After more than seven years of slow development, we finally got a release date for BioWare’s upcoming fourth installment in the role-playing video game series, the massively popular Dragon Age franchise. According to the sources, Dragon Age 4 should release sometime in 2023, and EA has no plans for remastering the series’ trilogy, consisting of the first three games.
According to GamesRadar+, Venture Beat’s Jeff Grubb stated that the fans shouldn’t expect Dragon Age 4 to launch within 2022 in his GrubbSnax live show. He also added that it’s highly unlikely for the game to launch in the first half of 2023, but most likely in the latter half of next year, thus revealing the upcoming game’s release window rather than a precise date. Still, this is great news, considering the rocky course of Dragon Age 4’s development, including the constant interruptions, and the loss of its creative director.
So, we shouldn’t expect Dragon Age 4 for another 18 months, as per Grubb’s statement, which isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. It’s not a bad thing either, as it will allow BioWare to finish development, and adequate optimization steps, ensuring that the released game is of the finest quality, straying further away from DICE’s approach to Battlefield 2042 — which is still in a horrible condition. It’s always a good idea to delay the game’s release, then to ruin the first impression, disappoint the fandom, and let one bad apple spoil the bunch for those new to the gaming franchise.
With that said, Dragon Age 4 has been canceled and delayed several times since its development cycle began in 2015, with Mike Laidlaw as the game’s creative director. It was initially intended to be a smaller, more narrative-driven video game, set in the Tevinter Imperium region of the in-game world of Thedas. Unfortunately, development issues with BioWare’s other games, more specifically Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, led to repeated interruptions in Dragon Age 4’s development, as its staff was shifted to the aforementioned games.
But that’s not the end of it. In October 2018, EA decided to pull the plug on the game, as it offered no space for a live-service component (multiplayer) that would provide ongoing monetization opportunities, which EA is well-known for. As a result, the game’s creative director, Mike Laidlaw, left the company, along with several other staff members; Laidlaw’s position was taken over by Matthew Goldman. The development of Dragon Age 4 continued later that year (December 2018) with an implemented live-service component based on Anthem’s code.
However, after the massive success of 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Faller Order, and the cancelation of Anthem due to its lackluster performance, EA and BioWare opted to remove the planned live service from Dragon Age 4 and turn it into a single-player game only. Matthew Goldman subsequently left the company, reassuring gamers that his departure won’t affect the game’s development. As things currently are, we shouldn’t expect the game to launch in the next 18 months, nor should we expect a remaster of the original trilogy, considering that Dragon Age games aren’t narratively linked, like Mass Effect.