Electronic Arts has allowed developer BioWare to remove all multiplayer from the upcoming Dragon Age game, returning the game to the single-player focus that has defined the series, in a major pivot reported on by Bloomberg.
EA's games-as-service strategy, which CEO Andrew Wilson called "foundational to our future," in a 2019 interview, will pass the Dragon Age game by, Bloomberg reports. Two games led to this outcome: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Anthem. Where 2019's single-player Fallen Order received critical acclaim and outperformed sales expectations, multiplayer shooter Anthem has proven a disaster both for developer BioWare and for EA.
EA Reportedly Removes Multiplayer Element from Upcoming Dragon Age Game in Pivot
Fallen Order showed EA single-player games could still succeed, and Anthem showed BioWare might be better served sticking to its wheelhouse of single-player RPGs.
The next Dragon Age game, which has yet to receive a title, first entered development in 2015. In 2017, EA and BioWare shifted its direction to incorporate a games-as-service approach. Creative director Mike Laidlaw left the company as a result, and some employees dismissed the game as "Anthem with dragons," per Bloomberg.
Now, Anthem is dead — EA cancelled plans to revitalize the game this week — and BioWare is staring down a similar fate. Dragon Age is potentially do or die material for the studio, whose last two games (Anthem and Mass Effect Andromeda) have both proven flops.
EA and BioWare announced the new Dragon Age in 2018 but have released few details since. BioWare remains at work on the next game in the Mass Effect series and a remake of the original Mass Effect trilogy.