Critically acclaimed developer, Bioware, was that cool uncle who, at every family reunion, spins larger than life tales and winds up being the center of attention (and arguably, rightly so). As it stands now, that uncle’s had a bit too much to drink, and somebody foolishly keeps refilling his glass, much to the chagrin of everyone else.
Today, it was announced that Dragon Age III: Inquisition is in the works, and while that’s big news on its own, the method of announcement seems to focus more on saving face and re-establishing Bioware as a trusted, dedicated, and above all else; passionate developer eager to make amends with fans who might have lost faith in the company’s abilities.
Executive Producer Mark Darrah posted Dragon Age’s latest sequel with an open letter, detailing his extensive history with Bioware.
I joined BioWare in May of 1997 making this year my 15th year with the Company (So, old…). I am a programmer by training and implemented the AI, scripting, and combat systems in Baldur’s Gate. After that, I moved into a lead programmer role on Tales of the Sword Coast, BG2, and Throne of Bhaal. I kept my hands dirty during this time; you have me to blame for the wild mage.
Then through a weird series of un-relatable stories, I ended up on BioWare’s handheld title Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. I started out as Lead Programmer and finished in charge of the project. Along the way I managed to write a scripting language somehow WORSE than the one in BG, yet at the same time coded a stats system that I am VERY proud of.
After the (albeit charming) introduction, he moves on to the big news:
I am pleased to confirm that we are, in fact, working on the next Dragon Age game. Not a big surprise to most of you, I know. We have been working on it in some way for about two years now with the bulk of our efforts ramping up about 18 months ago.
Part of that effort has involved you, our fans, and the feedback you’ve provided for Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and their DLC. We’ve visited message boards, read reviews, and we’ve gone to events to have direct face to face conversations with some of our most passionate fans. We’ve been listening, and we will continue to listen.
And the nitty gritty:
- 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 armor and followers… Yeah, that kind of customization. We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.
Personally, I’m on the fence about this. I was a huge fan of Dragon Age: Origins and even gave Dragon Age 2 more credit than it probably deserved, but thought it was a pale imitation of the quality, both in story and gameplay, that I’d come to expect from a triple-A title. After the messy Mass Effect 3 debacle, I moved on. There were other games out there to be played, and brand loyalty wasn’t worth my hard-earned time or money.
I want to believe they’ll pull through and produce something remarkable, not merely because I want a good game, but because I believe these guys have it in them. Another concern is that catering to fans too much is never inherently a good thing, as you’re putting too much emphasis on that rather than producing a quality product all-around, fans or no. Bioware is a talented developer, and I’d hate to see them go the M. Night Shayamalan route.
Mr. Darrah confirmed that more information would be coming out “in the prime time.”
Source: Dragon Age