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Before It Was Rebooted, Dragon Age 4 Reportedly Involved Spies Doing Heists In The Tevinter Imperium
Following the long report by Kotaku on the development issues of Anthem, and the unfortunate state at Bioware at the moment, another report goes in-depth on the next Dragon Age, Bioware’s tentpole IP (together with Mass Effect).
While we know a new Dragon Age is certainly in the works based on past interviews, and also an official teaser, the project has been rebooted in 2017. The new Dragon Age 4, codenamed Morrison, will be built using the tools developed for Anthem, building on that foundation with the plan to add live services “built for long-term gameplay and revenue.”
But the previous Dragon Age 4, codenamed Joplin, started work right after production for Dragon Age Inquisition’s Tresspasser DLC wrapped up. And the concept sounds really intriguing.
Rather than playing as a Grey Warden, a champion of a city or an Inquisitor, you play as a group of spies. The game was supposed to be based in the Tevinter Imperium, a land unexplored in the Dragon Age games but many tales of the lands have been told so far.
This Dragon Age 4 would have been smaller in scale with fewer fetch quests, specifically avoiding the opening world of Inquisition’s Hinterlands which was huge, too huge, of an open world. Areas changes over time with missions branching out based on your decisions, which would have included “non-standard game-overs”. Bad endings, perhaps?
So what happened to Joplin, then? Due to development issues on Mass Effect Andromeda and then Anthem, the small team that worked on it have been tasked to join the two projects to help them finish and release. And Joplin did not have a multiplayer concept.
Based on Kotaku’s report, by interviewing various developers under anonymity, these two factors stopped Joplin from happening.
This reboot period is when creative director Mike Laidlaw and several veteran Dragon Age staff left. Laidlaw is now with Ubisoft Quebec.
Details of what Morrison, the new Dragon Age 4, will exactly be at this time is still murky.
But Joplin not only had a strong concept to work on. Its team morale was also great too, thanks to the team getting the production right. After the grueling development of Inquisition, the team focused on no to repeat the same production issues. There was a clear vision by the leaders, there are better methods introduced to help new members of the team get up to speed and fast decision making.
It’s a shame we are not getting an RPG about spies doing heists in the Tervinter Imperium. But let’s hope after Anthem, Bioware is not going through another troubled development cycle.