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The Future of Dragon Age

Ah, Dragon Age, the series that we here at NHS love to hate and hate to love.

Dragon Age was a modern return to an older school of BioWare design. We all loved it.

Dragon Age II…

Barnes loved it. Truly loved it. I still have no idea why. Todd and Brandon both were lukewarm but for different reasons.

I despised it — to the point where after reaching roughly the halfway point I was done with it forever. I cannot remember the last BioWare game that, even if I wasn’t loving it, I had no desire to finish it. (The Star Wars MMO doesn’t count.) Dragon Age II was that game. Even today it remains a terribly polarizing title.

Mark Darrah, Executive Producer of Dragon Age II, posted this on the BioWare forum about the future of the series (well, sort of) and while the post I found somewhat bland the responses to it on the forum were fascinating.

Hey everyone,

With last week marking the one year anniversary of the release of Dragon Age II, I wanted to take the time to share some news and some great milestones we’ve had lately with Dragon Age. And though I can’t say too much, I also want to briefly address what is coming in the future.

First, I was delighted to hear that the Dragon Age brand has passed one million “Likes” on Facebook! This was an incredible reminder for me, and our entire team, that there are a lot of you out there who are invested in the franchise and who want to explore the world more. From all of us, I want to send a massive thank you!

Next, the latest and greatest patch for DAII is out, addressing a number of the issues you have helped us track on our tech support forums. Thank you again to those of you who took the time to submit feedback in order to help us make the game better.

And finally, while we will still be keeping an eye out for any issues that might crop up in DAII and supporting the community should any emergencies should arise, we’re moving the entire team’s focus to the next phase of Dragon Age’s future.

You’ve most certainly heard the rumors floating around, and unfortunately I can’t really comment on them. However, what I can say is that we’ve been thinking a lot about Dragon Age – what it means, and where it could go. This past year, we’ve spent a lot of time both going back to the “BioWare vault” of games and re-examining them, and looking at some new possibilities that today’s industry allows.

With that, the next thing for the Dragon Age team members and I to do is hear from you, and not just on the forums, or Facebook, or Twitter. We’ll be attending a number of conventions and gatherings, including PAX East in April. The most valuable thing we can get out of those meetings is to hear from you on those same topics – what does Dragon Age mean to you, and where would you like to see it go? We’re excited to hear what you have to say!

On behalf of the entire team, we are incredibly eager to reach the moment when we can tell you more and show you where we are taking Dragon Age. But for now, thank you for your continued support, and we will be back here with more as soon as we can.

Thanks,
Mark

That’s a fairly nondescript way of saying: We’re done with DA2 DLC and we’re move on to Dragon Age III. Scan the replies of that post and you see a lot of people thrilled with how the sequel turned out and a lot of others who say things like this:

If you want to know where to take the series, it’s simple: Do another Dragon Age: Origins. Pretend Dragon Age II never happened. All else aside, the sales figures make this perfectly clear.

(At last count DA:O outsold DA2 by over a 2-1 margin.)

What I find amazing about the replies to that post is that people who seemingly hate Dragon Age 2 are still posting on the Dragon Age forum a year after the release of the game. There are things that people do on the internet that I will never, ever understand.

Dragon Age III (or whatever it’s called) is going to be an extremely important release for BioWare at least so far as fantasy rpgs are concerned. I hope they can get the series back on track and far away from whatever they were trying to do with DA2.

Regardless…

There will be sex.

And there will be blood.

Bank it.

READ ALSO:  Jumping the Shark Podcast #78

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

45 thoughts to “The Future of Dragon Age”

  1. While I didn’t hate Dragon Age 2 as much as some, I was disappointed with it. My complaints fell into three areas:

    First, and most important, the story was not as solid as a normal bioware game. Why don’t we know who the bad guy is for the first two thirds of the game? Why are all the parts so loosely connected?

    Second, the lack of environments really hurt my enjoyment. I don’t want to walk through the same cave again, even if I am entering from a different door. It made me not care to explore the next room.

    Third, the multiple waves of combat, with enemies jumping off roofs repeatedly during a fight, was infuriating and boring. It was lazy. If you want the fights to be harder, make the enemies harder. If you want more guys to appear occasionally, go ahead. But to have guys pop out of nowhere for every fight just felt silly.

    Those complaints aside, I did beat the game and I think I spent 50 hours or something playing it. I thought the combat system was improved. I appreciated the attempt to focus on a more personal story, even if I thought the over-arching themes and conflicts came out poorly in the end. I’d love to see more Dragon Age in the future.

