Dragon Age 3 Release Date Delayed To 2014 As Next Gen Title
- December 11, 2012
- Posted by: Ryan Keyworth
- Category: Uncategorized
There is no denying that Bioware has been having some troubles lately. All of their last three titles have been met with substantial controversy, and at times, full blown fan frenzies. Boycotts, protests, and serious accusations of misleading consumers have all plagued the studio recently. Even their newest downloadable campaign for Mass Effect 3, titled Omega, has been lambasted by both fans and critics for being overhyped, overpriced, and under produced.
The fans have had an especially critical eye on Bioware as of late, and one of the most frequent criticisms is that the developer’s releases have all been rushed to completion, rather than taking the necessary time to develop a fully realized video gaming experience. If you are among those who feel that way, the news of Dragon Age III’s significant delay may be good news to you.
No Dragon Age 3 Until 2014?
Rumor has been spreading that Dragon Age III, Bioware’s third entry in the epic fantasy franchise, has now been delayed to 2014 in anticipation for the next console generation. According to former DA3 level designer, Tao Gu’s resume from LinkedIn (which has since been removed), the “Scope of the DAIII has been chaged [sic], which will target next gen platform [sic] and will be postpone [sic] to 2014.” There has yet to be any official confirmation from EA, so the information should be considered solely as a rumor at this point. Even so, if the information proves to be true, one question remains: is this good or bad for Bioware?
In my personal opinion, this is a good thing for both Bioware and gamers. Bioware has some very ambitious goals in DA3, and lately, the studio has had some big trouble meeting expectations. I believe a combination of time, money, and technological limitations contribute to this. Pushing DA3 back to 2014 ensures that they have plenty of time to work on the game. No one can say DA3 is a rushed game when it takes 3 years to be released. Solving technological limitations can be addressed by pushing the game to a new console generation, but Bioware risks entering into new tech related problems that come with the territory of working with brand new technology.
Another issue lies with their goals to incorporate massive levels, ginormous battle scenes, and armor that is more customizable than it has ever been, for the player character and the companions alike. All of this added to their usual branching storylines, dialog options, customized protagonist, loot, exploration and relationship subplots; it is indeed a lofty endeavor. Waiting for the next generation is possibly the smartest decision they could have done with Dragon Age 3, as it ensures better technology, paving the way for more scale, and scope.
Who Benefits: Bioware or Gamers?
Of course, we gamers are set to have a huge pay-off for this choice, particularly those like myself who have become disenfranchised with Bioware and their games. By delaying the game, Bioware will have much more time to create an incredible game. The writers in particular will spend all of their added development time improving the story, and noticing faults in their own work. Imagine if Bioware had more time to write Mass Effect 3. Would they have noticed that Legion’s perspective in ME3 complete contradicts his perspective in ME2? Probably. The truth is, the more a writer reads his work, the more he notices the faults in it, allowing him to edit and revise what does not make sense. I speak from experience on this one, by the way.
Seeing as how DA3 may be pushed to next gen consoles, that all but guarantees that Mass Effect 4 will share the same fate. I would not expect seeing Mass Effect 4 until 2015, should the game be released at all. This leaves one question in mind. What the heck is Bioware going to release in 2013? They have had a very steady stream of releases lately. From 2007 all the way to 2012, Bioware has had at least one significant release every year. This trend was set to continue, as Dragon Age 3 was originally set for 2013. If DA3 is pushed to 2014, there will be no Bioware game in 2013. The Mass Effect series is now available on all major consoles, so don’t expect them to announce any new ports. It is possible that ME1 and ME2 will be made available for the Wii-U in 2013, but I doubt it. Will Bioware be silent in 2013? I say yes and no.
With everything that has been happening over the past couple of years, the poor reception of games, the ME3 ending debacle, the disappointing SWTOR figures, and of course, the company’s founders retiring, it may be a good idea to lay low. I’m sure Bioware just wants this nightmare to go away. It would not surprise me in the least if DA3 was pushed back to allow some of this controversy, which is still surprisingly strong, to blow over. Even if it wasn’t, perhaps the company is reevaluating themselves and their performance as of late. Or maybe they just want to capitalize on the next generation. Either way, taking a year off releasing any new titles will do them good.
I have felt that Bioware has indeed been rushing games to completion. Their writing in particular looks as if they needed a few more rounds of critiquing, editing, and revising their own work, particularly in a certain game’s ending (hint, hint). Everyone used to make fun of Bioware because it took them a few years to produce a game. Say what you will about that, but at least the writers had plenty of time to make the best script possible.
In my opinion, Bioware has really lost their way in the past few years. They have forgotten how to tell interesting stories, incorporate player agency, and treat fans with respect. For years, Bioware has been a “think outside the box” kind of developer. Now, all they can think is “how do we get in this box?” They haven’t figured out how yet either. Damn box. Where is Solid Snake when you need him? My hope is that this delay gives Bioware a chance to do what they do best: create unique and engaging RPGs with rich stories and compelling characters. It’s been way too long since I’ve seen that.
I had written Dragon Age 3 off, but with this delay, I have become hopeful again. I hope they sit back and evaluate what they did wrong on their last few releases. I hope that they take time to write, and rewrite, an excellent story with great characters. I hope they create new gaming innovations, rather than look to every other studio on what new mechanic to rip off. And I really hope they don’t use the same two maps for every section of the game. These are my hopes for Dragon Age 3. Let’s all hope that Bioware actually uses this delay wisely.