Dragon Age: The Veilguard leads reveal that BioWare changed the RPG's name to "what was really the heartbeat of this game" - and it's not Solas

Dragon Age: The Veilguard screenshot showing Solas, a pale bald Elven mage, wielding lightning-like powers while grimacing
(Image credit: BioWare)

Following BioWare's recent announcement that its upcoming Dragon Age entry Dreadwolf is now instead called The Veilguard, lead developers reveal what prompted the name change.

Speaking in an interview with Game Informer, Dragon Age: The Veilguard heads explain the RPG's new title and what it means regarding Solas' role in-game. Game director Corinne Busche opens by saying that devs "learn a lot about what the heart soul of the game really is as we're developing it." Busche states that this learning process is what led BioWare to realize "that the absolute beating heart of this game are these authentic diverse companions" rather than Solas.

"When we took a step back, as we always do, we always check our decisions and make sure that they still represent the game we're trying to build," Busche continues. "It just felt like we needed a title that represented what this game was truly about." 

The dev admits she adores Solas and he "plays an important role in the game" nonetheless - "but this is not a game about Solas." Busche concludes that because of this, "to capture that authentic experience, we felt the title really needed to change."

Creative director John Epler echoes Busche's sentiment: "Dragon Age has always been about characters, not just the villains, but also your team, your companions, the other characters in the world." Epler explains that as BioWare was developing the RPG, "it became really clear that it was less that we were trying to make The Veilguard and more like The Veilguard was taking shape as we built the game" - but that doesn't mean that Solas, the previously titular Dreadwolf himself, isn't significant to the game.

"Solas is still a central figure in it," Epler continues, delving into the mage's role in The Veilguard. "He's still a significant character. But really, the focus shifts to the team. It's about the people you recruit. It's about stopping the end of the world with this group of specialists, these incredibly interesting and diverse characters that you recruit into your team." Epler says that BioWare "realized Dreadwolf suggests a title focused on a specific individual, whereas The Veilguard, much like Inquisition, focuses more on the team."

The studio's general manager, Gary McKay, further expands on this point. "Solas is still very much part of this game," McKay explains. "This is absolutely nothing to say that he's taking a back seat. But when we reflected on what was really the heartbeat of this game, we really saw the companions jumping out at us." He then calls The Veilguard's companions "the best the franchise has ever seen," saying they're "seven incredibly unique characters, each with their own personalities, motivations." 

"They have deep stories, and you have an opportunity to really interact with these characters in a way that both shapes their story but also influences the main story, right down to having an opportunity to impact their fate," McKay continues - but the companions aren't important to the story alone. "They are also integral to the gameplay as well. And so when you look at it from really what the heartbeat of this game is, the centerpiece of the game, it's about the companions - the Veilguard."

Former Dragon Age executive producer and The Veilguard consultant Mark Darrah agrees that changing the title from Dreadwolf is "absolutely the right choice." Darrah explains, "Arguably, this game has kind of, in a way, been called Dreadwolf to some degree since its earlier days." As the team "figured out exactly" what the game was though, the dev thinks it was "absolutely the right decision" to "step back and say, 'We called it something. Does it really still reflect what the game is?'"

As for Solas, Darrah says The Veilguard "allows us to, hopefully, give a good conclusion to all the varied attitudes toward Solas that are going to be coming from people who love Solas, who agree with Solas, who hate Solas, people who want to kick Solas off of a building." The upcoming RPG provides "the opportunity to bring that to a close, but then tell a greater story about The Veilguard and about the world as a whole" afterward, too.

Former Dragon Age boss now consulting on The Veilguard says the RPG really is "the best Dragon Age game that I've ever played"

Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.