Dragon Age team cans expansion, moves onto "the next phase"

BioWare has dropped plans for the Dragon Age 2 expansion, Exalted March

BioWare has decided to cancel work on more Dragon Age 2 content, and will be refocusing its Dragon Age team on the franchise's "next phase." Dragon Age 2 executive producer Mark Darrah announced the news in a post on the BioWare Social Network.

"While we will still be keeping an eye out for any issues that might crop up in DAII and supporting the community should any emergencies should arise, we're moving the entire team's focus to the next phase of Dragon Age's future," wrote Darrah.

"You've most certainly heard the rumors floating around, and unfortunately I can't really comment on them. However, what I can say is that we've been thinking a lot about Dragon Age - what it means, and where it could go. This past year, we've spent a lot of time both going back to the 'BioWare vault' of games and re-examining them, and looking at some new possibilities that today's industry allows."

"On behalf of the entire team, we are incredibly eager to reach the moment when we can tell you more and show you where we are taking Dragon Age. But for now, thank you for your continued support, and we will be back here with more as soon as we can," he continued.

Darrah revealed the working name for the scrapped expansion in a message on Twitter.

"We did have plans for an expansion pack to DA2 but, other DA opportunities came up. There were even shirts! It was called Exalted March," he wrote.

Dragon Age II was released to an intense backlash amongst players for changes in gameplay, but the game later grew an equally intense fan-following for some of its characters and story themes. With the current turmoil BioWare's Mass Effect 3 is undergoing due to its ending, the studio is actively working to make sure the next Dragon Age lives up to fans' expectations.

"With that, the next thing for the Dragon Age team members and I to do is hear from you, and not just on the forums, or Facebook, or Twitter. We'll be attending a number of conventions and gatherings, including PAX East in April. The most valuable thing we can get out of those meetings is to hear from you on those same topics - what does Dragon Age mean to you, and where would you like to see it go?" added Darrah in his forum post.

Latest comments (11)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany5 years ago
A tittle that was treated unfairly by people wanted it to be EXACTLY like "Dragon Age Origins" a game they loves because it was ORIGINAL and UNIQUE.

Will never understand that reaction back there.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
I think some of the backlash also centered around similar problems that ME3 is suffering. The communication from Bioware was lacking and misleading before the game and many people didn't get what they were expecting from the PR.

There were also other issues around the quality of the plot and nature of the game - similar to ME2 and 3 - that people complained about.

Seems to be a recurring theme with Bioware now and it seems prudent for them to manage their resources more thoroughly if they are stretching them too thin as i suggested over in the ME3 discussion.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
I personally did not like the direction Dragon Age took. I was heavily invested in the first one, in its Story, characters and lore. Not to mention I put in almost 200 hours into it and its expansions. To put it bluntly I LOVED IT!. Then the second one came, and it had so little to do with the first one, plus the game play changed so much it was really hard to play it as a sequel to the first. Flemmeth was more of a cameo and only minor referances to the first game. I was dissapointed. I played the first game all the way to the witch hunt expansion. It ended in a pretty good cliffhanger moment. So naturally I was hoping dragon Age2 would follow up on that. I hope Dragon Age III is a much better game. Cause i hated being stuck in one place, and see so many of the assets of the game re-used over and over and over again. DA2 seemed rush, and a victem of corporate development cycles.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 20th March 2012 2:06pm

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Andrew Animator 5 years ago
I played DA:O for 120 hours, I played DA2 for about 25 and stopped.

The concept behind DA2 was very clever. The problem I had with the game is there was no single driving plot line, no one enemy I could focus against. This left me lacking any kind of focus or connection to the world. Also, the re-use of sets in the game just added to the sense that everything was artificial.

I very much hope DA3 takes thes best from both games.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
They tried to go in a new direction for Dragon Age II, which was admirable in a way. However, I can't help but feel that not enough time was given to feel out all the changes they made and they really did not do a good job with communicating to the fanbase they already had.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
Didn't Dragon Age II follow the first game by about 15 months? Seems like a very short development cycle for a major RPG (perhaps explaining the re-use of environments, etc), so hopefully BioWare will take their time with DAIII and marry the best aspects of both games. I enjoyed DA:O, but wasn't very keen on the demo for DAII so never played the full game.

If BioWare and EA really want this to be a competitor to The Elder Scrolls series then they need to really take their time with the third instalment and give it more of a cohesive and believable gameworld. Using a map to navigate in DA:O really took me out of what was otherwise a very enjoyable and immersive environment.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
Honestly I hope they name the next one Dragon Age Origins 2, and just retcon the second one. Just make it an alternate timeline or something.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
They could just pretend it never happened at all - like I do with Indiana Jones 4 or the Star Wars prequels :)
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Wayne Gibson UK Marketing Manager for 5 years ago
They need to look at CDProjekts The Witcher 2 to see how to make proper sequels. I fear they are spreading their resources too thin or being forced to rush projects. If this series lets me down like ME has then I think I'm done with Bioware rpg games.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
Yes, the scheduling was that aggressive for Dragon Age II, and considering that they redid the graphical styling of the series, introduced a new protagonist AND setting, implemented a different narrative structure and completely flipped the combat system, I'd say the project suffered as a result.

I don't think that BioWare wants to be a competitor to Elder Scrolls - I think they're going to keep their focus on more structured, story intensive RPG as opposed to a completely open-ended RPG focused on exploration.

Also (for other people that have posted), don't expect them to ignore Dragon Age II for whatever sequel they do. Firstly, that would discard the elements that they were building towards in much of Dragon Age II. Secondly, it would mean that the saved games that people had for the second game would be meaningless and that would produce widespread anger. The best option is to improve upon what they have, absorb some of the criticism and try and make the third game something that more people will enjoy.
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Reco Hasan5 years ago
I think I remember someone at Bioware saying, they have a long-time DLC strategy for DA2 and will support it for about 2 years... disapointing!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Reco Hasan on 22nd March 2012 2:25pm

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