Next Dragon Age taking cues from Skyrim

BioWare head Ray Muzkya suggests fantasy RPG franchise will have "more of an open world feel" inspired by Bethesda's latest Elder Scrolls game.

BioWare's Dragon Age franchise has largely eschewed an open world in favor of more closed battlegrounds. This design was especially pronounced in this year's Dragon Age II, which took place largely within the confines of a single city. However, according to EA's BioWare Label head Ray Muzyka, the next Dragon Age may take open-world cues from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Yes, but will Dragon Age III feature flying mastodons?

In an interview with Wired, Muzyka said that in addition to listening to Dragon Age II feedback from players, the developers working on the next installment in the franchise have been monitoring the wins and losses of other recent fantasy role-playing games. These include Bethesda Softworks' Skyrim, which has now shipped more than 10 million units.

"[The next Dragon Age] is going to have the best of features from the prior Dragon Age games, but it's also going to have a lot of things I think players are going to find compelling from some of the games that are out now that are doing really well with more of an open-world feel," Muzyka told Wired.

"We're checking [Skyrim] out aggressively," he continued. "We like it. We're big admirers of [Bethesda] and the product. We think we can do some wonderful things."

BioWare has yet to formally announce a third Dragon Age. However, recent rumors suggest BioWare plans to introduce a multiplayer component to the franchise, one that will have both cooperative and competitive play, as well as playable dragons. It is unclear whether these rumors pertain to Dragon Age III or a stand-alone spin-off.

For more on Dragon Age II, check out GameSpot's review.

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Discussion

694 comments
Claytonicus
Claytonicus

@cachinscythe  cachinscythe as far as i'm aware, these forums are a place where one can express ones own opinion. I expressed my own opinion, and i am entitled to that opinion. You also took me out of context. I did not say that i would never support bioware again, but instead i said that i would not support them while they produce what i believe is a poor quality and unfinished game. If anything, i look forward to their next installment now, because it means that they will pull out all the stops to produce a game that will draw critics back into the fold. I'm not sure how long you have played bioware games, but i have been there from the beginning, right back to the days of baldur's gate 1, before they ever produced the games that made them popular, and i was very disappointed with the effort they made on DA2. There was a French writer by the name of Voltaire who lived in the 18th century in France who said "I may disagree with what you have to say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it." Please remember this before you criticise me personally for my own view.

Michael83917
Michael83917

THIS. YES PLEASE. Skyrim's terrain system (with jumping so you can climb things) + Bioware's story and characters = win.

Merciless704
Merciless704

If they're gonna take notes from Skyrim, they should really make sure that then next Dragon Age game doesn't have so much text. Skyrim saw to it that you were reading until your eyes bled. And PLEASE!! Bring back Morigan...or however you spell her name. And don't change the combat system of Dragon Age. It's fine just the way it is.