  2. It’s funny, because I’m with Barnes on this. I liked DA2 more than Origins. Maybe I’m just no longer interested in the Classic Bioware (TM) game, I dunno. I loved Kotor (and to a lesser degree Jade Empire), but the party management in DAO felt klunky to me. The party AI was all shades of stupid. I liked the world, but got bored and frustrated with the gameplay. DA2 had the same dumb AI, but I could hack and slash through it all so I didn’t care as much.

  3. Every sex scene they’ve done after ME1 has been pants on retarded, literally.

    What DA2 tried to do was create a more personal struggle then the whole ‘save the world’ bit, and at that, I’d say it succeeded. Personally I loved the personal note the series took, away from continent spanning conflicts.

    Where they went wrong was by making the whole experience, apart from a couple of moment, rather exceptionally bland and repetitive.

    A city, especially one that supposedly underwent the changes that Kirkwall had, should reflect those changes. Instead, nothing changed, the characters didn’t age, and the abandoned mine still had the exact same bossfight every time you had to go in there.

    While I’m all for difficult moral decisions, no matter what side you picked at the end, you joined with a psychopath. Where was the option of just skipping town, and refusing to deal with that? Or just killing everyone of course, which my Hawke could have easily done, seeing as how you are an overpowered god near the end.

    The vibe I got of DA2 after I was finished was that it was a rushed interlude between larger conflicts (war with darkspawn and the war between the mages and templars). That does not make a satisfying ending. Though Bioware seems to have a problem with endings lately anyway (personal opinion, before everyone jumps down my throat).

    1. I literally turned off my computer monitor for the sex scenes in Dragon Age 1. I was like “No. No way. This is the most awkward shit.”

    2. Can’t agree more about the comment on sex scenes. I just finished up Mass Effect 3, and while I thought the relationship story as a whole was alright, the sex scene at the end was one of the lowest points of the game for me.

      I remember feeling the sex scenes in DA:O were absolutely ridiculous as well. Why even have them? Just fade to black and don’t ruin it with awkward mo-cap animations…

  4. ‘Every sex scene they’ve done after ME1 has been pants on retarded, literally.’

    Nominated for post of the week

  5. I didn’t hate DA2 anymore or less than DA:O simply because in both instances I got bored. DA:O had some of the worst combat in this generation of gaming that I’ve ever seen; it was a point and click adventure on my xbox. DA2 fixed that but borked my story and scenery and was filled with characters I didn’t really give a rats ass about. Maybe I’m alone in wanting an rpg with a halfway decent combat system, or you all are playing it on PC which makes for a more point and click hit buttons when it’s on cooldown situation. One more addition, would it kill them to hire a halfway decent animator? In every bioware game it’s a steady complaint “why does he run like he’s got a rod shoved up his ass?” or ME2 “what the f*ck is wrong with his neck?”.

  6. I loved Dragon Age Origins and really enjoyed DA II. The biggest knocks against DA2 are exactly the ones Caralon mentions above: the lack of environments, some of the story structure problems, and the waves of enemies. These are all really easily fixed. There is no systemic problem with that game. It did somethings really nicely and other things not so much.

    I only play these games on the PC and I have no problem with the combat system. Pause and play is fine with me, even if I am turn-based guy at heart.

    One thing I have noticed here and elsewhere on the internets is that people are complaining that Dragon Age and Mass Effect aren’t “RPGs”. How is that possible? If these games aren’t RPGs, then what is? What makes a game a RPG? I am kind of baffled by this.

    1. It generally depends on whether an RPG to you is about the story or about the mechanics. Because mechanically Mass Effect is pretty shallow for an RPG.

      Personally, I found that both Dragon Age games had a problem with putting certain RPG elements in the game out of a sense of tradition but a complete lack of understanding on why people like them.

  7. DA2 had one of the best set pieces in a game – where the dwarf-y fella is telling the story and totally exaggerates his competence, ability, what he did, and you play through it – but the problem with DA2 is that, despite him being the narrator, I have no idea what the dwarf-y fella’s name was. I can still remember Imogen, Minsc, Jadheira, Khalid despite not having played Baldurs Gate for years – but the bunch of halfwits in DA2? Not a clue – I just never cared about them or their stories – or the protagonist.

    1. I call this Aliens syndrome.

      I can tell you the names of every soldier in the squad from Aliens.

      The prisoners from Alien 3?

      I know Charles S. Dutton was in it.

