There's an article on IGN that quotes an ever-reliable analyst regarding a possible release date for DA4. We probably won't return to Thedas until mid- to late-2022. I was honestly hoping for a 2021 release. Thoughts?
Well, it seems we agree on something.
I wonder how much time will have passed in-universe between DAI and DA4.
Solas: My brothers and sisters, it has been a difficult three months since I revealed my true nature to the world.
The player: Dude, I've had four kids since I last saw you.
And DA2's 10 years felt more like 10 months. LOL
^ id say more like a couple of years, but definitely not ten years
^Because it was only a couple of years. But look how that worked out for DA 2. Rushed AF. That was hardly good for it. If there's one thing we can be sure about in regards to DA 4, it's that it won't be rushed.
Honestly, we can't really *know* it won't be rushed. Look at Anthem. They had - what? Seven years to develop that game and only barely managed to produce something in the final 18 months? We can hope that experience was instructive for DA's benefit, but there are no promises it won't happen again.
^We know it won't be rushed because, by definition, a game that spends 7+ years in development isn't rushed. It can still be bad though. Anthem was not rushed. It had a variety of problems during its development, but being rushed was not one of them.
The developers of Anthem didn't even know what their game was about, how it would look, or how it would function for 5 1/2 years, until the public game reveal at the big convention (the name I can't recall). The flying component was in and out on a constant basis. The story was not nailed down. The structure of the game was only designed and built-upon in the last few months (thanks to Mark Darrah's intervention) and shoved out of the door with little to no testing. That, to me, sounds like 'rushing', but your mileage may vary.
I just hope that the wait isn't the result of BioWare Edmonton working on another game before or alongside DA4.
BioWare has other teams, so I hope that EA lets Edmonton focus on Dragon Age. It's perhaps the most profitable BioWare franchise outside of Mass Effect, so it's in everyone's best interest not to try another new IP for the time being.
To agree with your point, let's highlight the issues that Mass Effect: Andromeda had as well, which was indev for shorter than that, had about 18 months of semi-concrete work, and then rushed in the last few months. I wouldn't expect the flaws that it had from a mid-tier game developer much less from two game producers of BW and EA's caliber (yes, BW:Montreal is an offshoot, but not exactly starting off in their parents' basement or in some crummy corner office, either).
Reveals are usually done a year or two in advanced, but anything further than that is generally a bad idea; you want to build up hype, not frustration. Now I don't know what the general percentage of completion must be reached before a big reveal is done, but I assume somewhere at least in the 50% range; the game engine and mechanics, a level or two, characters, some dialogue, a few small betas and testers to work out the beginning kinks. I'm sure some of us (ahem) older folk remember the issues with StarCraft: Ghost and Duke Nukem: Forever and how long it took to make those before winding down into development hell long after the reveal.
Now BioWare has made games side-by-side with some good success; Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age: Awakenings, and Mass Effect 2 were relatively back-to-back in a three-year period, and this is on top of coming out with Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was quite different from the SPC that BioWare almost always consistently did. It's easy to tell that Mass Effect 3 was focused upon when it was created, as well as Dragon Age: Inquisition; those games had very few flaws (minus one rather epic shitty original ending) and competed very well with games similar to them (such as HALO and Elder Scrolls).
Flash forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.
Transposing a template from a linear game into a sandbox can be difficult, but BioWare and Electronic Arts have been making good (and great) games for years, even decades. The graphics issues that ME:A suffered were practically unforgivable, and honestly ME:A should have been a stand-alone universe without the need to including the Mass Effect brand as a promotion.
Anthem was.. okay for an MMORPG. I did enjoy the actual campaign, and there were parts of the story that had met pretty riveted (I would still love to take an epic shit down Owen's neck). But other than the flying suits, it was too much alike Destiny, fighting alien-like beings and an all-encroaching enemy that was, unrealistically, undefeatable. Honestly this concept of a broken world with chaotic elements abound would have made a better MMORPG if the random quests and missions not a part of the SPC had more flavor than random hunts and strongholds; something that made me appreciate games like Destiny more.
As for Dragon Age IV, the best advise is that we'll likely hear more in the soon future, but reveals were generally about a year in advance for BioWare, give or take. Most of their games tend to come out around the March-April time frame (most) with bigger reveals about six months prior, usually with trailers, teasers, and clips. I'd find it hard to believe that there likely wasn't something in plan with the conclusion and general acceptance of the Trespasser DLC, a few people tacting on ideas and thoughts on where to go. Perhaps an upgraded engine, some world building, a list of possible/potential characters with some artists working on concepts, but nearly three years into the future seems a little excessive.
November 2020 would be a little closer to my bet (if I were a betting man). I'd expect some splash on the next E3. March/April 2121 at the very latest.
What do you think?