Bioware has had a rough few years. Following the critical and commercial success of Dragon Age: Inquisition, the studio moved on to Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, two games that abandoned the tenets of previous Bioware titles under mounting publisher pressure.
It’s been six years since Inquisition, and although we know Dragon Age 4 is in development, it’ll be a while before we see it. From the Dragon Age 4 release date to the teaser trailer to any news and rumors we could find, here’s everything we know about Dragon Age 4.
We know Dragon Age 4 is in the works thanks to the 2018 Game Awards teaser and some concept art released just a few months ago (more on both in the following sections). It won’t be coming for a while, though. During the EA Q2 2020 earnings call, CFO and COO of EA Blake Jorgensen said the following: “You should assume that there is Dragon Age out there and we’ve talked about it publicly that it’s in the works, and it probably comes after fiscal ’22 … you should assume that it’s out there and plans are underway for that product as well as some other products.”
EA’s fiscal year ends on March 31, so given Jorgensen’s statement to investors, we won’t see anything until at least April 2022. That’s the earliest we’ll see Dragon Age 4, but the wait could extend to March 2023. If nothing else, the potential Dragon Age 4 release date all but confirms that the game will be on Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC, unlike Dragon Age: Inquisition, which launched on current and last-generation platforms simultaneously.
Short of some art shown during EA Play 2020 — which we’ll get to next — EA hasn’t released much about Dragon Age 4. During Gamescom 2020, though, we got another look.
Despite being four minutes long, the behind-the-scenes look doesn’t really say anything about Dragon Age 4. At most, the video shows that Bioware is getting closer to a release date. The beginning of the video also mentions next-gen hardware, all but confirming Dragon Age 4 will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Otherwise, the video offers a few glimpses at gameplay, as well as one particular returning character: Solas. This isn’t news necessarily — Bioware has been pretty forthcoming about Solas being a key character in the next game — but it’s nice to get confirmation.
Bioware showed off the first official teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4 during The Game Awards 2020. The trailer shows off Solas and some of the characters you may be able to play as, set to the backdrop of a vibrant fantasy world teeming with color.
Otherwise, there was a trailer at The Game Awards in 2018, as well as a behind-the-scenes look during Gamescom 2020. Like most teasers, there isn’t much to go on in the trailer, short of a single piece of dialogue saying, “So, you found me at last. I suspect you have questions.” Accompanying this line is a tag that reads: “The Dread Wolf Rises.” You can see the teaser below.
We’re diving into some spoiler territory here, so if you’re interested in playing Dragon Age: Inquisition before the fourth entry in the series, skip ahead. The Dread Wolf in Dragon Age refers to the elven god Fen’Harel, with the “Dread Wolf” name showing up a lot during the Trespasser DLC for Inquisition. The lore is complex, to say the least, and users on Reddit have already started the long process of breaking down the trailer. In short, though, Solas, a companion in Inquisition, confesses to being Fen’Harel in the Trespasser DLC. He then explains the risks of the Inquisition becoming corrupt, before the Inquisitor is given a choice between stopping Solas or redeeming him. Solas also says the phrase, “I suspect you have questions.”
Of course, we don’t know the plot of Dragon Age 4, but it’s clear Solas is at the center of it. Further confirming this, Bioware tweeted a handwritten letter from Solas inviting the Inquisitor to tea in celebration of Dragon Age: Inquisition‘s fifth anniversary.
Happy 5th Birthday, Dragon Age: Inquisition. pic.twitter.com/mTIRc5HfDM
— BioWare (@bioware) November 18, 2019
The other thing the trailer touches on is red lyrium — in particular, a red lyrium idol from Dragon Age II. If you haven’t played the second game, spoiler alert: After finding the idol with Varric and his brother Bartrand in the first act, it poisons Bartrand’s mind. We can clearly see the idol in the center of the mural, so although we don’t know what will happen in Dragon Age 4, it’s likely going to involve Solas getting his hands on the corrupted idol.
Another note from the trailer: It doesn’t ever say “Dragon Age 4,” just simply “Dragon Age.” Although a small detail, Bioware could call this new game just Dragon Age — it’s not a title reserved by the first game in the series, after all.
We don’t have any gameplay for Dragon Age 4 yet, but EA has teased some concept art that provides a glimpse at what the game will look like.
During EA Play 2020, amid a hype reel for next-gen titles, EA chief studio officer Laura Miele said, “Bioware imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story,” set to the backdrop of the images below. Although there were no direct references to Dragon Age 4, Miele talks about Bioware’s “fantasy worlds,” which is enough for us, at least.
If the above images aren’t from Dragon Age 4, they’re from some other epic fantasy RPG out of Bioware. Given that we know Dragon Age 4 is in active development, though, it’s safe to assume they are from the fourth entry in the series. Plus, the images clearly show red lyrium.
In a Kotaku report, Bioware confirmed that the next Dragon Age game will have live service elements. This presumably comes from EA, who, in past earnings calls, has continued to stand behind games with a monetization life cycle after launch. Following the report, Casey Hudson tweeted the following:
Reading lots of feedback regarding Dragon Age, and I think you’ll be relieved to see what the team is working on. Story & character focused.
Too early to talk details, but when we talk about “live” it just means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.
— Casey Hudson (@CaseyDHudson) January 25, 2018
As a Bioware employee told Jason Schreier, “Dragon Age games shift more than other games,” so we don’t have a clear direction on the live service elements (even if we did, they’d probably change, at least according to Bioware employees). Reports out of the studio, though, suggest that they’ll be focused on multiplayer only, with the main, single-player campaign untouched by microtransactions.
Hudson’s tweet further confirms the lack of meddling in the main story, saying the live elements are “for continued storytelling after the main story.”
EA hasn’t said much about Dragon Age 4, let alone its post-launch plans. However, we suspect that Bioware will get to work on DLC packs once the game finally launches. From Dragon Age: Origins to Inquisition, Bioware has supported every title with add-ons and expansions, some of which are crucial to fully understanding the story.
As for when the DLC will arrive, it will probably be shortly after launch. Dragon Age: Origins received its first post-launch DLC only two months after release, and Dragon Age: Inquisition got its first DLC pack four months after launch.
Given the “live” elements of the game, we may see quest-driven expansions offered through an in-game story with larger campaign DLCs released as separate add-ons. In the past, Bioware has also given away exclusive DLC through partnerships with Newegg, AMD, and others.
Pre-orders haven’t gone up for Dragon Age 4 yet. In fact, we don’t even have a release date. If past releases are anything to go by, Bioware will have multiple editions of Dragon Age 4 with various pre-order bonuses.
Dragon Age: Inquisition topped out with a $170 “Inquisitor’s Edition,” which featured a tarot card deck, a special case, a cloth map, a full-scale lock picking set, a quill and ink, a badge, some coins, and a 40-page journal. It’s been several years since Inquisition, and the video game industry has changed a lot, but we expect EA to still release a big, bold collector’s edition for Dragon Age 4 packed with pre-order bonuses.
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