Last month you heard from me as we reflected back on 2021 and looked ahead to 2022 with the goal to communicate more often with our community and fans around the world. With that in mind, let’s start with the next game in development: the new Dragon Age.
As you may know, there are a few different stages to a game’s development. First are the Concept and Pre-Production phases, when a team works on the creative vision for the game and starts laying down the technical foundations – basically creating the conceptual and technological blueprint for the game. Iteration and flexibility are key here, as ideas and game mechanics are proposed, tested out, and refined. Once the blueprint is complete, the Production phase begins. Production is all about executing on the blueprint: taking those ideas and turning them into a working game. Eventually, a team hits Alpha and then Beta, where the polish happens, and the things that are special really come to life.
For the next Dragon Age, we are right in the middle of Production, which is a great feeling. Our blueprint was completed last year, so we’re now focused on building out our vision: creating amazing environments, deep characters, strong gameplay, impactful writing, emotional cinematics – and much more. The blueprint for the game is well understood and the team is focused.
As we continue our journey, we wanted to wish Christian Dailey a heartfelt farewell from BioWare. Christian started with us back in 2018 and has been a big influence on our games and leadership team, most recently as Executive Producer over Dragon Age’s development. The games industry is ever-changing though and sometimes folks want to go and try new things – we understand, but we will miss him as a friend and as a colleague.
A strong leadership team of industry and Dragon Age veterans is in place to carry us through Production and beyond. The game’s Production Director is Mac Walters, who recently led the development for Mass Effect Legendary Edition and has an 18-year history with BioWare. Corrine Busche, who has been leading the design direction for Dragon Age, is our Game Director. She has a wealth of experience, including 15 years at EA, and a passion for the franchise. Benoit Houle is the Director of Product Development, and he brings an in-depth understanding of the franchise thanks to having worked on every single Dragon Age game – starting over 16 years ago on Dragon Age: Origins. I will also be working more closely with the Dragon Age team as they go through production while continuing to guide the studio.
Later this year, you will start to hear more from the Dragon Age team in the form of blogs and social content. As we move through development we’ll also be in regular communication with players who sit on our community council. As passionate fans like you, we take their feedback seriously. We are also listening to all of you as you share your thoughts and experiences, so keep talking to us!
On other fronts, our Star Wars™: The Old Republic team led by Keith Kanneg, recently celebrated 10 years of amazing storytelling with the launch of our latest expansion, Legacy of the Sith. The team hasn’t stopped with just launching the expansion, and is already focused on more updates to continue the celebration all year long. You can see our launch trailer for the new release here; which was a creative collaboration with Industrial Light and Magic, and we absolutely love it.
And of course, we’re also working on the next Mass Effect. The team, led by Mike Gamble, is made up of a team of veteran developers as well as some new, really talented people. They are all actively prototyping new ideas and experiences. AAA next-gen games take a long time to make – and we know our fans may want them sooner. But our Number One priority needs to be quality, and that simply takes time to get it right.
As we embark on a new year of adventures, we’re excited to share more with you. Until then, thank you once again to all our fans. Here’s to a great 2022!