zuaros
zuaros

'lot of people saying they'll take nothing from DA2. I don't know about that. It had its improvements. Two handed weapons were tedious crap on DA:O. They added a lot of 'oomph' to abilities in DA2. Cone of cold sending foes reeling was awesome. Give me that nice to watch and play combat with more map variety and overall game length and complexity of DA:O and I'll call DA3 a winner.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@cachinscythe (Continuation) That said, I think that the perspective that most people SHOULD have (and again, this is my opinion, so I don't expect people to follow), is that worrying about a small problem and worrying about a big problem does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Problems, no matter how big or small, will stay unless something is done. So a kid crying over his scraped knee, a gamer crying over a lame sequel, day one DLC or an illogical 'deus ex machina' ending to what was one of the greatest trilogies of all time, a man crying because he discovered he had cancer, or a man drinking his sorrows because he got kicked out on the street, these are all problems, all varying degrees. Some are more serious, some not so much. All ARE real, though. But they all have one thing in common. None of them will be solved by what the people experiencing them are doing. I don't agree with the 'there are other things to worry about' mantra, simply because it makes no difference. If you really want to solve a problem, go out and solve it. Otherwise one worrying about a serious problem does not make one better than worrying about a small one. The problem stays unsolved; and lambasting someone who is upset about something else doesn't help solve anything problem either.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@cachinscythe What happened to Jennifer Hepler was indeed something that I believe went way out of hand. I certainly did in fact, criticize her opinions on the Bioware forums, but not HER personally, which I viewed was extremely immature and quite inappropriate, showing an ugly side to people (not necessarily gamers) that the anonymity which the internet provides can sometimes escalate. Certainly, things should not have gotten that far. I will stand by my opinion that the criticism she got was deserved, but NOT the personal attacks or insults. You're absolutely right about perspective, though. It's just that we don't get to decide what perspective is 'right', indeed, if there is such a thing. It's easy to say to someone 'there are worse problems out there' and we may be technically right, but I think it's unfair to say 'there are REAL problems out there', because it is dismissive of what others view REAL problems are. Just because someone hates a game or sees an unscrupulous business practice, it doesn't make that problem any less real than cancer or the tanking the economy. It may not be as serious, but it's just as real.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@renegade_magnum But several of them DID resort to personal attacks and insults. What happened to Jennifer Hepler demonstrates that fairly well IMO. True, when that story was leaked, a significant number of people came to her defense, but since then they've pretty much forgotten that and gone back to the "us versus them" attitude that seems so prevalent when a corporation is involved, and others have tried to dismiss it on the grounds that everyone gets trolled on the internet, so it doesn't mean anything. You're not wrong to say there's a bit of "holier-than-thou" in my view of this, and that's something I need to work on. I apologize. That said, if we're going to say it's okay to get upset when we're upset, how is it fair to dismiss Jennifer Hepler for getting upset, as many of the people treating the ME3 fiasco as a gigantic crime ARE suggesting? If I implied it wasn't okay to be upset, then I apologize. You're right that if something upsets us, we should act upset. It's just that there needs to be some perspective. When I was young, my mother used to start screaming if I spilled milk on the table. Call me holier-than-thou for this assessment, but I don't think that response was called for. To me, that's what this is, but if it's something more serious to everyone else, maybe I'm wrong. Either way, thanks for the reply. :)

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@cachinscythe As a final note, IMO it's a 'holier-than-thou' attitude when people start to say 'there are worse things out there'. Yes, it's true, that the world is plagued by a whole crapload of bad things, and bad games are probably are well low on that list of 'worst possible things', but that also begs the question: When is it okay to be upset? When you say so? Maybe we should only be upset about bad games when racism is eradicated? Maybe we should only be upset about having a bad day at work when there is world peace? Maybe we should only be upset about stepping in a pile of crap when there is no more hunger? IMO you should be upset if something simply upsets you. Simple. People have that right. I would see myself as incredibly condescending if I told someone to calm down or shut up after having a bad day simply because people still starve to death in the world. They can be as vocal as they want, as long as they don't resort to personal attacks or insults. Belittling someone's problems, opinions or disappointments and calling them shallow or overdramatic just because they are 'small' compared to other 'real' problems doesn't make me better, it makes me sound like a holier-than-thou pr*ck. People have a right to be upset about things that upset them, because we don't get to decide when it's okay for them to be upset. Period. If others react negatively to something you don't believe is worth attention, let them be. I don't see the need to lecture anyone on it.

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

@cachinscythe Far be it for me to comment on an article I never read (I refer of course to the poll itself, not the Gamespot article), but it doesn't really prove anything other than the fact that people simply hate EA. And quite frankly, I don't really blame them. Again, it comes across as if you're simply trying to bring attention to the fact that 'there are worse things out there'. Bottomline: IT'S NOT UP TO YOU. One, the vote does not include the population of the entire world, only those who voted. In other words, maybe if you took the whole population of the nation, maybe then, it would come out just as how you'd expect. But the fact is, the people that voted hate EA more than Bank of America. It's not up to you or myself to decide what other people hate or love. The fact that EA was voted worst company is not significant proof that people have their priorities mixed up, it's only proof that the people who voted have different priorities than yours. Simple as that. I will not discredit your opinion on which is worse, and I will certainly not discredit theirs.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@renegade_magnum Hey you might remember me. We had a discussion a while ago about Bioware and you had to tell me to calm down because I was saying some people were suggesting a bad game was worse than a world disaster. I acknowledge that was kind of ridiculous, though I maintain that a substantial portion of the gamer base--but not the majority--has come to believe that. I thought I should point out that EA was just recently voted the worst company in America. A company that publishes luxury items that are not necessary to live and are in a sense just frivolous ways to keep ourselves occupied was voted worse than a company that stole money and actively cheated customers (Bank of America). This, to me, is significant proof of what I was arguing here. When fraud is seen as nicer than overcharging for luxury, something is very wrong. Not trying to start a fight. Just wanted to point it out. :)

