Labels: commentary , DA3:I , Dragon Age , Mass Effect , ME3 , SWTOR
We’re told that the extra year will be spent on such beautiful things as mounts, multiple player races, and wider exploration with partially interact-able environments. Should you not have heard this news, enjoy the squee of joy over letting your dwarf ride a pony for a moment.
Now that you’ve considered the excitement of playing elves (prettily redesigned once again) and weather affecting movement and combat, you might wonder at how BioWare convinced EA to grant them this extra year. This is where that conspiracy theory arises.
My little idea grows from the facts that BioWare has more than one game out there and that EA requires a certain return on their investment in those games. If they don’t see enough money from existing titles they push BioWare to hurry along the next one. One must keep up the cash flow, after all.
While Mass Effect 3 was pulling in plenty on multi-player packs but getting large amounts of flak from single-player fans, Star Wars: The Old Republic was faltering as a subscription-only game. A number of things happened to ease these tensions, but the most significant was the move to free to play for SWTOR.
The cash came flowing in from the cartel market, new players began to pay for all sorts of unlocks and everyone started buying the newly available aesthetic goodies. Some of those new players became subscribers. BioWare made good on the money EA required of them and SWTOR was saved!
What, I hear you asking, does that have to do with DA:I? I submit that EA originally pushed for a late 2013 release date for the game because it was the only way they could see BioWare making their minimum cash infusion. We fans may treat the various teams as quite separate, and creatively they are, but they money falls under a single name as far as EA is concerned.
When SWTOR started making money again, as evidenced by EA’s latest quarterly reports, the Dragon Age team was able to convince EA to allow them the extra year to make DA:I as great as it should be. The SWTOR team bought them the time they need to get me that halla mount, those hidden details that I will be thrilled to fine, that crafting that I so much enjoy.
In the end, giving BioWare the extra time required to make the next Dragon Age installment something fans will be excited to buy will bring EA more money. As long as the various teams can negotiate the time they need by feeding EA’s bottom line perhaps they can convince their fans to keep buying their new games.
Given the excitement over what’s been added to DA: Inquisition because of that extension, I suspect EA will has been convinced that the positive word of mouth regarding longer development times, and the benefits there of, is worth the delay of getting their money. With luck, that will mean good things for the next Mass Effect game and the mysterious new IP on which BioWare teams are working.