Dragon Age 4 Development Was Reportedly Rebooted Drastically in Late 2017
After shifting a majority of the Dragon Age team to work on Anthem, work on the series' fourth installment was essentially restarted two years ago.
Now that Anthem officially released earlier this year, BioWare’s next project that is slated to arrive is that of Dragon Age 4. The fourth installment in the fantasy RPG series was revealed late in 2018 at The Game Awards via a teaser trailer. As of now, there isn’t a whole lot to see of the project, mainly because it’s still so early in development. However, a fourth Dragon Age game has been worked on at BioWare for years at this point but because of shifts in direction,
In a new report from Kotaku, it was revealed that BioWare has worked on Dragon Age 4 in one way or another since the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s final piece of DLC in 2015. Because of more pressing matters at BioWare though, the team working on DA4 was forced to move off the project multiple times.
Following the release of Inquisition, a portion of the team went to work on Mass Effect: Andromeda while another group led by BioWare’s Mark Darrah and Mike Laidlaw proceeded to work on Joplin, the codename for the next Dragon Age title. Those who worked on Joplin at the time told Kotaku that it was a very exciting game to work on.
Unfortunately, work on Joplin was eventually put on hold and the team led by Darrah and Laidlaw then had to transition in 2016 to help get Mass Effect: Andromeda out the door. After the game released in 2017, the DA team then went back to working on Joplin, but not for long.
In October of 2017, a few months after Casey Hudson returned to the company as GM, BioWare and EA opted to cancel Joplin and move a vast majority of the team over to working on Anthem. In the months after this move, Laidlaw himself also ended up leaving BioWare to eventually join Ubisoft.
A small group then began working on a new Dragon Age project which would now be codenamed Morrison, which is what DA4 is in its current form. Morrison is said to offer more live service components compared to Joplin and is being built from the same tools and codebase as Anthem. As of now, it’s unclear just how many of the ideas from Joplin will then be reworked into Morrison. It’s also unclear just how integrated online and live service elements will be in the finished game.
As of now, it seems like Dragon Age 4 development is still very early and the vision of what the game will eventually become is still hazy. Some sources within BioWare expect DA4 to change quite a bit in the coming years, which makes it all the more strange that the studio decided to even tease the game so early.
Regardless of what becomes of Dragon Age 4, hopefully, it will reach the highs that many expected from both Anthem and Mass Effect: Andromeda. BioWare seems to have been in a rough place as of the past few years and they could really use a huge win.