Dragon Age 4 Will Reportedly Be Single-Player Only Thanks to Anthem’s Failure

Tsing

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BioWare has reportedly earned the privilege of removing all multiplayer components from the next installment of its critically acclaimed fantasy RPG series, Dragon Age. The rumor stems from a report published by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, whose sources suggest that EA had forced the developer to design the game with long-term monetization in mind. EA purportedly reversed course after having a sudden epiphany regarding the sales potential of single-player titles and witnessing how BioWare’s first attempt at a major online multiplayer game, Anthem, failed spectacularly.



“The diverging trajectories of two recent games changed the minds of Wilson and other executives at EA,” Schreier explained. “One was Star Wars Jedi: Fallen...

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Well, there were rumors that Dragon Age 4 was going to be a live service game like Anthem as those were all the rage at the time. They are still highly profitable, but the problem is most live service games simply don't make it. They are incredibly expensive to make and titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Jedi Fallen Order prove there is a market for single player games.
 
Definitely more interested in this title now that it has lost the tacked on multi-player live service.
I'd not rest easy just because of that. Ubisoft shows that they can make any single player game into a live service.
 
At least for me, single player mode only limits re-playability and longevity.
 
At least for me, single player mode only limits re-playability and longevity.

It depends on how they are built. RPG's like the Witcher, Dragon Age and Mass Effect have replayability due to being able to make different choices in the game's narrative. However, more static single player experiences like those that accompany Call of Duty and things like that tend to be things you play once or twice and that's it. Given we are talking about Dragon Age 4, it should always remain a single-player RPG experience.
 
I'm cautiously looking forward to DA4. Origins is one of my favourite ever RPGs and the series has never quite been able to capture the magic of the original since. Fingers crossed they've learned what works and what doesn't over the years.
 
I'm cautiously looking forward to DA4. Origins is one of my favourite ever RPGs and the series has never quite been able to capture the magic of the original since. Fingers crossed they've learned what works and what doesn't over the years.
I actually liked them all; but they're all different.

I do think that the class you play and how you play it make a difference in whether you enjoy the game.

DA:2, for instance, I enjoyed playing as a 2h warrior. You could let the party tank do the tanking, and you could just run around and smash stuff into clouds of blood. Lots of dashing and instagib abilities were available and that made for a pretty enjoyable experience.
 
Some notes..

1. Anthem was NOT Bioware's first foray into multi player games. I would say that the Star Wars KOTOR MMO they have released is actually the first and still successful foray. (Though not wildly successful.)

2. Assassins creed series has a good (if you like their style) single player experience and you never need to delve into the realm of multiplayer if you don't want to.

Other than that I think this is a good move and a burden lifted off of the DA4 developers... unless of course they need to go back and take out mechanics they've already put into place to run on a live service.
 
2. Assassins creed series has a good (if you like their style) single player experience and you never need to delve into the realm of multiplayer if you don't want to.
Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla are all single player games.
 
Some notes..

1. Anthem was NOT Bioware's first foray into multi player games. I would say that the Star Wars KOTOR MMO they have released is actually the first and still successful foray. (Though not wildly successful.)

As to your first point - you are absolutely correct. I've always found it kind of odd that we've more or less retired MMOs (of which SWTOR was definitely marketed as), and we seem to have shifted to this term of Live Service Game, or GaaS. Even though they kinda describe the same thing.

I don't know how successful you want to call SWTOR. It certainly had a rocky start. I guess just by the sheer virtue that it's still operating today proves it's successful by some measures, but it had probably as rough of a launch as Anthem had -- it just had an IP behind it that wouldn't tolerate failure.
 
As to your first point - you are absolutely correct. I've always found it kind of odd that we've more or less retired MMOs (of which SWTOR was definitely marketed as), and we seem to have shifted to this term of Live Service Game, or GaaS. Even though they kinda describe the same thing.
I can't say that I arrive at an immediate definition that would separate these. Something like The Division has smaller multiplayer 'engagements' than say World of Warcraft, and then there's the FPS vs. classic RPG mechanics, but outside of the scale I can't really draw a good line.

Though I also can't say that I'd compare SWTOR to Anthem or DA:Inquisition either. SWTOR is an MMO first, Anthem was... something... and DA:I is definitely single-player first.
 