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

im glad they are open to new things...but if da3 ends up feeling more like skyrim than a bioware rpg,im going to be very dissapointed. if i wanted to play a skyrim type game, i would buy skyrim...

badiie05
badiie05

At this point I really don't know what direction Bioware is going to take with Dragon Age, 1st was good for its time and felt truly like a strong RPG, 2nd was like..what is happening here? I've been in Kirkwall the whole game? and the combat feels like and arcade action. Now 3...I really am curious, especially right now with Mass Effect 3 being released and the ending is absolutely terrible and rushed and does not take in account all the choices you've made in 1 and 2. ahh Bioware.. surprise me :P Oh and btw, I absolutely loved Skyrim and been with Bethesda and Elder Scrolls a long time...good luck keeping up with them

marty2004
marty2004

Can't wait for the next DA...

Rogen1963
Rogen1963

I am immense fan of DA and Skyrim. The possibility of a DA3 with some Skyrim incorporated in it, as got me and my pals very excited indeed. I will be watching this space eagerly. If DA3 does get the go ahead,'B.I.O.'

jalen_222
jalen_222

There was dreadfully wrong with DA 2. Taking some cues from Skyrin is a great idea.

ApocaLeepse
ApocaLeepse

That's not so bad. Skyrim doesn't recycle environments, just about every dungeon you enter is completely different to the one you previously went to. If they take that from Skyrim, I'll be a very happy man, since Dragon Age II did a lot of recycling in that department. I also wouldn't mind being able to actually choose my race again. Screw the voiced Hawke, having more customization and a better dialogue with companions is better.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

On this topic I am the biggest Elder Scrolls fan on planet earth. With that in mind I am loosing interest in Dragon Age unless they go back to the Origins type of game. I will be very surprised if Bioware can ever make another game as good as Origins was. It was simply a MASTERPIECE.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

@pjm901 Yours is the first Arrow to the knee comment that actually made me laugh. Bravo!

wthskbv
wthskbv

Hey guys I'll tell you whos fault it is its not EA's (as i thought) but it's The new lead designer MIKE F*CKING LAIDLAW hes a f*cking idiot. He made DAU look like a complete **** now! One of three lead designer's of DA:O left when they were going through the making of DA2 saying its not what he wanted, and that Bioware had wanted to go down this road for a long time.

Xaiteev
Xaiteev

if their co-op is anything like fable 3's then i'm going to cry for that was such a bad system. If it's like Diablo's co-op then this looks promising.

sieg6529
sieg6529

About damn time. Their claustrophobic environments of DA2 were my biggest gripe. Open `er up boys and let us wander! Resisting the urge to make arrow-to-the-knee joke...

Choad-Warrior
Choad-Warrior

I bet this joke has already been made: Is it going to come with massive bugs too?

Quofan
Quofan

Not what I wanted to hear. Why doesn't Bioware just stick to making Bioware games? You know, play to their RPG making strengths? I'm not saying they shouldn't make changes, if they glean useful tips from competitors then why not? I hope they don't end up making Dragon Age 3 totally different from Origins. That was the problem last time. They have been consistently on the right track with the Mass Effect series, apart from reducing the number of powers and RPG upgrades in ME2, but Dragon Age 2's action-oriented changes did nothing to improve gameplay, and instead hurt it.

anant0097
anant0097

looks quite promising.... good to see it's taking a cue out of the other great games as well to improve.... but seriously.... developers should innovate and bring out something new rather than just copy an already good game.....

HughBonner
HughBonner

Why can't bioware make dragon age 3 similar to dragon age origins? the first one was great

DredWulf
DredWulf

lol in laymens terms...we got owned in sales by skyrim..so we're gonna steal some of their ideas and hopefully people won't notice.

