dragon Age 4 has shifted development twice now, and like most games, the process hasn't been straightforward. Here's a closer look at what's happened since the game entered development in 2015.
The next Dragon Age is in full swing at BioWare, and will be the next game the developer releases. But like Anthem, Mass Effect Andromeda, and Dragon Age Inquisition before it, the game has changed and morphed over the last 6 or so years--so much that key BioWare executives have left the company after decades' long tenures.
After today's news that Dragon Age is now a singleplayer-only game, I thought it important to outline and chronicle all the major changes and updates with the game and BioWare's development environment in the last few years.
So without further adieu, here's a look at Dragon Age 4's development timeline:
- November 2014 - Dragon Age Inquisition releases
- September 2015 - Dragon Age Inquisition's Trespasser DLC releases
- 2015 - Dragon Age enters development in project codenamed "Joplin," would focus on Tevinter spies
- April 2016 - Mark Darrah teases the new Dragon Age with a cryptic red book
- January 2017 - Darrah opens the red book, reveals early concept art
- March 2017 - Mass Effect Andromeda releases, critical flop damages BioWare's reputation
- May 2017 - Sunless Sea writer Alexis Kennedy confirms they're contributing on the new Dragon Age, strongly hints Tevinter is the main setting
- July 2017 - BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn leaves after 17 years with company
- October 2017 - BioWare reboots the game to focus strongly on monetization and live services, aka codenamed "Morrison," causing creative director Mike Laidlaw leaves after 14 years with BioWare
- September 2018 - BioWare talks about "live storytelling" during a PAX West panel, hints Dragon Age 4 would use online live services for game stories
- December 2018 - BioWare releases first Dragon Age 4 teaser, the Dread Wolf Rises
- February 2019 - Anthem releases, devs move over to Dragon Age as skeleton team upholds live services/works on Anthem reboot
- April 2019 - Kotaku feature confirms Dragon Age 4 would have deep live service structure
- April 2019 - BioWare's huge morale problems outed, reports of significant crunch revealed
- September 2019 - GM Casey Hudson confirms DA4 is only in pre-production phases
- October 2019 - EA says Dragon Age 4 won't release until after Fiscal Year 2022 (April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022)
- August 2020 - BioWare shows off Dragon Age 4 prototype gameplay
- December 2020 - Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah and general manager Casey Hudson both leave BioWare
- December 2020 - New Dragon Age 4 teaser footage shows off next-gen Frostbite engine technology
- February 2021 - BioWare shifts Dragon Age 4 from a multiplayer game into a fully-singleplayer RPG.
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