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Dragon Age lead writer on the role of romance

Dragon Age and Mass Effect, BioWare's two biggest franchises, have a few things in common: Customizable characters, ethical dilemmas, and interspecies smooches. Whether they're fighting Reapers or the Blight, players find love can bloom, even on a battlefield.

Some of those players get that a little bit out of proportion with the main game, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider wrote on his blog.

"Romances are a sideshow, not the main game. Yes, some people like them a lot, and I have absolutely no beef with them doing so. In fact, it’s very gratifying. While I suppose a game could be made where the romantic plot takes a level of importance equal to that of the critical path, that has never been the case with the games BioWare makes."

He said he could happily make a game without romances, or spend as much time developing non-romantic relationships with a game's followers. Platonic love aside, Gaider said he wouldn't expand the role of romance in BioWare's games without also changing their nature:

"Adding an element of failure, for instance, or by having not all characters be available to all player characters (they’re attracted only to certain types, for instance). Adding different types of romance: tragic romances, romances where your partner cheats on you, romances where the character is already involved in another relationship, characters that don’t know how to relate to someone else on a romantic level or aren’t interested in such."

Would you prefer a BioWare game with more potential romantic partners, even if it meant they might--gasp--not work out?

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.