Dragon Age Inquisition

BioWare is still months away from shipping Anthem and it has yet to announce another game after that. Many fans have been longing for a new Dragon Age early next year, but a new interview with BioWare general manager Casey Hudson suggests that we won’t be returning to Thedas quite that soon.

When BioWare didn’t announce any new titles at E3 2018, it was clear that the studio was going all-in on Anthem. The highly anticipated game is BioWare’s first original series in almost a decade and it’s set to launch on February 22, 2019. Hudson was recently pressed about the future of Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and, while he was predictably cryptic, his statements suggest the next BioWare game will be a Dragon Age title.

Maybe we’ll finally see what Solas has been up to.

Dragon Age Inquisition Solas
Solas -- friend, companion, possible lover, and one of the most diabolical villains in RPG history.

“For Dragon Age and Mass Effect, we went to back to them as soon as we can as we can,” Hudson told Game Informer. “And then it’s just about focusing our effort as we go from one thing to the next so we can do a great job on one thing and move on to the next thing.”

Although the next Dragon Age has been in development for a couple of years now, it’s probably staffed by a skeleton crew working on the earliest assets and fleshing out big picture stuff. With Anthem still eight months away, it’s also reasonable to assume that most of the studio’s 800 employees are currently assigned to it. There’s a lot riding on Anthem, which explains why BioWare scheduled it for a first quarter release where it will face little competition. Still, if Anthem fails to move copies, it will be the developer’s second major flop in a row.

BioWare’s last big release, Mass Effect: Andromeda, did so poorly that the studio halted all future content for the game. That means the next BioWare title after Anthem will be another Dragon Age. The wounds from Mass Effect are still too raw and another new IP following Anthem would be incredibly risky.

Given that Anthem is dropping in 2019, the most realistic estimate for the next Dragon Age would be 2021 since BioWare typically staggers its releases by two years. That bodes even worse for Mass Effect fans, who had to wait five years after the conclusion of the original trilogy to get another franchise title.

“I know there are people that feel like we’re just never going to do anything along the lines of Mass Effect,” Hudson said. “But I mean, it’s my baby. I helped start Mass Effect from the beginning so of course we intend to get back to it at some point.”

The wait for Mass Effect is undoubtedly be long, but here’s to hoping it won’t be forever. Meanwhile, Dragon Age fans can rest easy knowing that Thedas (or whatever other continents we’ll discover) will most certainly be the studio’s next destination.