As part of the fallout from Kotaku’s industry-shaking report on Anthem, the publication has published some striking details regarding Dragon Age 4.

According to Jason Schreier, Dragon Age 4 has undergone two main builds: ‘Joplin’ and ‘Morrison’. The former was cancelled in 2017, with ‘Morrison’ being the current build in progress.

‘Joplin’, according to Schreier’s sources, was a much denser interpretation of the Dragon Age formula, focusing more on “player choice, followers, reactivity, and depth.”

The story, too, sounded pretty focused. The report indicated that, “you’d play as a group of spies in Tevinter Imperium, a wizard-ruled country on the north end of Dragon Age’s main continent, Thedas. The goal was to focus as much as possible on choice and consequence, with smaller areas and fewer fetch quests than Dragon Age: Inquisition

Compared to Dragon Age: Inquisition the scope for ‘Joplin’ was quite a bit smaller, but more focused.

The current ‘Morrison’ build has reportedly been “planned with a live service component [in mind], built for long-term gameplay and revenue.” While the report meanders through many anonymous sources, it makes several references that imply that Dragon Age 4 will follow a live-service model.

Compounding the live-service possibility further is the fact that Dragon Age 4 will be “built on Anthem’s tools and codebase.” Some people within the circle of Bioware indicated the next Dragon Age is “Anthem with Dragons,” but Schreier quickly followed up with a quote from another employee indicating that this is not exactly the case.

“The idea was that Anthem would be the online game and that Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while they may experiment with online portions, that’s not what defines them as franchises,” said the anonymous source.

While Dragon Age 4 may sound like a potential write-off for single players, do not panic yet. The live-service model could turn out like Ubisoft’s experiments with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, which has largely left the single-player experience unscathed, and some of the first build’s influence may, of course, appear in the final build.

To read the rest of Kotaku’s report follow the link.

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Ben Newman

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