- Aaryn Flynn, former BioWare General Manager, suggests that BioWare’s iconic franchises, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, became too similar, losing their unique identities.
- BioWare’s exclusive focus on Andromeda proved detrimental; should have allocated resources more evenly between Inquisition and Andromeda, with the latter prioritizing multiplayer.
- Fans are eagerly anticipating further updates on the upcoming Dragon Age title.
The company BioWare, known for creating the massively popular Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles, has had a profound influence on the game industry. The narrative skill and endearing characters of these titles have drawn players in, but former BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn thinks the company may have gone too homogeneous. While discussing his 17-year tenure at the studio, Flynn shared views in the EDGE magazine November issue #389, pointing out that Dragon Age has bridged its roots with the cinematic objectives of Mass Effect.
Flynn said, “It seems like we became a little too similar between Mass Effect and Dragon Age.” He thought that Dragon Age ought to have stuck to its PCmodding origins and drawn influence from Neverwinter Nights.
Maybe explaining their affinity for Neverwinter Nights, Flynn also recalled with fondness how many BioWare developers got their start in the industry by customizing Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games. Although Neverwinter Nights served as a major source of inspiration for the original Dragon Age, later entries started to diverge from this source. While Dragon Age: Inquisition combined action features with MMO-style objectives, Dragon Age 2 took a more action-oriented approach.
According to Flynn, Mass Effect: Andromeda, praised for its cinematic storytelling, would have benefitted from a more concentrated, multiplayer-focused strategy as opposed to the expansive “include-everything” approach. The series began to deteriorate once BioWare decided to focus on Anthem over Andromeda’s planned DLCs, a decision that eventually contributed to Anthem’s lackluster performance.
The difficulties BioWare faced in allocating development teams between Mass Effect and Dragon Age negatively affected both properties. Flynn said, “We didn’t have the time or resources to work on Dragon Age: Inquisition as a result of our regrettable decision to fully commit to Andromeda. Regarding these titles, the pendulum was swinging back and forth.
At Inflexion Games, Flynn is now in charge of developing Nightingale, an open-world PVE survival game featuring Unreal Engine-powered crafting features. You may be asking yourself why this is relevant when it comes to gaming engines. It is important to talk about the game engine because of the recent Unity Engine issue.
It has been expressed that a “PS5-era” remake of Dragon Age: Origins with contemporary improvements would be of interest to lead writer David Gaider. Gaider also praised Baldur’s Gate 3 as an appropriate role-playing game that continues the Dragon Age genre.
In the midst of recent layoffs, fans were curious about the next version of BioWare’s critically acclaimed game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was released in 2015. Flynn’s reflection suggests the difficulties the company encountered.