EA has announced the next game in the Dragon Age series, and done so in an interesting way. Generally, for announcements of this calibre, EA will wait for one of the several large trade shows that happen throughout North America, Europe and Japan, like, E3, Leipzig Games Convention, or Tokyo Games Show respectively. This time, however, EA, through one of the Dragon Age series’ Executive Producers, Mark Darrah, they announced the game through their website.
The announcement explains why they’ve chosen a non-traditional method for the announcement:
Recently, I said that we didn´t want to talk about Dragon Age III unless we had something to show. I´m trying to stick to that plan and won´t be revealing much today. That said, a lot of information and rumors have surfaced recently and we don´t want to hide from them. There are a BUNCH of things that I really want to share with you but I want to do this right, and doing it right requires some more time.
This decision appears designed to foster goodwill with a fanbase grumbling with discontent at the recent handling of the Dragon Age franchise, including the dramatic changes introduced to the series with its second volume, many of which appear to have been made to speed development of the game, following on the unexpected success of Dragon Age: Origins, rather than to improve the series’ gameplay and storytelling through natural evolution of the game systems.
The list of details released by Darrah released is small, but encouraging for fans:
- The next game will be called Dragon Age III: Inquisition.
- We won´t be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title.
- This game is being made by a lot of the same team that has been working on Dragon Age since Dragon Age: Origins. It´s composed of both experienced BioWare veterans and talented new developers.
- We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armour and followers Yeah, that kind of customisation. We´ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that EA and BioWare appear to be doing the right thing here. That is, recognizing the mistakes they made with Dragon Age II, slowing down development time for the release, and being in open communication with the fanbase who has supported the series, but also recognized the core flaws in Dragon Age II. If EA is being honest here, I think we have a good chance of seeing the series find its way back into being of relevance to the discussion of RPGs.
This is, presumably, only the beginning of announcements regarding Dragon Age III: Inquisition. We can expect more news, and details we can properly speculate on, through the end of the year and into 2013.