We can all thank the Maker because Dragon Age 4 is coming. Officially titled Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, the new adventure is set to take us back to Thedas and signals the return of the Solas as the antagonist. While there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the story and our role in the upcoming RPG, BioWare recently posted an blog post update to once again reignite our excitement about Dragon Age's long awaited comeback. With the blog detailing the team's approach to the story of Dreadwolf, BioWare reiterated that this will be a story all players can enjoy, regardless of if you've played a Dragon Age entry before.
It's likely going to be quite some time before we see Dragon Age: Dreadwolf arrive, but we can't wait to discover all it has to offer. Read on below to find out everything we know so far about Dragon Age 4.
The Dragon Age 4 title is Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
The Dragon Age 4 title is Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, and that's because it's all about Solas. For anyone who played Dragon Age: Inquisition that won't come as a surprise. Solas is the Dread Wolf, what BioWare calls a "player of dark and dangerous games".
If you're new to the series, the developer does say that you don't need to worry if you haven't played Inquisition, as "he'll properly introduce himself when the time is right".
May the Dread Wolf take you.Your newest adventure begins in Dragon Age: #Dreadwolf. pic.twitter.com/riYYZXS7O1June 2, 2022
The title - which reiterates that Solas will play a big part in Dragon Age 4 - was revealed in a tweet from the game's official account, which also linked out to a blog post (opens in new tab) that notes we'll get more info later this year.
Dragon Age 4's latest release date rumors
According to GamesBeat, people with knowledge of the BioWare title "confirm the game is on track for release in 2023." In this age of the pandemic, any release date can change, but the date makes sense with what we've seen so far. Expect to see more of the game revealed this year, and hopefully a more specific Dragon Age 4 release date too.
In February 2022 BioWare general manager Gary McKay revealed the game is "right in the middle of production" and working towards one vision.
"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."
We can also take a strong guess at the platforms the game will arrive on thanks to the LinkedIn profile (opens in new tab) of the former lead player designer at BioWare, who states the game will be coming to PS5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.
Dragon Age 4 is for newcomers and longtime players alike
BioWare has made it clear that it's approaching Dragon Age: Dreadwolf with a varied audience in mind to cater to both long-time fans and newcomers. As well as confirming that Solas will introduce himself when the time is right for those who've yet to meet the character, a recent blog post reaffirmed that this will be an experience veteran players and those new to Thedas can enjoy.
"It’s been eight years since our last DA game came out. I’ve seen a lot of adults fondly reminiscing about how they played it as teens!", senior writer Sylvia Feketekuty said in the blog post (opens in new tab). Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has been a balance of providing answers to long-standing questions for veteran fans while making a game that new players, or someone who only played DA:I years ago, can also get into.
"Unlike the vast galaxies we explore in our other franchises, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf returns us to Thedas, where we can revisit friends and places that are familiar," Narrative editor Ryan Cormier said in the blog. "Some fans haven’t spent time with Dragon Age since the 2014 release of Inquisition, while others have read every comic and story published since. Others never played a Dragon Age game at all and have no idea who the bald guy is (he’s Solas)."
Dragon Age 4 behind-the-scenes look
During Gamescom Opening Night Live, BioWare gave us a helping of Dragon Age 4 goodness with a behind-the-scenes look at the next adventure. Set to land on next-gen consoles with no concrete release date just yet, Casey Hudson introduces the video by saying that the team "has been imagining new ways of using next-generation technology to bring the world of Dragon Age to life", and also confirms that the game is currently in the early stages of production. Yes, we still have to wait it out for quite some time yet, but it's exciting to know a next-gen Dragon Age game is on the way.
Hearing from various BioWare developers working on the game, the video gives us a look at how the team are creating this new adventure, complete with some gorgeous concept art and very brief glimpses of game footage showing off different vistas and locations. I'm also convinced one piece of concept art features Dorian Pavus underwater (because we absolutely need more Dorian), and if we end up going to Tevinter as the ending of Dragon Age Inquisition suggests, it would make so much sense.