I can't say that I arrive at an immediate definition that would separate these. Something like The Division has smaller multiplayer 'engagements' than say World of Warcraft, and then there's the FPS vs. classic RPG mechanics, but outside of the scale I can't really draw a good line.

Though I also can't say that I'd compare SWTOR to Anthem or DA:Inquisition either. SWTOR is an MMO first, Anthem was... something... and DA:I is definitely single-player first.
Some people draw the line at how many people you can see at once. After all, if you can never see more than 20 people at a time, is it really that massive, even if thousands are playing?

In a game like WoW - it can be hundreds. You could, hypothetically, have an entire server (tens of thousands of players) in one area (it would probably crash, it's probably been tried) - and they handle population by splitting it up into servers. One your server, people can develop reputations, and you see the same population day in and day out.

In a game like Destiny - sure, there are thousands of people playing at once, but you don't necessarily have tens or hundreds of discrete servers (it may have had geographic distinction, I can't recall - many do just for data center purposes), but you won't see thousands or hundreds of people, you might see tens of people at once, and you may never randomly bump into the same person twice as the server splits things up into manageable chunks behind the scenes. You need a friends list or some other way to meet up with specific people.

In the MMO communities I've been in, they have more or less distinguished an MMO from other genres using a "community" metric: MMOs have discrete servers with static populations, and therefore the servers tend to develop as communities -- as opposed to games with "megaservers" that only present to players as small social hubs and nearly total instanced content. But there are a lot of games that cross that line on either side.
 
The number of players I want to see in my games is exactly 1, me. The more players I see, the worse it gets. There is nothing worse than seeing a quest giving NPC surrounded by dozens of players. Or when you're going to the location of a quest and every 10 seconds you see someone bunny hopping in the other direction who just completed the same quest you are going to now. Immersion level: 0.0

Every MMO I've tried was like this.
 
The number of players I want to see in my games is exactly 1, me. The more players I see, the worse it gets. There is nothing worse than seeing a quest giving NPC surrounded by dozens of players. Or when you're going to the location of a quest and every 10 seconds you see someone bunny hopping in the other direction who just completed the same quest you are going to now. Immersion level: 0.0

Every MMO I've tried was like this.
I don't disagree with you. For me, MMOs were good not because they were great games, but because they built great communities. The game was just a setting to facilitate that, and they were very rarely great games. For my taste, there hasn't been a good MMO in quite some time now, the genre has pretty well been dead for many years, with only some older games that are still online keeping it on life support.
 
I don't disagree with you. For me, MMOs were good not because they were great games, but because they built great communities. The game was just a setting to facilitate that, and they were very rarely great games. For my taste, there hasn't been a good MMO in quite some time now, the genre has pretty well been dead for many years, with only some older games that are still online keeping it on life support.

On life support is a bit of a misnomer here. WOW is still bringing in over a billion dollars a year alone. Sure it's the big daddy and the outlier in the world of MMO's. But all of the others that are still around are still making money otherwise they would just stop the spend on them.

I suspect many of those though to be fair, will be going away whenever the farms currently hosting them start to die off and they have to do another capital investment to keep them alive.

Otherwise they would be pulling a blizzard/Square enix and releasing a new expansion every year or two.
 
There hasn’t exactly been a WoW 2, or any really big MMO (successful) releases since ... SWTOR? Black Desert? I can’t really think of any others recently off the top of my head.
 
There was one that was the supernatural world... by funco or something. Shows how big it was.

Then there was the age of conan MMO. but that was years ago.

Businesses have figured out doing a big MMO takes money and constant reinvestment to keep it going. You just can't launch and patch and be done you have to keep it growing and refreshing itself.

In essence if you look at how WOW did it, WOW is more like 8 actual games where your character can be in all of them. Each new area has new graphical fidelity built into it.. brings engine updates for updated API capability and so on. Sure it's all tied to the base game... so your same character and community lives on. But it is a new game that you have to buy, in addition to your monthly sub. That's why they are raking in the cash. And really if every other developer realized that they could do much the same...

I mean hell they even reset progression what.. 3 times now, or is it 4 and nobody really cares.
 
A single player game is low risk, because it will always make money if it is anticipated.
A multi player game is high risk with even higher reward possible. But not every game turns into a wow or gta online.

Or you can do the old bait and switch, promise a single player game, then make a perpetual early access mmo.
 
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