That doesn’t necessarily bode well.
Former Dragon Age boss Mike Laidlaw recently left Bioware, which prompted some concerns about the future of the beloved fantasy RPG franchise. Bioware, however, insisted that Dragon Age 4 is in development and coming. Which may be true- but only in the most technical sense of the word.
Speaking at GDC, Laidlaw revealed that the Dragon Age team has, for now, been reduced to nothing but a skeleton crew, as all hands are on deck for the upcoming shared world shooter Anthem within Bioware.
“I wanted to try a new challenge, and I knew that [the staff reassignments] would change the [Dragon Age 4] date,” he said. “I was going to have a very small skeleton crew. I’m lucky because Patrick Weekes is an exceptional lead writer, Daniel Kading is an exceptional lead designer. There were two very veteran designers who could hold a vision. I thought if I’m ever gonna go, this is the least disruptive time for me to leave. So, I’d be stunned if whatever plan I had remained completely unchanged.”
I would argue that this is reason to be alarmed, except Bioware is typically known to have an “all hands on deck” approach for each new game- with Anthem being their next upcoming game, it does make sense that that’s where all the resources have been diverted to.
Nonetheless, in Anthem’s case, there is reason to be worried- in case the game is successful, there is a possibility that Bioware will just be drafted into maintaining it in perpetuity. If it is not successful, well then… there’s a possibility that the very future of Bioware might be in jeopardy.
Anthem is due to launch next year on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.