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Good news, everyone: publisher Electronic Arts has realised that there's virtually nobody in the universe that wants to see a "games as service" model forced into the next Dragon Age. To that end, BioWare's upcoming fantasy RPG has scrapped the multiplayer elements that were being worked on in favour of an entirely single-player experience.
This news, which is no doubt music to the ears of Dragon Age fans everywhere, comes via an in-depth feature from Bloomberg. The report explains that EA is now "allowing" BioWare to "remove all planned multiplayer components from the game". I have to imagine this is undoubtedly a win for BioWare as well as the fans. The developer is at its very best when it's allowed to focus on crafting unique single-player RPGs, so this is easily the most exciting update on Dragon Age 4 we've had yet.
The game's multiplayer element, which was never officially announced, was rumoured to have been a point of contention for BioWare for a while. EA had insisted the game incorporate some form of evolving live service model, so why the change of heart? Simply put, the fact that Respawn's single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order made the publisher fat stacks of cash. Single-player is far from dead, and it's great to see that even EA has started to come around to this.
It's unclear exactly what shape this "heavy" online component would have taken, but I think we might be better of not knowing for now. The Dragon Age series has always excelled as a solo experience, and while there are certainly ways multiplayer can be incorporated into the franchise, the best way is to let BioWare do what it knows best.
This news comes mere days after the announcement that EA would be shutting down development on Anthem for good. BioWare's online shooter had been on the ropes since launching in 2019, but despite plans to reinvigorate the project with new content and features, EA has decided to move the team to Dragon Age 4 and the upcoming Mass Effect.
The end of Anthem is absolutely a shame for the team who put so much time and effort into it, but here's hoping that we're at the beginning of a real resurgence for quality BioWare RPGs. It's been long enough.
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