      1. I loved how they did the narration in DA2. I thought it was really original for the genre. Now, I haven’t played everything, so maybe it isn’t… but it was for me.

        The issue with ‘Aliens Syndrome’ is as much to do with personal experience than whether the story was actually ‘good’. I imagine you remember everyone in Aliens because, the first time you watched it, the movie was a seriously remarkable event for you. I remember guys from Mass Effect 1-3, but that might be the only Bioware game series where I can remember anyone. Because ME2 was an ‘event’ for me, whereas every other Bioware game has just been a good time. And Garrus and Mordin are awesome.

    2. Maybe also because you didn’t hear “All will fall before the might of Varric and Anders!” It’s a little more difficult to remember a name when you haven’t spent 500 hours having it repeated to you.

    3. His name was Varric and apart from Aveline he was the only person in the game I liked and could sympathise with.

  8. Yes, I absolutely loved it and I think it’s one of BioWare’s best- and most sophisticated- games. I don’t give a rat’s ass that it didn’t let me fidget around with numbers and equipment as much as DA:O or an old timey PC RPG. It had a challenging, very well-written and unusual story, some great characters, and a rather daring concept- make it about a man and a place rather than a quest and a bad guy.

    There were definitely problems, but I’ll take a ramshackle game with some fumbles that’s reaching for the sky over a spit-shined polished one that plays it safe and easy and doesn’t reach much further than your preorder purchase.

    Some of the complaints are way overstated…like the environments. All corridors and hallways are essentially the same regardless of the wallpaper. Now, it IS an issue when the wallpaper is the same and is reused in different locations. They did that, and it was a fumble.

    The combat was good, hardly “dumbed down” at all as the forumistas like to say. I found it easier to control- and easier to get at the more tactically challenging aspects of it. But the minute you don’t have a +1 sword clearly marked along with the numebrs it modifies, I guess that makes it “dumbed down”.

    The writing was probably the best BioWare has ever done. The framing story was brilliant, the use of an unreliable narrator is something that just doesn’t happen in games. The decisions in it were more compelling to me than anything I’ve seen in Mass Effect 3 so far. I dwelled on some of DA2’s moral points. In ME3, I’ve just gone with what sounded the coolest.

    The thing about DA2 is that you can really see two BioWares at work in it. One is the more creative end, struggling to write and tell this sophisticated, layered story about a man and a place versus the commerical side, which has to meet certain expectations and follow up with a best-selling title. The clash doesn’t always produce good results, and that’s borne out by the fact that this is such a love-it-or-hate-it title.

    But yeah…the relationship between Aveline and Hawk blows anything else they’ve ever written out of the water.

    As for changing it up for an assumed DA3, you can pretty much lay odds that it’ll be more like Mass Effect. Probably Jessica Fucking Chobot in an elf costume.

    1. “As for changing it up for an assumed DA3, you can pretty much lay odds that it’ll be more like Mass Effect. Probably Jessica Fucking Chobot in an elf costume.”

      Likely it’ll be more like what Bill quoted: less DA2 and more DAO. Which is unfortunate.

      Best thing they could do for the series is remove the (to steal your words) Sex Buffet that is basically the biggest defining characteristic of a Bioware game at this point.

      1. ‘Best thing they could do for the series is remove the (to steal your words) Sex Buffet that is basically the biggest defining characteristic of a Bioware game at this point.’

        That’s not gonna happen. (Although I agree)

        1. Which is absolutely pathetic. I just hit a weird point in ME3 where suddenly everyone is trying to sleep with me. It was weird… like (Male)Shepard started wearing Fuck Me Pants around the Normandy. It’s incredibly annoying.

          1. I totally agree. BioWare needs to give up on this line of thinking. But sex sells…

            Out of morbid curiosity, I watched the Chobot romance scene on YouTube. I am literally floored that something so FUCKING TERRIBLE was written into the game. It was sub-softcore porn level writing. “I can’t pass up an exclusive”, har har.

            But then Dragon Age has the Booty Readiness Meter…DA3 will likely enable you to pay with your credit card to increase it.

          2. @Barnes:

            It’s so ridiculous. I’ve played my Shep without ‘romancing’ anyone. But you still have to talk to people in order to unlock whatever you want to unlock — alt outfits (ME2), tech/biotic abilities (ME3), and I think even to keep them alive in ME2 though I might be wrong about that.