We also get interesting tidbits from the developers, offering some insight into the direction of our return to Thedas. Lead writer Patrick Weekes says that Dragon Age 4 will tell a story that explores, "What happens when you don't have power?" and, "what happens when the people in charge aren't willing to address the issues?" This could mean we'll fill the shoes of someone who's an underdog of sorts who does what the people in charge aren't willing to do. For now, we can only speculate, but it does make our imaginations run wild - especially if you think about what happened in the Dragon Age Inquisition Trespasser DLC.
Dragon Age 4 2020 teaser
Other more recent signs of life for Dragon Age 4 came in the shape of dark and delicious concept art revealed during a next-generation montage at EA's summer event, EA Play Live. The game wasn't even mentioned by name, but in a section introduced by EA's chief studio officer, Laura Miele, she did namecheck Bioware.
"Bioware imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story, and we're using this next generation of technology to make those fantasy worlds your reality."
You can see those Dragon Age 4 teaser images below.
The first official teaser Dragon Age 4 trailer hinted at what's to come
The Game Awards 2018 (opens in new tab) debuted the first teaser trailer (opens in new tab) for Dragon Age 4, and three years later we still don't know the official title. You should watch the brief glimpse above, but essentially we see the #TheDreadWolfRises tagline, along with an ominous greeting from Solas of Dragon Age: Inquisition fame:
"So, you found me at last. I suspect you have questions."
If you're not intimately familiar with Dragon Age lore, the 'Dread Wolf' moniker refers to Fen'Harel, the Loki-like elven god of betrayal who has (spoilery) ties to Solas and features prominently in Inquisition's epilogue DLC, Trespasser. Most interestingly of all, the trailer prominently features a red lyrium idol, and it's not just any idol. Those of you who played Dragon Age 2 might recognize it. The idol plays a big role in the corruption of Kirkwall's templars. Now, if you fancy dipping into the second instalment in the series anytime soon, skip past the next section because it contains some *hefty spoilers*.
In the first act of Dragon Age 2, you go into the deep roads with Varric and his brother Bartrand in a bid to recover lost dwarven treasures and make your fortune. You stumble upon an ancient dwarven thaig filled to the brim with red lyrium, and sitting upon a pedestal is the very same idol we see in the trailer. The idol corrupts Bartrand, and causes him to turn his back on his own brother and leave him for dead in the deep roads.
Later on in Act 2, Varric asks you to go and confront Bartrand in his mansion in Hightown for his personal quest. You find out that the idol has poisoned his mind, and makes him "hear a song." As a result of the idol's corruptive power, the dwarf forced his servants to feed on the lyrium, and then proceeded to cut it off them while they were still alive. It's pretty awful, to say the least. After confronting and fighting Bartrand, you find out he sold the idol to a woman, who turns out to be none other than Kirkwall's Knight Commander, Meredith. The red lyrium drives Meredith to take her fight against the mages and magic to extremes and all but tear apart Kirkwall.
Now, from Dragon Age 2 we know red lyrium is very, very bad news in the world of Thedas. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, if you side with the mages early on, you'll be catapulted into a future scenario where Corypheus is wreaking havoc. And what makes an unfortunate comeback? Yep, you've guessed it: Red lyrium. You meet Fiona who appears to have red lyrium growing out of her, and she says Corypheus has been growing lyrium in living people and harvesting it from their corpses.
From the get go, lyrium courses throughout Inquisition, so naturally it makes sense that it's still a problem in Dragon Age 4. Since we know just how corruptive it can be, we also know it must hold untold power. And in the wrong hands... just what will it do? It looks like our old friend Solas might be getting his hands on it. The flash of a mural in the teaser as seen above shows what looks like a wolf beast with three eyes and an elf either side of the idol. The Dread Wolf rises right, so what if he does so using the idol? What does that mean for Thedas? We all know what Solas is planning to do, so it can't be good news.
