The future of the Dragon Age series is uncertain, with limited information about the upcoming sequel and recent layoffs at BioWare. However, the former studio lead, Aaryn Flynn, has revealed his vision for the series. Flynn believes that BioWare should have maintained a more “PC-centric, Neverwinter-like identity” for Dragon Age.
During his time at BioWare, Flynn worked on developing a toolset for Neverwinter Nights that allowed modders to create content similar to what the developers themselves could make. This not only established a strong relationship between the studio and its modding community but also acted as a recruitment tool.
After Neverwinter Nights, BioWare moved on to create Dragon Age: Origins. However, the game faced an identity crisis as the studio debated whether to focus on modding or create a big single-player RPG like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Ultimately, Dragon Age: Origins shipped with a toolset, which led to the creation of a prolific modding community.
Unfortunately, the modding community for Dragon Age 2 was smaller, and with the switch to the Frostbite Engine for Dragon Age: Inquisition, modding became much more challenging. Flynn expresses regret that BioWare didn’t continue to prioritize modding and maintain a distinct PC-centric identity for the series.
The decision to adopt the Frostbite Engine was driven by the need to standardize internal tools across BioWare’s growing studios. While this helped streamline development, it came at the cost of the modding community that Dragon Age had fostered. Players have attempted to mod Dragon Age: Inquisition, but without the level of access and support seen in Neverwinter Nights.
As the fourth Dragon Age game remains a mystery, it is unlikely to return to the “PC-centric” days of the early 2000s. Despite this, fans can still hope for a sequel that honors the legacy of Dragon Age’s modding roots.
– Edge magazine issue 389