Why Dragon Age Holds the Key to BioWare's Survival
BioWare is arguably one of the largest game developers in the world. It has made hugely successful franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. It was acquisitioned by EA, which is a death sentence in the games industry. EA has a very long history with buying developers and shutting them down. This has happened with 12 studios so far. In 2009, after the failure of Battlefront 2, Pandemic studios was finally shut down. I’m concerned that BioWare is following the same trends and is soon going to meet its end.
The first failure of BioWare was Mass Effect: Andromeda. In a video, I argued that although Andromeda was doomed to fail due to the love for the original trilogy, it also fails on all the fundamental levels that make a good game – good. It was buggy and it’s clear that the team was rushed to get it released. (a common theme with EA games). Then came Anthem. It was BioWare’s Fallout 76. It was deeply flawed and frustrating, the graphics were the only positive. After two massive failures, fans started to question how long BioWare had left.
Dragon Age Inquisition was a spectacular addition to the Dragon Age franchise. It was released in 2014, fans have been waiting eagerly for the sequel. BioWare released a teaser trailer during the 2018 Game Awards that included a Red Lyrium idol and Solas saying:
“So, you have found me at last, I suspect you have questions”.
The video was also tagged with #TheDreadWolfRises. Like the Mass Effect trilogy, fans have an intense attachment to the DA franchise. With spectacular writing, companions, and world building, it is no wonder why the games are so widely received. With the failure of Andromeda, players are concerned about the quality of the sequel. However, there is more than just fan expectation weighing on Dragon Age 4.
If EA are still behaving the same, then BioWare has one last chance to remain alive. EA shuts down companies who stop making them money and Anthem definitely didn’t meet targets. As a fan, I am really looking forward to hearing more about the new Dragon Age, but as a critic, I don’t have high expectations.
It would be a real shame to lose a powerhouse like BioWare, but with pressures from EA and the public – It is likely we will see their closure in the next few years.