Some eagle-eyed fans have already picked apart every inch of the trailer and explained their theories in impressive detail. If you want to take a deep dive into the trailer, this theory on reddit (opens in new tab) is quite compelling.
Dragon Age 4 alpha file discovered on the PlayStation Store, but that doesn't mean a public alpha is coming
A Dragon Age 4 related alpha file was recently discovered on the PlayStation Store database, but that doesn't mean a public alpha is on the way. The alpha file appeared in July, setting hopes high for the EA Play event in that same month, but we were left disappointed. We may never find out what the file was there for, perhaps some secret BioWare testing, but it's still a sign that development continues on Dragon Age 4, and right now that's good enough for us.
Dragon Age 4 is reportedly scrapping all multiplayer and live-service elements
As reported by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, EA is removing all multiplayer and live service elements from Dragon Age 4 after Anthem failed to leave a lasting impression on critics and players. EA had reportedly been looking at the success of the single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order compared to Anthem's critical and sales downfalls when it decided to scrap the online component and focus solely on single-player content.
Mark Darrah shares a tiny square "screenshot" of Dragon Age 4
Ok a real screenshot.Slightly redacted. pic.twitter.com/LpioHFI6f9December 4, 2019
On Dragon Age Day, fans everywhere celebrated the world of Thedas and expressed their love for all things Dragon Age. It was a joyous day for fans of the series, and of course we hoped that a tiny nugget of news might drop about Dragon Age 4. Enter BioWare's executive producer Mark Darrah who shared a screenshot of Dragon Age 4... the only snag is it's "super redacted" and doesn't really show much of anything at all. It was all in good humour of course, and while Darrah's antics might not reveal much, it does keep us talking about Dragon Age 4.
In the top right corner you can make out a square image with what looks like a bit of sky and some tree branches. There you have it folks, Dragon Age 4 may have some trees and sky. What a tease.
It looks like Dragon Age 4 takes place in Tevinter
In a new BioWare book, the studio seemingly confirms the Dragon Age 4 setting to be Tevinter, a so-far uncharted region of Thedas.
BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development mostly details BioWare's storied history, but Eurogamer managed to pick out a pretty key detail of the next Dragon Age adventure. One entry reads in-part: "the long-awaited follow-up to Dragon Age: Inquisition … will take players to Tevinter as the events of Inquisition and Trespasser threaten to forever change Thedas."
We've suspected this to be the case since Tevinter was heavily alluded to at the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition Trespasser DLC, but it's good to have (semi-) confirmation. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean the entire game takes place in Tevinter, but it's safe to assume we'll be spending plenty of time there throughout Dragon Age 4.
Solas invites us to tea
Happy 5th Birthday, Dragon Age: Inquisition. pic.twitter.com/mTIRc5HfDMNovember 18, 2019
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition in 2019, BioWare posted a picture of a happy birthday card penned by Solas himself. Although it was a reminder that it has been quite some time since we saw the world of Thedas (sobs wildly), it was great to see a little something from the studio that kept us excited about Dragon Age 4.
"The Dread Wolf rises"
In a blog post (opens in new tab) in September 2019, BioWare game director Casey Hudson posted an update about all of the latest news from the studio, including everything from an Anthem update to an office move. Most importantly, though, Hudson also mentioned that "other big projects" are coming along, and dropped another nod to Dragon Age 4.
"We have several other big projects in the works. I wish I could tell you more about them, but they’re mostly super-secret right now," Hudson wrote. "I can say however that one of our projects has a large and growing team in Edmonton working through pre-production, and based on the progress I’m seeing, I can confirm that indeed the Dread Wolf rises."
Dragon Age 4 departures
Over the course of development, some key members of the BioWare team have since departed from the project, with new names joining the fold. Back in November 2021, news came to light in a statement to Kotaku (opens in new tab) that Dragon Age 4's senior creative director Matt Goldman and long-time alum had left. Following on from Goldman's exit, BioWare put out a blog post in February 2022 confirming that executive producer Christian Dailey had departed midway through production.