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Dragon Age 4 live-service and multiplayer reportedly removed at behest of EA

Published: 17:34, 26 February 2021
Sunset in The Next Dragon Age
Bioware, The Next Dragon Age

We know what you're thinking - there's no way a publisher would say no to live-service and/or multiplayer, let alone demand it, but this is reportedly what EA asked BioWare to do for Dragon Age 4.

Bloomberg cited their sources as saying that EA had been planning for Dragon Age 4 to feature a "heavy multiplayer component", but eventually decided against it after seeing their usual winning formula crash and burn with Anthem. 

At the same time, singleplayer titles like Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have once again proven it's possible for a game to be both critically acclaimed and lucrative. In fact, Zampella and Co did so well that they were granted an unprecedented free-reign type of creative license from Disney.

Taking all this into account, EA apparently decided to ditch their earlier plans for Dragon Age 4 and stick with the flavour of the month, i.e. singleplayer RPGs. 

Now, having short-term performance dictate long-term goals is usually not EA's forte. This is the same publisher who called live-service "foundational" for the company just a few years back, which is why analysing the decision requires a good hard look at BioWare. 

The iconic developer has been on a dry run for a while now, and it's reached the point where EA's investors are openly questioning the studio's contribution. EA's CEO Andrew Wilson recently defended them, calling their bad form a mere blip caused by overly focusing on "creativity and innovation", but even gamers know how ridiculous this statement is, let alone investors. 

BioWare Dragon Age artwork showing a black dragon Dragon Age artwork

It's always wise to look for silver linings and BioWare's return to the core experience of Dragon Age certainly qualifies here. Nevertheless, the fact that EA are freeing them up from the "foundational" distractions like live-service and/or multiplayer makes it increasingly evident that botching Dragon Age 4 could very well be BioWare's last hurrah. 

Thanks, Bloomberg .

The Next Dragon Age by Bioware and EA

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Bioware, The Next Dragon Age location

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