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After releasing Dragon Age 2 in 2011, Bioware was quick to follow it up with a steady stream of downloadable content, supplying fans eager to make the most out of the sequel with new scenarios and challenges to overcome in the city of Kirkwall. Yet one piece of content that would never arrive was a full-on expansion to the base game, in the vein of Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening.
Many believed for a long time that this expansion, which would’ve been titled Exalted March, had been cancelled because Bioware desperately wanted to get away from the miasma of negativity surrounding 2, and move directly on to its successor. However, this wasn’t the case. As revealed by Mike Laidlaw in 2017, the real reason why the studio didn’t follow through with the expansion wasn’t because it was afraid to look back, but because it quickly realized that the engine the series’ next game was set to adopt – the Frostbite Engine – was going to be immensely difficult to get used to; if Bioware’s staff tried to acclimatize themselves to Frostbite and work on Exalted March at the same time, both projects would likely suffer severely. Thus, the decision was made to drop the latter, and focus only on the former.
This is just one of the many headaches that Bioware dealt with during the creation of the Dragon Age series’ third entry. Despite enjoying a longer development period than 2, its production would prove to be one of the studio’s most grueling undertakings in its entire history, with nearly every step on the road to its release marred by dysfunction of various sorts. And even though this wouldn’t stop it from providing gamers with a stellar experience, the scars of this era would continue to haunt Bioware for years to come.
This is the history of Dragon Age Inquisition.
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