BioWare’s David Gaider answered to a question asked by the user regarding romance options in Dragon Age Inquisition. He gave quite detailed answer on his Tumblr.
I can easily imagine a time when the romances in Dragon Age Inquisition are revealed (whether that will be before or after release, I have no idea). There will be an inevitable reaction from people who are disappointed they couldn’t romance someone with their character of choice, and some of them will rant at length as to how they were only deprived of said romance because of some agenda.
We took away that romance because we’re mean, or because we’re boring and couldn’t we see that the romance they wanted would be so much more interesting? And that romance we actually put in is not only terrible but is homophobic/biphobic/racist/pedophilia/etc., which their romance pairing would not be.
No romance in a Dragon Age Inquisition will be a negative point for the long-time fans of the franchise and it may lead to players dropping the idea of buying the game altogether, unless it’s at least close to what previous Dragon Age games offered.
Debating that thought, David Gaider commented;
The conversation of why we even bother certainly can and will come up within the team. For the most part, it’s not hard to soon remember that we bother because there are a lot of people who enjoy the romances we write very much—and if there are people who take it to an angry place, it’s probably because they passionately care. And also probably because we do sometimes make mistakes and can indeed do better.
I know some fans would be happy if we just abandoned the effort altogether. Generally those are people who don’t use that sort of content in our games anyhow, so us not pursuing it naturally wouldn’t bother them. I’ll just ignore the element who see romances as a thing that only “fangirls” like, and which is thus of lesser value to a “real game”.
Debating why romances matter, Bioware takes us back to roots of what makes them special and that’s character development.
To me, the thing that BioWare does best is not story but characters—I think our characters are done to a level that few other games even attempt, with an element of agency that strikes a chord in our players…and romances has been a natural outgrowth of that. Sure we could stop, but that would be turning our backs on something we do which almost no-one else does. The question would be: “why?” And what do we replace it with?
It’s possible we could answer that question. We’ve made a few games without romances before, and we could do it again. Perhaps, if we made a new IP, we might decide it’s best not to open that particular Pandora’s Box (which, yes, romances have always been) and go with something else…but that “something else” better be something damned good, as there are a lot of people who enjoy that part of our games immensely and who might not be willing to buy into a new series which didn’t have it. Some folks might be eager to write those fans off, but I’m not really sure that BioWare feels the same.
Are you looking for the romance options in the new game or not? Dragon Age Inquisition is set to release this fall.