            Anyway, so I do the conversation rounds after missions; see what people are saying, yuk it up, etc. I completed one mission last Sunday, and when I got back to the Normandy I had like five emails from crew members wanting to meet me in my private quarters. So I basically went up there and had to sit through five awkward as hell scenes where crew members are trying to fuck my character. One after another, like a conveyer belt of unwanted attention. Including the Chobot-bot, whom I’ve talked to a grand total of three times in this game. The dialog responses for almost all of them were Bevis and Butthead-level equivalents of “Huhuh hey baby”. How the hell did I go from telling the comm officer that she’s good at her job to her trying to proposition me with requests for a ‘night of fun and games’ involving space chess? At least with DA2’s Bone Meter I could monitor it so it was easily avoidable — just avoid the dialog options with the heart icons.

            To tie this back into DA, it’s absolutely absurd for all of Bioware’s games, and takes away from the immersion of their stories. There’s nothing wrong with trying to have relationships, but the way they go about it is so dumb it’s insulting. Seriously, has anyone at Bioware ever been in a relationship? Gotten themselves into a situation where they could have sex without paying with cash beforehand?

            (Sorry this is an ME3 tangent. Playing it now but wasn’t far enough to talk in the earlier ME3 posts for fear of spoiling things.)

      2. “Likely it’ll be more like what Bill quoted: less DA2 and more DAO. Which is unfortunate.”

        People without a background in pen and paper RPGs may not have a background in the “fluff-to-crunch ratio” arguments that are old as the hills in games like Pathfinder and D&D.

        In pen-and-paper, there’s a real tradeoff. Every second someone spends calculating THAC0 (Google it) is a second the actor douche in your game group (me) can’t spend chatting up townspeople and dealing with moral quandaries. As a result, pen-and-paper game systems sub-divide from maximum fluff (Fudge RPG, White Wolf games) to maximum crunch (wargames, old-school D&D).

        Video game designers have a different problem. The computer can throw dice like a mofo, offscreen, and no time lost. As a result, it’s very easy for a computer RPG to become super-crunchy, loot-heavy, stat-whorish, and so on. Adding stories? Expensive.

        There’s still a trade-off, but now it’s invisible, and in the player’s *mind*. He still has limited time and headspace. Does he auto-equip new loot without checking it? Does he spam a single attack pattern repeatedly? Does he skip chats to get straight to the next fight?

        I went over to the BioWare forums, and it’s an effing train wreck over there. Some individual players know what they want. Some liked one game more than the other, but can’t identify why.

        The absolute question I want answered is not what any of us want. What the F does *BIOWARE* want?

        Market share? Layer on multiplayer, treat your sh*t like toy store garbage, ignore my departure from your fanbase.

        Storytelling depth? Accept that you’ll be losing your crunch-loving players.

        Crunchiness? Accept that Barnes and I walk.

        Hell, make three games, tell us which ones are which, and we’ll buy the one I want. Keep making the ones that sell enough. But FFS, stop selling me three games simultaneously.

        1. Caveat: There is definitely a way to do storytelling right in a multiplayer RPG. But no videogame RPG has truly attempted to give each member of a party-based game real, important player choices within a single overarching storyline.

          D&D at a table is the original multiplayer lobby, yo.

        2. coyote I would have loved to have played Warhammer, Vampire or Cthulhu w/ you back when I played real role-playing games.

          The best thing about those games was the ability for great storytelling. I played with a group that was mostly into telling great stories and not into just grabbing dice and running numbers. I have never understood the allure in doing that. We would have three hour sessions w/o a sword being drawn or a spell cast. Just great stuff.

          Oh, and screw thac0. Dumbest damn thing ever invented and that includes the pet rock.

          1. Agreed. The best thing 3.5e and 4e did was pre-calculate base difficulty. “I have no idea what you should roll…um…this stat, DC 10!”

    2. Hey, they already tried that here with Felicia Day.

      But I’m so glad that someone’s willing to go to bat for DA2 still. I found it a more sincere story than anything Bioware’s come up with in years, which makes all the nitpicky complaints about repeated environments seem like missing the forest for the trees.

    3. I agree with a lot of this stuff – the writing individually was very good. Aveline and Hawk? Best ever. I found the framing mechanism very interesting, and I thought including a variable sibling as a party member was a cool idea. I thought the combat was vastly improved and way more fun. I felt dangerous!

