Dragon Age 4 reportedly ditching live-service elements after Anthem flop

Dragon Age 4
(Image credit: BioWare)

Following the cancellation of Anthem Next, EA has reportedly decided to remove all planned multiplayer content from Dragon Age 4.

As Bloomberg reports, EA considers Dragon Age 4 crucial to BioWare's success after the studio's two most recent games, Anthem and Mass Effect Andromeda, received lukewarm responses from critics and players alike.

On Wednesday, EA pulled the plug on all future development of Anthem Next, which was originally planned to be a major overhaul that would reignite interest in the game. Alongside the cancellation, BioWare noted that it would "need to laser focus our efforts as a studio and strengthen the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles" as well as continue supporting Star Wars: The Old Republic.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson and other key executives reportedly compared the critical and sales success of the single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to the flop of Anthem when it decided to shift focus and make Dragon Age 4 a strictly single-player RPG.

Back in 2019, BioWare developers told Kotaku that Dragon Age 4 could include Anthem-like "live service" components, adding that those elements wouldn't be central to the experience.

"The idea was that Anthem would be the online game and that Dragon Age and Mass Effect, while they may experiment with online portions, that's not what defines them as franchises," one developer said. "I don't think you'll see us completely change those franchises." 

In today's report, Bloomberg's sources described Dragon Age 4 as having "a heavy multiplayer component" before EA decided to pivot back toward the single-player experience that BioWare has become known for through the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises. We've reached out to EA for clarification on all this and will update our reporting if we hear back. 

We've reached out to EA for comment, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.