Freemium Dragon Age hits iOS, Android with $99 microtransaction

Heroes of Dragon Age mobile game out now with optional in-app purchases available ranging from $2-$99.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, an EA representative reached out to GameSpot to clarify details about the game's microtransactions. The most expensive character pack in the game sells for about $6.50. The $99 in-app purchase available to players is a currency pack that allows players to stock up on in-game currency.

The original story is below.

Electronic Arts has released the free-to-play Heroes of Dragon Age on iOS and Android.

Like many freemium games, though the title is free to download, players are able to spend real-world money on additional items. In the case of Heroes of Dragon Age, these in-app purchases are available as character packs and range from $2-$99.

EA made clear that everything in Heroes of Dragon Age is attainable for free by progressing through the game. Spending real-world money is a way to unlock characters faster. In-app purchase can be disabled via your device's settings.

Players can collect "hundreds" of characters spanning the Dragon Age universe, including dragons and golems--and each has its own unique abilities, statistics, and factions.

Heroes of Dragon Age, originally announced in August, is a squad-based combat game featuring "addictive hero collection and engaging quests." The mobile game was developed by EA Capital Games in Sacramento, California.

The next entry in the mainline Dragon Age series is Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was recently delayed one year. It is now due out in fall 2014 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more on Dragon Age: Inquisition, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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165 comments
snurb
snurb

Instead of animated figurines on a game board, the graphics should've been a slot machine, because that's what the game is… a slot machine. Wasted a week of my life and $4 on gems for a useless low level drop. DELETE!

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

*shakes head, groans in disgust and moves along*

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

One question for anyone who used this app, does it offer any bonus items for the upcoming DAI???

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

Keep killing your series, EA. It's no wonder your stocks are dropping.

theKSMM
theKSMM

This isn't the first time I've seen a game app with pocket-busting extras available.  It's like someone said "Well we let them have the app for free, so if they decide that they like it and want more content, that's when we really stick it to 'em!"


This is the most ridiculous pricing I've seen since Rovio priced Angry Birds at $40 on consoles.

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

Injustice iOS/Android is proof that I can unlock all the characters and max them out without paying a single cent.


Screw this mobile Dragon Age game...

King_Wii
King_Wii

This is nothing new and I'm shocked gamespot is trying to make a story out of this. Most F2P games have some form of $100+ payment option.

King_Wii
King_Wii

Honestly that's nothing new. Most F2P games have options that range as high as $100 or more. So this isn't really breaking news.

JSusie
JSusie

I just tried it out (it's a pretty small download).


It's really just a typical stamina based ftp transaction rpg.  It's not attempting to do anything revolutionary, just cash in on the DA name, whatever is left of it anyways.



Daian
Daian

I've just played it, so far no paywall.

Mojira7
Mojira7

Just read that other gamespot story on this company i've never heard of willing to spend US$18 million to change the name of a local staduim. Microtransactions and mobile phones are the way to profit for sure. Nothing can change that, not even a number of angry commenters. Not a big fan of this business model, but i understand fully why it is the preferred route.

BuBsay
BuBsay

Damnit Bioware, I was just regaining trust in you and building up hope for Dragon Age 3.


Welp, goodbye to that.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

Oh look.  

Complete FTP/PTW* crap from EA whoring one of their IPs.,,the one they drove into the ground a few years ago.

*Of course you don't have to Pay to Win if you don't want to but your other option is grinding the game for 10 years.

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

I never would have imagined this while playing DA: Origins all those years ago. I was excited for its success and knew that their would be a series of amazing sequels for years to come. At least, that is what is supposed to happen when an original, successful IP is made.

But that's not how it works when EA is publishing. Beware, successful, original IPs under the EA banner: you will become dollar signs and nothing more.

pyro1245
pyro1245

wow you just don't stop with this garbage, do you?

Vambran
Vambran

It looks like an XBLA or PSN game. 99$ for anything this game has to offer is a crime.

neroist
neroist

This game is auto battle and watch. Basically touch the screen then sit watch an auto resolve. It was built around the "push a button something awesome happens" model. 

P.S. Don't forget to get the best Characters which is random even with purchases!

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

I dont mind microtransactions. I dont buy them often but when the price is more than about 9.99 I will not buy.

jharring
jharring

Welcome to F2P gaming!  Actually this $99 isn't even the worst out there, you can buy $200 worth of Gold in Marvel:  Avengers Alliance if you want to.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Another piece of garbage churned out by the Worst Company in America.  So pathetic what Bioware has become.

shingui5
shingui5

Please EA, this is getting cruel.

You made me fall in love with Dragon age: Origins, then destroyed it with DA2. Please don't continue to rub salt in the wounds :( 

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Amazing lack of gameplay!  At least in classic turn-based, party-based RPGs, you got to walk around maps, explore dungeons, and follow some semblance of a meta-game.   This thing is entirely focused around a "collect/buy all the heroes" mentality as a substitute for over-arching gameplay.

Pffft...   "Stick Morrigan's name on it -- they'll play it."

"Free to delete"

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

I just hope this kind of stuff isn't in Inquisition. Keep it contained within this mobile game and well away from the main series.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

I don't get why people get so upset at selling content that you can find in game with a time commitment.