      But I felt like the sense of conflict was missing – people complain about being sent on fetch quests but that’s not what I mean. All videogames are fetch quests. I think there’s a better balance out there between Hawk trying to help out his friends and there still being a goal that Hawk is trying to achieve. I thought the first part of the game was the best, because I was worried that Hawk and his mom and sister had nowhere to live and needed money. After that money problem was solved, I didn’t feel compelled until the obvious stuff at the end of the game.

    1. Oh, for the love of god, please no.

      Demons Souls, Dark Souls… Ugh. Beautiful to look at and watch play, but they are empty, boring and insanely frustrating. And if you want to talk about horrible writing and bad voice acting. Yikes! The Souls games are like one step above “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” level of content.

      No thank you.

      I’d take both Dragon Ages and all three Mass Effects (only part way through number three) not to mentioned Fallout III and New Vegas every day of the week and twice on Sundays over the Souls games. I prefer a sense of story then simply running around and mindlessly hacking and slashing at things, dying, repeatedly, and then having hack and slash the same things over and over and over again.

      I know a lot of folks love those Souls games, but I can’t stand them.

        1. Ban Ajax!

          Haha. Ok look, the Souls games are certainly not for everyone and oddly enough I thought I was one of them when I read the reviews of Demons Souls. I recall editing our gshark review for that game and thinking “no way will I ever play this.”

          When I did, well the rest is history. Two of the greatest games ever made.

          Calling the games empty makes no sense but let’s move on.

          I would argue that the writing and the ability to feed a story to a user is far and away better in Dark Souls than in nearly anything BioWare has done in years. The delivery is subtle and when things were revealed to me I literally had several of those great “Ohhh I see” moments. I loved that about those games.

          The story in Dark Souls might be told in a different manner than your usual “click on every dialogue option to hear what the NPC is going to tell you anyway” design or the Bethesda model of, “storyline? Here have a cheese wheel” approach but it’s wildly effective in what it’s trying to tell the player.

          As for frustration, well, yeah. You can either get past that or you can’t. I hold nothing against those who can’t. I get it.

          1. It was as if the Souls games were designed specifically for me not to like them. I hate having to do things over again. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in gaming and beyond, which is why I am compulsive saver. There were times in, say, “Half Life 2” where I’d save the game after each jump just so I wouldn’t have to do it again. So, you can imagine how frustrating I got playing these games.

            I tried to play “Demon Souls” on and off for a while, mainly becayse the first 30 minutes or so were pretty engrossing. The game is beautiful and eerie. The game play is very tense. After that initial rush, however, the cracks began to show. The game is painfully repetitive. Getting killed at “Point K” and then having to start back over at “Point A” to get back to “Point K” is terribly frustrating. Pete doesn’t like having to fight things and over and over again. And that’s 90% of what the Souls games are.

            Comparing that experience to say, “Gears of War 3”. Completely different games. Gears is dumb, stupid fun. While I was playing it with a friend several months ago, we got to this “Immulsion Monster.” A boss battle. Extremely tough fight for us (we were quite drunk at the time). It took us about 15-20 tries to kill it. But we finally managed to take the bitch downm because they were awesome. Now, if I had to go back to the beginning of the board and fight everything else up to the “Immulsion Monster” just to get another crack at him each time we died… That would have been the end of “Gears 3? for me. Homey don’t play that. I don’t have time for such nonsense, despite enjoying the game.

            There are a ton of fun games that “punish” you for making a mistake, but are still enjoyable. Take “Batman: Arkham Asylum”, for example. The game is a blast. No game has ever simulated being and feeling like a specific superhero like that game. But the moment you stop being like Batman, sneaking around, taking people unawares and try to play the game like, Wolverine or Superman, just charging head long into room full of guys with guns. Boom. Dead. Game over. It’s trial and error. You figure out what works and what doesn’t, but still don’t have to go back to the begining of every board and lose all of your experience points each time you die.

            I also find the Souls games are also incredibly obtuse. There might be some sort of story to it, but I have no idea what it was and was given no reason to have any real vested interest in it. There’s no narrative. It’s essentially a hack and slash game with only the barest of bones RPG elements. Simply killing difficult monsters to get to one boss at the end has never been all that compelling to me. The old gold box D&D games, Bards Tale, Ultimas, etc, all had their tought battles and tough bosses, but I liked the stories – thin as they were at times – well enough to keep moving forward despite annoying “wandering” monsters and random encounters.

            There was just nothing about the games story-wise or elsewise that I felt compelling enough. Perhaps if I were in a better mindset when playing, after a while I tended to start getting annoyed and “played angry”, and that’s never a good idea. It really beings to sour one’s perception of everything.