CCGR_Pheonix
CCGR_Pheonix

I like how Bioware doesn't tip-toe around it. I think they should partner together for a single game series. How awesome would that be?

neuroboy
neuroboy

Sod Dragon Age III... What about Baldur's Gate III?

pjm901
pjm901

Bioware was going to make a game like Skyrim, but they took an arrow to the knee.

tevic
tevic

I like how they feel free to praise a competitor. Such honesty is all to rare in the hobby.

GR3YTHUNDER
GR3YTHUNDER

Multiplayer Dragon Age !? This has serious potential. This could be a serious classic in the making! Especially if the story is good. Add in the fact they're taking queue's from both the original Dragon Age: Origins and DA2. I hope they add better skill trees from Origins, larger world, allowing tactical combat options, OR action 1st person hack and slash. Go Bioware!

LiquidSifu80
LiquidSifu80

Besthesda and Bioware are responsible for a lot of lost hours for me and I love both studios. It's a good thing that they are looking at each other to improve the games, that should only make the games better going forward.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

Will take more than copying Bethesda to save this franchise. They need to go back to dragon age 1 and remember what made the franchise great.

Onix95
Onix95

Great, an Elder Scrolls clone. How about we just make a regular Dragon Age game? Last I checked, Dragon Age 1 was a pretty start.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

@nyran125 I agree, the game is about a whole world of immersion and how it's many parts work into an entire experience.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

let's wait til we hear more........this sounds interesting...........please let me play a Qunari.

musalala
musalala

So Are they admiting the monumental s*****ness of dragon age 2 also bioware its too late dragon age 2 is FUBAR at this point no one cares

pouya_witcher
pouya_witcher

Imitation? C'mon Bioware You are Screwing this Franchise! better do sth else. if you wanna imitate from skyrim i prefer to play another RPG s Cause I dont wanna have a dja vuu feeling.

csftar
csftar

@Philly1UPer i didn't made an entire wall of text ranting and acting like one(on the comments section of a game series apperantly he doesn't even like)

sirius237
sirius237

Dragon age is the worst game ever made.. and it's sequel WAS EVEN WORSE!! congrats bioware.. you guys achieved the impossible!! and resorting to copying other great games like Skyrim is a crime imo

McCrunks
McCrunks

i don't like the term "more of an open world feel". just make it open world for tim tebow's sake.

belekoy
belekoy

open world rpg with frostbite engine? thats overkill.. of course pc gamers SHOULD get the special treatment..

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

Played the first Dragon Age but was turned off by the reactions by people I know who copped the second one, so I never played it. Hopefully Best Buy still has it for $12 so I can try it LOL I just hope that whatever they do they don't dumb it down like I've been told Dragon Age II was. I hate when developers run away from what made their games a hit and fan favorite in an effort to appeal to a broader fanbase. Can't alienate your core audience because they're the ones that are going to guarantee most of the sucess your franchise is going to see.

CoRiNi
CoRiNi

multiplayer will be gay and it will only encourage bugs,crashes,freezes and all the other gay stuff. oh and we know how EA customers service handles the fixes. "hey guys, so these people are having issues playing the game. don't ever comment or reply on any of the problems they are having. eventually, they will test stuff and they will find a fix, cheers". - EA ***hol*

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@csftar Thats kind of funny. You want people to respect your opinion of Dragon Age being better then SWKOTOR, but because someone thinks different you call them a fanboy? That sounds a lot like something a fanboy would say.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@BlackieX Dragon Age when it comes to terms of scale and impact of what happens at the end of the game because of your choices is nowhere near the greatness known as KOTOR. While the first Dragon Age game was good, To me, it became the boring and doing the same thing, over and over again, but in a different skinned dungeon. Dragon Age didnt have that world that had depth like the Galaxy you had to explore in KOTOR. Don't even get me started on that garbage known as Dragon Age 2. which was just a reskinning of the first one, with everything that was cool from the first one thrown away. and without KOTOR and the success it gathered while bringing Western RPGS into a bigger and better light, there probably wouldn't have been a Dragon Age to begin with.

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

I like Bioware. They actually seem to focus on pleasing their fans, and they're willing to admit that they follow other good games and use the best elements from other games.... Too bad not all developers are that humble. *Cough "EA" cough* I still don't understand how DA II ended up so screwed up. Who's idea was it to seal players into a small city with dull characters and no main plot?