Anthem took a lot of focus away from other projects for the team over at BioWare, which was a major factor in the perceived failure of Mass Effect Andromeda. Though talks of Dragon Age 4 have been going on pretty much since Inquisition’s launch (and rightfully so with that ending in the Trespasser DLC), a new report states that the slate was wiped clean back in 2017 as development progress rebooted.
In a recent report from Kotaku, Dragon Age 4 was actually in development prior to the release of Dragon Age Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC back in 2015, though Anthem’s big finish line caused the team to halt all development. Following the final content drop for Inquisition, the site reports that some members of the team went on to work on Andromea, while Mark Darrah and Mike Laidlaw went on to work on the new Dragon Age game, codenamed Joplin. According to the report, all that were attached to Joplin were excited for what it was shaping up to be.
Eventually, however, Joplin was put on hold for Anthem which cut the rhythm of production down drastically. When BioWare made the announcement that Casey Hudson had returned to the company in 2017 to work as the company’s general manager, ‘Joplin’ – for what it was at the time – was effectively cancelled. Following that particular vision’s death, Laidlaw announced his departure from the company in a move over to Ubisoft.
When Dragon Age 4 was rebooted, it went under the name Morrison. Though Morrison is said to have live-service components, it won’t be “Anthem with Dragons” (contrary to a few sites decidingly taking that stance when picking apart Kotaku’s report). Kotaku also mentioned that development is still up in the air for Dragon Age 4 as far as a definitive vision regarding components such as live-service features and multiplayer, though from the teaser it looks like the narrative direction is very much set in stone from what we heard of Solas and his connection to the Red Lyrium idol that was a focus in Dragon Age 2, and then later on in Inquisition.
Now that Anthem, mostly, is wrapped up outside of the already scheduled content drops and usual maintanence, the team can once more put the focus on Dragon Age 4. With so many fans looking forward to what happens following our Wardens, our Champions, and our Inquisitors, it would be wise for EA to step back as a publisher and allow BioWare to do what they do best: Make a quality RPG.