            A good friend of mine loves these games and I do enjoy watching him play, mainly because they are beautiful, eerie and have some crazy-ass monsters in them. I still have no clue what’s happening.

          2. Gotta disagree, Ajax. Although I’ve hashed this out with a friend who thinks just the way you do, and I get it.

            The only thing I’d say to you is what I say to him: Yes, you’re replaying the Souls games all to hell. To me, the difference is: in a save/reload situation, the 19 times you try before you win are completely wasted. In Souls, although you have to do over, if you do it right, you get to recover the XP from your first attempt. If you fail, you still keep your loot. By that perspective, a player wastes LESS effort in a Souls game.

      1. There’s plenty of story to the Souls games. Enough for it to be regarded as “Lore”. Just because there isn’t always someone patiently narrating everything to you like in a Disney cartoon doesn’t mean there is no story.

  9. I find it funny that people complain about the enemy waves in DA2 but no one complains about the waves in ME3.

    If the bad guys in DA2 used jetpacks to reinforce their dying comrades all would be forgiven.

    1. The part of Mass Effect I never got fully on board with was the shooty part. I could care less about shooting dudes in Mass Effect, but then I’d be dead.

      Shooting dudes, I think, is more active, and the only thing you want when shooting dudes is more dudes. Dragon Age made more of an attempt to explain why dudes needed stabbing or melting, which makes the teleporting-in a bit more jarring.

    2. Good point.It is definitely noticeable ,but kind of felt OK with the ME 3th person shooter gameplay ,where in DA it was supposed to be more top down tactical combat.Actually I find that to be the best part in ME2 and 3(shooting I mean),didn’t care for the dialog and story with few exceptions in both games(Legion and Mordin characters). I find myself skipping the non-combat parts of the game just to go shoot some stuff.And here is the problem with ME2 and 3,they wanted to go mainstream with this “Gears of war”-ish gameplay basics ,but there is too much dialog and filler between missions.

      1. I’m glad you exist, Black Adder. I play ME for the exact opposite reason, so BioWare’s decisions on ME3 make a lot more sense if you’re the target audience, and not me.

        Me personally, if I want to shoot the dudes, I go and play Battlefield 3.

        1. The funny thing is that I’m not the target audience for sure,as a overall game I find the first ME best in the trilogy,because after all I wanted to play RPG ,not a 3th person shooter.But the 2nd and 3th game are in their core just that.No party items customization,no items,no meaningful character progression,no stats based combat,no exploration and so on.
          If you take how the game is played there is some better games that don’t pretend to be role playing games,like Metro and STALKER come to mind where the story is more build by “playing the game” and atmosphere and less by cutscenes and linear dialog tree.Don’t know if that make sense at all,but I think that ME2 and 3 just felt mediocre in every aspect and played safe(from EA/Bioware point) with the direction that did go from ME1.
          Also want clarify what I meant with “didn’t care for the dialog and story”,because I think you misunderstood me.My point is that I stopped bean interested with the world and characters in that particular series after first game,not that I don’t want it in my game.

  10. As a former professional graphic artist, I can proudly say this; You are only as good as your last job.

    Bioware’s last few jobs, question the future of many things. Dragon Age 2, The Old Republic , Mass Effect 3 ? I have no doubt that a (small to medium sized10-15man) team is working actively on Dragon Age 3 right now, but with recent events I have no doubt about EA’s finger on the kill switch too. PAX East will be an interesting event. As will E3.

    I predict if things don’t go well with ME3 by PAX’s end, and TOR subscriptions drop (or the predictions say it will drop on EA’s side of things), we will not hear a squeak of Dragon Age 3 news until next console generation. Could C&C Generals 2 be Bioware’s last big game ?

    The strong opinions with Dragon Age 2 (even dangerous ones with ME3) I feel come down to marketing first. Other issues aside, there was poor marketing with these games. DA2 really wasn’t Dragon Age 1’s direct sequel. Expectations hurt sales with the original customer base, which was greater than the gain of new customers. In hind sight, DA2 should be called something else. Still Dragon Age … but not with the “2” anchor.

    It will be an interesting summer to watch Bioware. The phoenix rising from the ashes or the failing vanity of the peacock ?

    1. There’s a certain sadness to this, too. I didn’t play it, but my MMO peeps loved TOR because it added something that MMOs desperately lacked: the idea that an individual player’s choices actually mattered.

      If EA deems this a failed experiment, there’ll be even less reason for me to play MMOs, because story will get discouraged across the genre.

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