The upcoming Dragon Age 4 is a reboot of cancelled Dragon Age Project codenamed “Joplin” according to Kotaku’s report. Joplin was shut down in 2017 by BioWare to help the development of Anthem.
The report reveals that the original fourth entry in the Dragon Age series was supposed to be smaller than Dragon Age: Inquisition.
We were working towards something very cool, a hugely reactive game, smaller in scope than Dragon Age: Inquisition but much larger in player choice, followers, reactivity, and depth. I’m sad that game will never get made, the anonymous developer said.
Joplin was a game based on the events of the spies working for the Tevinter Empire (a wizard-ruled country on the north end of Dragon Age’s main continent) in Thedas. It was supposed to include fewer fetch quests than Inquisition.
It was once rebooted again during the time of Anthem’s development and that version of the game is said to include “live service” elements which Electronic Arts is known for. However, the anonymous developer said that it’s not “Anthem with Dragons” which is a good thing to hear since Dragon Age 4 is reportedly being built on Anthem’s codebase and tools.
The idea was that Anthem would be the online game and that Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while they may experiment with online portions, that’s not what defines them as franchises. I don’t think you’ll see us completely change those franchises, anonymous developer told Kotaku.
We can’t exactly tell how many of the mentioned features will make it to the final game. Although it’s not something really worth to think about since Joplin was canceled twice. It was first put on hold in 2016 when the developer focused on Mass Effect: Andromeda instead and for Anthem in 2017 due to the same reasons.
As for upcoming Dragone Age 4 codenamed Morrison, it’s likely to be a live service game due to EA’s obsession with the model. Keeping the previous cancellations in mind, it’s going to go through a lot of changes until it finally comes out.
BioWare general manager Casey Hudson has previously said that the upcoming Dragon Age game will be story and character focused. He also said that it’s “too early to talk details”.
According to the report, Morrison is designed for a single player with multiplayer components to keep people engaged through post-launch content. That sounds nice but not when you look at the current situation of Anthem which was launched with similar plans but continues to fail.
Whatever it brings, Dragon Age 4 is in the early development phase and we are likely to not hear about its release date anytime soon.
Dragon Age 4 is expected to arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and next-gen consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox Scarlett and Sony’s PlayStation 5.