Electronic Arts has made a major U-turn that allows the developers of the new Dragon Age to remove all planned multiplayer content from the upcoming game. This is what the well-connected journalist Jason Schreier reports at Bloomberg.
We don’t know much about the new Dragon Age yet. Electronic Arts and developer BioWare debuted at The Game Awards 2020 with an official teaser trailer for the new one Dragon Agewhich is still known only as “the next Dragon Age”.
Overturned multiplayer components
Dragon Age has been a series of single player experiences so far. According to the report by Jason Schreier, a large proportion of multiplayer components were planned for the new game. Now it is well known that you can financially get one or two euros more out of games with online multiplayer shares. “Games as a Service” is what one calls this model. Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson called this in 2019 “the foundation for the future”.
But it can also go wrong. And that’s what I think has made Electronic Arts rethink. According to Schreier’s report, the new Dragon Age has turned into a true single-player game in the last few months. To blame – if you can put it that way – is a current multiplayer flop from EA. Anthem.
Anthem and Star Wars are to blame
The supposed multiplayer hit was a big flop two years ago. Bioware and EA once again made a lot of attempts and wanted the game with them Anthem Next rebuild. But this venture was officially abandoned only a few days ago. Anthem must have burned a lot of money.
But also good news from “the other side” caused a rethink, according to Schreier. The single player title Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, developed by Respawn Entertainment, exceeded EA’s expectations and sold over 10 million copies in the first four months. And Bioware is not particularly known for successful online games, but rather popular with fans for single-player RPGs. It was decided that the developers should better go back to their roots.
EA did not want to comment on the report to Bloomberg. Dragon Age has been in development since around 2015, and the decision to focus on long-term monetization was made in 2017. As a result, Creative Director Mike Laidlaw and other employees turned their backs on the project and referred to the project internally as “Anthem with kites”, reports Schreier. So now the U-turn. Fans of the series should welcome them.
The Game Awards 2020 teaser trailer
Images: Dragon Age, BioWare, Electronic Arts