After the whole Anthem disaster, BioWare has made the decision to axe all multiplayer modes from the upcoming Dragon Age 4.
It's a game of two halves for BioWare, with the acclaimed developer making the tough decision to make Dragon Age 4 a solely single-player experience, After great success with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and a pretty disastrous run with Anthem, those at the top of Electronic Arts aren't taking any chances with the fourth main series entry to the fantasy franchise. Following the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2014, BioWare is back to chart a new era of Thedas' history.
In 2019, you might remember Anthem was the talk of the town. Everyone was expected to be roaming around in exosuits, but unfortunately, the game bombed after release. There were plans for a massive rework at the very core of the troubled title, but just days ago, Electronic Arts announced it was ceasing all future work on Anthem. Although the game will continue to run, it's not getting that promised overhaul. The looming death of Anthem has had more widespread repercussions, with Dragon Age 4 also being caught in the crossfire.
Why has EA axed all Drag Age 4 multiplayer modes?
Following the success of Jedi Fallen Order and the failure of Anthem, EA has allowed BioWare to make the next Dragon Age a single-player RPG. Previously, it was planned as a service game
According to Bloomberg, giving the Anthem redesign the boot has caused the studio to pivot its decision on Dragon Age 4 multiplayer. The currently untitled fourth game is still in production, but had originally been planned with a heavy multiplayer emphasis. It will now be single-player only due to "a recent multiplayer flop". The site's sources imply Anthem is at the centre of the problem. It's not all doom and gloom though. The move to axe all the Dragon Age 4 multiplayer modes also comes from the success of Fallen Order.
While there have been many great and not-so-great Star Wars games over the years, Fallen Order swung a lightsaber through the competition as it told the story of Cal Kestis. EA may have lost its hold on the galaxy far, far away with the recent resurrection of Lucasfilm Games, but with EA's promise to keep making Star Wars games, we're hoping this isn't the last we've seen of Fallen Order. Unlike Battlefront II and other divisive Star Wars titles, EA decided to gamble with Fallen Order being wholly single-player. It was a risk that paid off.
There's been a push for games to capitalise on both the single-player and multiplayer market to earn more, but as we've previously seen, it doesn't always work. Gamers might remember the whole multiplayer-only fiasco of Black Ops 4 in 2018. There's also EA shoehorning single-player in Battlefront II or the fact Star Wars: Squadrons is billed as a "mainly" multiplayer game. Fans are savvy to whether a game is designed as either single or multiplayer and whether another mode as been stapled on the end in hopes of making a quick buck.
What can we expect from Dragon Age 4?
With all of the above in mind, pressures for Dragon Age 4 to perform with multiplayer haven't just been eased, but completely removed. That being said, we're still no closer to knowing what actually will be included in the long-awaited sequel. First spreading its wings in 2015, Dragon Age 4 had been going well until EA decided to completely restart in 2017. Although the new goal was to work on long-term monetisation potential, it led to the departure of series veteran and Creative Director Mark Laidlaw. After EA announced this new direction in 2018, Dragon Age 4 has gone quiet - until now.
Considering multiplayer has become a popular aspect of Dragon Age, it's important to remember EA has to balance the books after a failure as monumental as Anthem. Despite these studios and publisher juggling several big IPs, it can take only one bad egg to ruin the entire basket. With the Anthem disaster, Dragon Age 4 is lucky it's only multiplayer modes that have been axed. Now that Anthem has been shown the door, it at least means BioWare can refocus its efforts on the long-running Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises. Let's be honest., that's what we were all here for anyway.
Images via EA Games