Dragon Age 4 will reportedly ditch ‘live service’ features and be singleplayer only

In 2019, Electronic Arts committed itself to ‘live service’ games, a term which generally refers to games structured around persistent online elements, such as Destiny 2. In a June interview with GameDaily.biz, CEO Andrew Wilson said that « games as service is going to be foundational to our industry, » and during an October earnings call chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said that EA was « doubling down on live services. » 

As a result, there was some concern from fans that EA was planning to turn Dragon Age 4 into a multiplayer-focused, Anthem-style live game. A new Bloomberg report says that’s not going to happen, however, as EA has apparently decided to remove all multiplayer components from Dragon Age 4 and make it an exclusively singleplayer experience. 

The decision was largely driven by two games according to the report, which cites multiple sources « familiar with the matter. » One was singleplayer action game Star Was Jedi: Fallen Order, a success for EA, and the other was Anthem, the Destiny-like live game that was finally abandoned yesterday—a spectacular bomb, at least compared to EA’s high expectations.

It’s not actually clear how heavily Dragon Age 4 would’ve leaned into multiplayer prior to this decision. A 2019 report said the game was originally envisioned as a deep, reactive singleplayer RPG, but was rebooted to adopt the more monetizable « games as a service » model in 2017, leading some to describe it as « Anthem with dragons. » Others said the main story would be a singleplayer experience, while the multiplayer would be more focused on post-release content—something akin to Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, which despite my trepidation at the time turned out to be really good.

Casey Hudson, then BioWare’s general manager, said something similar on Twitter:

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Regardless of what was previously planned, it’s reassuring to hear that the next Dragon Age will be firmly focused on a singleplayer RPG experience. Multiplayer games are great, but sometimes you really just want to be the hero of your own story. It’s still a long way off, however: The last we heard, Electronic Arts doesn’t expect Dragon Age 4, or whatever it ultimately ends up called, to arrive until sometime after April 2022.

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