The next fantasy adventure in development from the studio behind the iconic Mass Effect series and divisive Anthem is Dragon Age 4. More than six years after the release of the franchise's latest entry, Dragon Age: Inquisition, there's no telling when fans might return to the continent of Thedas. But between early peeks at concept art and even a cinematic trailer showcase some of the changes.
Following the game's latest trailer from The Game Awards 2020, here's everything we know about Dragon Age 4.
By all accounts, Dragon Age 4 — which may or may not be called Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf Rises — has had something of a rocky development. In January 2018, BioWare shifted much of its resources towards Anthem instead of the next Dragon Age. Then, Anthem's lackluster release now has that game careening towards a reboot, called Anthem Next, led by Christian Dailey.
BioWare announced in a December 3, 2020 blog post that General Manager Casey Hudson and Executive Producer Mark Darrah had left the company, saying that both wanted to "try something different." Hudson and Darrah published their own statements on the blog reflecting on many years with the company. These are just the latest of several key staff who have departed over some kind of creative differences. Christian Dailey, meanwhile, will now be leading the new Dragon Age project.
Production on the next Dragon Age should continue, particularly after Anthem Next has been released. but could all of these shakeups lead to a delay? Possibly.
When is the Dragon Age 4 release date?
Realistically, Dragon Age 4 will probably be released sometime in 2023. But as of late 2020, that's just a vague guess. The Game Awards 2020's trailer did not include any sort of release window.
In October 2019, publisher EA confirmed during an earnings call that the game wouldn't be released until after the fiscal year 2022, which means sometime after March 2022. Before that point, Venture Beat's Jeff Grub had reported in early December 2018 that unnamed sources said Dragon Age 4 was "at least three years away." These same estimates were corroborated in EA's 2020 report as well.
That means April 2022 is the earliest possible release date, but even that seems farfetched. An April 2019 Kotaku report indicates a strained relationship between BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts due to tension over financial goals and fan expectations. We'll know more when BioWare and EA actually reveal more, but there's really no telling how long it'll be before that happens.
Is there a Dragon Age 4 trailer?
A full trailer for Dragon Age 4 was released at The Game Awards 2020. It was purely cinematic and emphasizes that the hero isn't a chose one fulfilling a prophecy. We also briefly see Solas at the end of the trailer, confirming what the Dread Wolf will look like in BioWare's next title. While the game recently lost two of its biggest creative forces, Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah, this trailer indicates that the game is still on track.
Check out the trailer below:
"The world of Dragon Age needs a new hero — someone who can take on the evil forces threatening Thedas," the video's description says. "Get a first look at some of the new locations you’ll discover and the factions fighting by your side in the next chapter of Dragon Age.
We still haven't gotten a gameplay trailer, but some other videos do exist. For example, we got a "Behind the scenes at BioWare" video about "the next Dragon Age" during August 2020's Gamescom. The video features mostly interviews with developers, but sparse bits of concept art and in-game environments do look stunning. There are also hints that rather than an important and powerful character like the Inquisitor, players will assume the role of a nobody within this world.
“We want to tell a story of what happens when you don’t have power," Lead Writer Patrick Weekes says in the video. "What happens when the people in charge aren’t willing to address the issues.” Various pieces of concept art feature different characters, new and old, so there should be a mix of companions. The Game Awards 2020's trailer reinforces that.
What consoles will Dragon Age 4 be available on?
While it's still too early to know for sure, it seems likely based on the timing that Dragon Age 4 will be made exclusively available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X series of consoles, alongside PC. EA confirmed this during EA Play 2020
What does the Dragon Age 4 concept art depict?
Dorian, an aristocratic necromancer from Inquisition, is featured swimming underwater in one piece of concept art, hinting that he'll be a member of the player's party once again. And some fans have theorized that the other two characters here are Zevran and Isabela.
The behind-the-scenes preview for the game teases that as players trek across the world of Dragon Age 4, they'll encounter a vast array of inhabitants with various cultures and backgrounds. These will lead to many different quests including "hard-boiled detective stories" and untapped "frontier" exploration.
The full cast of characters is pretty cryptic, but one of these characters seems to have a gun?
The next Dragon Age should be a vast, compelling adventure. It can't come soon enough.
Dragon Age 4 is currently in development.