Dragon Age 4 is real and in production at BioWare, we know that much. But what when is the Dragon Age 4 release date? Where will the story go next? And which of our favourite characters will return? While BioWare may be tight-lipped about the sequel to Inquisition, a few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is their next fantasy RPG are already floating around the internet.
So far we’ve had a cryptic teaser trailer about the Dread Wolf, suggestions of a potential multiplayer angle, and heaps of clues to its story contents courtesy of various interviews and tweets with developers and writers who have worked on previous Dragon Age games. And yet, EA and BioWare are insistent on keeping the game’s title and release date under wraps.
Join us as we attempt to pick all of that information apart and figure out what kind of game the series’ fourth instalment will be. Each entry has been drastically different from the one that came before it, so expect plenty of speculation down below. Here’s everything we know about Dragon Age 4.
Dragon Age 4 release date
Since BioWare have yet to officially announce the game we don’t have a Dragon Age 4 release window for you just yet. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be quite a way off, despite the game being in development since 2015. According to a report by Kotaku, development halted in 2016 as the team was brought into Mass Effect: Andromeda to help finish the game. Dragon Age 4 – code named Joplin – was then rebooted in 2017 after the team was, again, pulled off the project to help finish Anthem off.
As to what the most recent version of Dragon Age 4 looks like, it’s seemingly too early to tell. In an interview with Game Informer in June 2018, BioWare’s Casey Hudson said “we do have people who are figuring out what a next Dragon Age would look like,” signalling that Dragon Age 4 is absolutely in development.
Dragon Age The Dread Wolf Rises
The Game Awards 2018 gave us our very first official glimpse at Dragon Age 4 in the form of this brief teaser trailer called The Dread Wolf Rises. The trailer features Solus, suggesting the game will take place after Dragon Age Inquisition. We can also spot the lyrium idol that appears in Dragon Age II, although it’s impossible to infer anything from this.
Dragon Age 4 development
Dragon Age 4 will be built on the foundations of Anthem’s code. This may sound like a negative to some, as Anthem proved to be a critical disappointment, but it may also give BioWare’s team the consistency that they need going forward. Thanks to using Anthem’s tech, development on Dragon Age 4 should be more smooth, as devs won’t need to start from scratch, as is the norm for the studio. Speaking to Kotaku, one anonymous source explains that “Anthem might be the kick in the butt that BioWare leadership needed to see that how you develop games has changed dearly. You can’t just start fresh and fumble your way forward until you find the fun. That doesn’t work anymore.”
As for the gameplay, it is too early to tell, as the game was rebooted in 2017. Speaking to Kotaku, however, one developer suggests it could include a single-player campaign that opens up into a multi-player one post-game. Apparently there is even an idea it could have Baldur’s Gate-influenced co-op.
Thanks to Alexis Kennedy revealing that he has written content for the next Dragon Age game, we know that development started shortly before May 2017. We also know that all Dragon Age-related job listings have been removed from BioWare’s website, which could suggest that the final development team roster has been cemented.
On top of that, we know that the project won’t be headed up by Dragon Age series creative director Mike Laidlaw. That is because in October 2017 he left BioWare after 14 years with the company.
A thank you tweet to Laidlaw from Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah reads, “I am so excited for you to see what the next Dragon Age will be,” confirming that development is certainly underway something Dragon Age-related.
Yet another announcement further confirmed, albeit unofficially, that a fourth Dragon Age game is in production. Executive producer of the entire Dragon Age franchise, Mark Darrah, tweeted that people were “hard at work” on a new game.
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
Word from sources within BioWare suggested that the game would be “live”, leading to concerns from players about Dragon Age becoming a Destiny-like multiplayer game. BioWare’s general manager Casey Hudson tweeted about these fears, emphasising that the live elements would be focused on continuing the story after the main narrative is over.
Dragon Age 4 story
While no concrete details of Dragon Age 4’s story have been revealed, we do know that Alexis Kennedy, founder of Failbetter Games, has been involved in the game’s writing. In May 2017 he revealed that we was working for BioWare on a chunk of story and lore. His plotline is said to be separate from the core story, but more substantial than background lore drops. In short: expect characters with dialogue and backstory.
“If you’ve seen a lot of my work before you will probably not be surprised by the choice of subject matter. It’s familiar stuff,” Kennedy told Eurogamer, suggesting that there will likely be a strange, Lovecraftian feel to his section, or at least a focus on death or loss. Perhaps it will be set in the Fade, Dragon Age’s demonic dimension?
Aside from that, any details about Dragon Age 4’s plot are purely guesswork. After the success of Inquisition, it is a sensible bet that the next game could be a direct sequel, as opposed to a largely standalone story set in the same universe as the series has been so far. The end of Inquisition saw trickster elf Solas – revealed to be the god of betrayal Fen’Harel – disappear, and the Trespasser DLC concluded with the Inquisitor vowing to track him down and stop his plan to destroy the world. It makes sense that a sequel would cast Solas as the key villain and deal with halting his plans to usher in a new age for the ancient elves.
The recent The Dread Wolf Rises trailer does offer some context for the new Dragon Age game, as it features Solas we can assume the game will follow on from the events of Inquisition and its Trespasser DLC.
Wherever Dragon Age takes us next, we can be certain that the universe has more stories to tell. In August 2017, creative director at the time, Mike Laidlaw, explained in a tweet to a fan that the Dragon Age team had ideas for a “theoretical game five,” and that “[t]here is no planned ending for DA.”
Related: Why Dragon Age’s lore is so great
Laidlaw has also expressed that the game may not be the fourth game in the core series, suggesting the Dragon Age game currently in development could be a spin-off, exploring a different area – perhaps even a different time period – of Thedas. Maybe we won’t be tracking down Solas after all.
Dragon Age 4 multiplayer
With multiplayer increasingly prevalent across the industry it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Dragon Age 4 will likely feature some form of multiplayer component. This clue cropped up courtesy of a job listing for a for a franchise technical director for Dragon Age that requests somebody with “experience developing multiplayer games.” With no significant multiplayer elements in any of the previous Dragon Age games this listing looks to apply to the upcoming Dragon Age game.