EA Drops The Number From BioWare’s Next Dragon Age Title
This story is a few days old now, but since we’ve not reported on it yet, I wanted to do so.
If you paid as much attention as I did during the E3 showing of BioWare’s next iteration in the Dragon Age series, you might have noticed that the number was ominously missing from the trailer. Of course, you most likely weren’t paying so much of attention since you’re a normal person but nevertheless, it was called Dragon Age: Inquisition, not Dragon Age III: Inquisition, nor Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.
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Noticing that actually got me to thinking that maybe BioWare came to their senses and realised that calling it Dragon Age II was half of where they went wrong with their previous game in the series, and they just decided on a better way of naming their games. However, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau, whom I cannot stand, has come out and explained that it’s a little more than that.
“I think there’s always this debate over numbers versus no numbers, what works, what doesn’t work,” explained Gibeau. “We felt like we want to bring more attention to the word Inquisition, because that’s more the story arc of what it’s like. There’s a whole bunch of gameplay and features and big story choices related to how you go through this Inquisition that happens in the world.”
Are you also asking yourself how removing the number makes ‘Inquisition’ more emphasised?
“It’s a tactical marketing decision,” he continued. “There wasn’t anything that strategic about it, to be blunt. We just wanted to draw more attention to the fact that Inquisition is an all-new chapter inside of the Dragon Age universe, as opposed to people expecting a follow-on to Dragon Age 1 and 2 in a literal, linear sense.”
See, now he’s only gone and made me nervous. Reading between the lines, that could mean one of two things: Either EA has developed sequelitis with the Dragon Age series and is looking to have many titles in this series releasing in successive fashion, hence dropping the number, or they are trying to really drift from the story of the first two games.
As if the first two games didn’t drift from each other enough? The whole premise of the Dragon Age series, after all, was continuity. A persistent world where the choices you made in the first game would matter in the second, third, fourth and so on. If they are to create an entirely new experience with the third, I wonder about such things as save importing, returning characters and what this means for our progress in Ferelden and Kirkwall. Was it really all for nothing?
Even more disconcerting is the lack of viewable gameplay at E3. Apart from the trailer, there really was nothing else that BioWare were willing to show just yet. So we basically got some arbitrary fantasy hype fare and fan-favourite Morrigan. But what else is there? Come on now, BioWare. Don’t drip-feed us like this…
Anyway, Gibeau had the following to say on the subject of Dragon Age: Inquisition being expanded to next-gen alongside current-gen platforms:
“Just the raw capabilities of Frostbite 3 and gen 4 features,” he explained, referring to the PS4 and Xbox One. “We’re going to have PS3 and Xbox 360 and PC versions of Dragon Age III, so there will be a very broad-based experience there, but the new platforms are giving us the opportunity to tell stories in much larger worlds with more features and more things. From our perspective, we didn’t want to launch a ‘current-gen’ game in a next-gen market. We took the opportunity to add resources, add time, and we brought in new technology. Frankly, we’ve raised our expectations.”
And helped Microsoft and Sony to sell a few consoles in the process. I really don’t like Gibeau. He talks a big talk and takes no blame for anything when the shit hits the fan.
That said, I really do hope that BioWare have done their homework and produce a Dragon Age title that the world will love, so that I won’t feel like the only person fighting in favour of it, once more.