If you took the classic Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games and added a feature to buy experience for those who wanted a shortcut, would it affect your enjoyment of the game if you chose to ignore the feature? 

darkrunedk
darkrunedk

@Grimkillah I haven't found anything yet, that might indicate it would give anything in Dragon Age: Inquisition. I have played it for 2 days now, but who knows, it may change.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

@Tripwolf EA is still recovering from the recession hit. That's another reason for what they're doing.

natethegreat235
natethegreat235

I believe Gun Bros. has $99 gun called the kraken....

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

That quote sounds like it came from a crack dealer.

arqe
arqe

@PSYCHOV3N0M Best game ever on Tablets / Phones. Also benefits and benefit from my Ultimate PC version ..

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@jharring And I would openly laugh in the face of anyone who did spend $200.


I really don't openly laugh in a lot of people's faces but for that level of stupid I'd make an exception.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

@Thanatos2k Well in BioWare's defense EA has always been the worlds biggest soul sucking corporation out there, and given that BioWare's founders have basically abandoned the company you can't expect the level of greatness they once held in the gaming community.

I believe in the coming years they'll be incredibly famous for f2p pricing models and micro-transactions that will bleed you dry, as opposed to the great games and experiences they were once renown for. Way to sell out.

thrombosis45
thrombosis45

@Thanatos2k Bioware used to be my all time favorite game company, now I just get depressed knowing that what they were is gone forever. EAware can suck it! 

Sn0wGl0be
Sn0wGl0be

@shingui5 Speaking of which I havent played the Dragon Age series yet but planned to, and without spoiling anything how did they ruin Dragon Age with DA2? Was it a colossal train wreck like the Mass Effect trilogy's ending? :S



ggregd
ggregd

@shingui5 DA:O was great but I do recall speaking to a character about a quest, then having a window pop up telling me I had to buy DLC to continue.  That was pretty annoying.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@shingui5 EA didn't make you fall in love with DA:O - Bioware did.  They made it before they got bought by EA.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@shingui5 It's even worse if you also read all the books...   Like just getting punched in the junk repeatedly, but by your favorite characters.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@J_Dangerously It causes them to balance it to psychologically pressure you to buy by intentionally inconveniencing you.

aeterna789
aeterna789

@J_Dangerously It takes you out of the game's immersion. I thought like you once, but having played Dead Space 3, that mere thought of the microtransaction option being there is enough to pull you out of the game.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@J_Dangerously read my comment below. Enjoy your shady games. 

shingui5
shingui5

@Sn0wGl0be @shingui5

Well, imagine an RPG that pretty much provides everything you could want out of one: great characters, great dialogue, choices that influence the story, a fun and strategic combat, a well designed world that is easy to immerse into. Then imagine that all these factors are brilliant and well constructed, creating a fantastic experience.


Then imagine a sequel that feels like the developers in fact hated the original, where RPG elements are stripped down, the combat is dumbed down, the characters are boring and irritating, the story is nonsensical, the choices you can make are utterly pointless, the world you are put in is bland. Everything about it feels like a complete departure from what made the original great.

That's what DA2 is like. 


Go play Dragon age: origins, seriously it's fantastic. Even get the expansion if you like ot. It's not as good,m but it's more of DA:O. 

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@Pyrosa @shingui5 It's even even worse if you played the original Baldur's Gate One and Two and realize that DA2 was the inevitable evolution and downslide into oblivion.

shingui5
shingui5

@Pyrosa @shingui5 

I despise tie-in books. I feel a games story should be completely and utterly inclusive to that game, not partly in some outsourced, pay-per-word authored nonsense.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@jacquelineferre @AwkwardTurtle42 Indeed.   The worst is the trend that I'm seeing in recent EA-owned titles like PopCap's Plants Vs Zombies 2, where pseudo-random events/drop-rates can generate the currency necessary to unlock entire areas of the game.   Since all these games check in for the latest drop-rate tables upon startup, they've slowed down things like "the yeti lunchbox" such that when it drops "keys" they're only for areas that are completely unlocked.   Pay wall, ho!!!


To be clear, the answer is VERY simple -- but it requires a small degree of personal discipline:   Just COMPLETELY DELETE THE GAME when you've cleared  all the free content that you want to play.   Save those completionist desires for full-fledged  retail games that don't have microtransactions.   If there's truly a microtransaction that you truly want to experience, then sure -- go ahead and buy that one thing. 

The "immersion" comments below are absolutely true -- just knowing that you COULD pay real money cheapens the entire concept.  Example: If I had the option to just BUY all the dragon masks in Skyrim, I never would have even tried to find them.... Nor would I have bought them. [Publisher execs, take note of that last part.]  That content would simply be rendered irrelevant, instead of the true treasures that they were.

xTheTrueSeekerx
xTheTrueSeekerx

I agree with this almost completely, except I think that the combat was actually somewhat improved in DA2. But that's not enough to save it from all that was mentioned above. The worst is that they literally copied and pasted the same 5 maps and reused them for different areas. Unforgivable.

vannacut
vannacut

@Pyrosa i feel the same about your dragon mask example, and im more brutal about it, as i lose interest to play a game when i hear there is microtransaction involved, it makes me feel like no matter how well i play the game there is no achievements to have , nothing is of importance in the game world as they can be gathered in shortcuts. there is always logical arguements to this but it s all about the feelings about a game for me, like you dont have to pay to win, no matter how nuch they guaranty these in my mind i am always paranoid thinking gathering those things will take unnecessarily longer time then it should, i will always feel like i am doing some stretched extra work ...which turns fun into burden...