Tech

Bioware Reportedly Developing Dragon Age 4 Only For Next Generation Consoles And PC

Rumor mill: It looks like EA and Bioware are ready to fully embrace the next generation consoles. While many studios are simultaneously producing both the latest and current generation versions of their games, one of the former Dragon Age 4 developers indirectly indicated that the game will only be released on the PS5, XBSX | S and PC.

Rumor has it that the next installment of Bioware in the Dragon Age franchise will be a “next generation” exclusive, meaning that Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users will be missing out on the fun. The news came via a Twitter user who accidentally noticed that former Dragon Age 4 lead designer Daniel Nordlander listed game as coming to “PS5 / Xbox Series X + S / PC” on his LinkedIn profile.

Nordlander worked with Bioware from 2017 to 2020 and previously worked on Anthem, so he needs to know on which platforms the Dragon Age 4 release will be released. However, the game is still in its early stages of development due to delays and layoffs of key personnel. Bioware and EA have not announced anything about the DA4 other than a couple of teaser trailers that don’t even specify a vague release window. So for now, it’s best to view next-generation exclusivity as speculative.

Development of Dragon Age 4 began in 2015, codenamed “Joplin”. However, when problems arose with Mass Effect: Andromeda, Bioware relocated personnel from DA4 to help. The same thing happened later when the studio had problems with Anthem. EA eventually scrapped the project in early 2018, prompting several Dragon Age veteran developers to leave Bioware. The project was relaunched under the code name “Morrison”. The supposed commitment to next-generation hardware is somewhat refreshing.

The release of the next generation consoles last year brought with it something we hadn’t seen before – the backport. While studios relatively often remaster or port their old games to the latest hardware, they rarely give up new games to release on older hardware. However, this seems to be a general trend across many games released this year, next year, and beyond.

While no studio has definitively stated their arguments for backups, external conditions, including the ongoing shortage of consoles and lingering fears of a pandemic, are likely to play an important role. Unfortunately, when developers split their resources for simultaneous production on two (or more) platforms, the design of one or both versions can suffer.

Square Enix’s Marvel Avengers and CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 are two examples that come to mind. The version of Marvel’s Avengers, both in the past and in the next generation, has simply suffered from poor design in general, and both critics and users have largely criticized the name. The PS4 and Xbox One version of Cyberpunk 2077 was nearly impossible to play at launch. While PC gamers didn’t have many bugs and performance issues, Sony took the PS4 game off its store for a while.

It is clear that the developers want to attract as many players as possible, but if this comes at the expense of numerous delays and low quality of the game, is it really worth it? I don’t remember anyone complaining that Bethesda didn’t release the PlayStation 2 version of Skyrim. Players will still buy the game when they eventually upgrade their systems.




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