Firstly, here is some recent BioWare news you may or may not be familiar with.

Following an unsuccessful launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the BioWare studio responsible for the series, BioWare Montreal, was shut down and absorbed by EA Motive. The future of Mass Effect is not clear.

Casey Hudson, the project director for Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3, has left BioWare in 2014, but returned to BioWare some six months ago to replace Aaryn Flynn as the general manager. Recently he has stated that the the production on the next Dragon Age game was completely rebooted to "add more live elements". Naturally, with it being EA, the fans assumed it means EA are adding lootboxes a'la Star Wars: Battlefront II fiasco. But, Hudson was quick to clarify (or at least he tried to) that by "live" he meant "designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story". Whether that means spin off books/comics, DLC, multiplayer - nobody knows.


But less vaguely, recently Kotaku reported that EA have pushed back the release of BioWare's upcoming new IP by the name of Anthem. It was first announced at E3 2017, and was planned to be released in the autumn of 2018, but that date was deemed not realistic enough. Sources claim it will be pushed back to no further than March 2019 because EA's fiscal year 2018 ends in April 2019, and this way Anthem could be added to the earnings for 2018.


I mentioned the shutting down of BioWare Montreal because prior to Mass Effect: Andromeda it was rather uncommon for the separate BioWare studios to share resources and/or staff, but the failure of Andromeda changed that. Mark Darrah, Executive Producer for the next Dragon Age game, has stated that he has also become the Executive Producer for Anthem, and that BioWare's priority is Anthem. As stated in the previous paragraph, Anthem is likely to be released in the Q1 of 2019, the next Dragon Age will release no earlier than 2019, and even it is released in 2019, we might be looking at the distant end of the year rather than the beginning of it, if most of BioWare's resources are being redirected towards Anthem, with only a very small team left working on DA4, following the stated reboot of the process.

BioWare have a lot riding on Anthem. BioWare were once a goose laying golden eggs, untouchable; but it seems the future of the studio may depends on how well Anthem does. If it flops, then we'll start worrying about Dragon Age. However, EA have shown they are not beyond merging BioWare with other studios, so I remain cautiously anxious about the future of our beloved universe.

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