In what can only be deemed a good decision, Bioware and EA have made the very wise decision to remove all multiplayer components from the still-in-development Dragon Age IV, to focus on a tight single-player experience. Bloomberg broke the story this morning.
Following on the heels of two critical failures in a row – Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem – Dragon Age IV is widely seen as being absolutely critical to Bioware’s reputation. As a studio famed for its excellent single-player games, including Baldur’s Gate I and II, Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect trilogy, and the Dragon Age series, attempting to include multiplayer components in their games have been less successful. Though Dragon Age: Inquisition features a multiplayer component, it never quite attracted the number of players and interest that the studio and its parent company EA had hoped to see.
Dragon Age IV has itself seen a number of creative design shifts, including a previous pivot towards more multiplayer features. That change, back in 2017, led to the departure of creative director Mike Laidlaw, and resulted in several employees dubbing the game “Anthem with dragons”.
However, on the back of the success of Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, Star Wars: Squadrons, and the critical and financial failure of Anthem, the pivot back to a single-player focus will hopefully restore fan faith in the company and appease unhappy staff members.
Dragon Age IV is currently in development, with no firm launch date set at present.
As announced on io9 this morning, Paramount Pictures have decided to debut Mission: Impossible 7 on Paramount+ 45 days after the movie’s arrival in cinemas, as a result of (naturally) the pandemic. With the majority of cinemas still closed at the moment across North America, it’s clear that film studios are trying to find new ways to maximise audience engagement and revenue streams.
In io9 writer Germain Lussier’s own words:
Mission Impossible 7 starring Tom Cruise is currently filming and aiming at a November 19 release, which would put it on the streamer in early January.
So expect the still-untitled seventh instalment in the series to be on streaming platforms in early 2022.
EA and Bioware have announced that they will no longer be working on Anthem 2.0, otherwise known as Anthem Next, and will instead, redirect all energies and focus to Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect 4.
Christian Dailey wrote, in an official Bioware blog post:
“In the spirit of transparency and closure we wanted to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on Anthem (aka Anthem NEXT). We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.”
A famously troubled production (originally codenamed ‘Project Dylan’), Anthem lacked a strong direction and focus for several years while in development, and ultimately launched to the worst reviews and sales in the history of Bioware.
Anthem was one of several SaaS games that emerged on the market during the 2010s, alongside No Man’s Sky, Destiny, Destiny 2, The Division, The Division 2, and more. Despite some excellent design ideas and an absolutely magnificent soundtrack by Sarah Schachner, Anthem never quite found an audience, and featured content that had clearly been gutten to hit a release date.
Hopefully, Bioware have learned from the mistakes of Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem, and release games worthy of their name and legacy.