Life as a Dragon Age fan is hard sometimes, but necessary. Today on Twitter, BioWare wrote that it won’t be showing off anything from Dragon Age or Mass Effect during the EA Play event later this month.
This is good, truly. (She says through gritted teeth, tears in her eyes.) I want this game to be good, and being good means coming out when it’s damn well ready. I don’t want to put any pressure on the dev team, and I certainly don’t want them to crunch in order to show off some minor bit or bob for a marketing showcase.
It’s been six years since Dragon Age: Inquisition—a game that, while critically successful, was plagued with harmful crunch brought on by decisions made late in the game’s development. Earlier in development, for whatever Inquisition’s successor would become, BioWare didn’t want to go through that crunch experience again. But in the rise (and later fall) of EA’s commitment to “live service games, damn the consequences,” Dragon Age 4 was rebooted and rebooted again—going from a narrative focused game, to a live service game, then back to a single player game.
Suffice it to say, in light of all these whiplash changes, Dragon Age 4 is probably not yet ready to be shown to the world. And that’s okay! It does hurt knowing I won’t get a glimpse of the next tortured templar I’m fated to romance or the qunari lady I’m going to wife up in a subsequent playthrough. But I, like all Dragon Age fans, have gotten really good at subsisting on very little information.
A Game Awards trailer in 2018 gave us our first glimpse of Dread Wolf Solas with a red lyrium idol that may be the key to his nefarious plans. During Gamescom 2020, BioWare released a short, four-minute video that said nothing about Dragon Age 4 but did include enough concept art of Solas and the setting to give fans hints about what’s to come. For Dragon Age Day on December 4, 2020, BioWare published four short stories that provide valuable context to the world and how it’s changing since the events of Inquisition. Also in 2020, BioWare yet again released a trailer during the Game Awards, still not showing much—but it confirmed the game’s setting, the Tevinter Imperium, and brought back fan favorite Varric Tethras as the trailer’s narrator.
Between the glint of light off a chunk of red lyrium to a piece of concept art in which a character that looks suspiciously like Dorian Pavus swims in the background, BioWare has been drip-feeding fans information for years now. Ever, of course, do we hunger, but from the bits of information we do have, I know enough to keep me fed till the next crumb of content comes, whenever that may be.
I am coming for you, you bastard Egg, and I’ll wait as long as it takes.