The fourth installment in the Dragon Age gaming series, Dragon Age 4, has just lost its creative director, Matt Goldman, who spent 23 creative years with BioWare, the studio responsible for Mass Effect, Anthem, and Knights of the Old Republic gaming titles. According to Kotaku, BioWare’s general manager, Gary McKay, informed the staff of Matt Goldman’s departure from the company after “mutually agreeing to part ways.”
McKay also reassured the company staff and its fans that, while Goldman’s departure impacts the ongoing development of the highly-anticipated Dragon Age 4 video game title, the studio’s commitment to the game’s development hasn’t wavered. He added that the studio won’t “ship a game that is not up to BioWare’s standards.” We truly hope that BioWare doesn’t go down the same path Rockstar Games and CD Projekt RED went in regards to their respective failures, the Cyberpunk 2077 and GTA: The Trilogy. Well, at least they apologized. Rockstar Games even offered some of its titles for free as compensation to the disappointed fans.
Neither BioWare, nor Electronic Arts provided a reason for Goldman’s departure from Dragon Age 4, but the company’s representative said that “he leaves the next Dragon Age game in excellent hands.” Goldman joined BioWare in 1988 as an artist on contemporary gaming titles like Baldur’s Gate, which is still in its Early Access stage, the Neverwinter Nights series, as well as the massively popular Dragon Age series. He took over the position of creative director for the Dragon Age series from 2017 until his departure from the company in 2021. BioWare still hasn’t announced who Goldman’s replacement will be or how his departure impacts the troubled development of Dragon Age 4.
The departure of Matt Goldman is yet another high-profile departure from the gaming studio and the Dragon Age 4 project, which already lost its executive producer Mark Darrah in December last year. The development of the fourth main entry in the Dragon Age series, codenamed “Joplin,” began in 2015, with Mike Laidlaw as the game’s creative director. However, problems with the development of BioWare’s other, prominent gaming titles, like Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, led to the repeated interruptions of the Joplin project, as its staff was reassigned to work on the aforementioned games. Finally, in October 2018, BioWare and Electronic Arts canceled the game altogether due to the lack of space to implement its live service components, which would facilitate the ongoing monetization opportunities. Sounds like Electronic Arts.
In response to Goldman leaving Dragon Age 4, several of Dragon Age’s veteran developers have since left the company, including Matt Laidlaw, its creative director. Mark Darrah remained as an executive producer, while Matthew Golman took over for Laidlaw on the position of creative director for the project, which was re-started under the codename “Morrison,” with live-service components based on Anthem’s code. Unfortunately, Darrah left BioWare just a few months before Anthem’s lackluster launch, which prompted EA and Bio Ware to remove the planned multiplayer components from Dragon Age 4 and focus on delivering a single-player game only. Now, the troubled development of Dragon Age 4 continues with Matthew Goldman’s departure from the company.