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Dragon Age III team looks to win back fans with more open development

 Dragon Age III  team looks to win back fans with more open development
September 17, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

BioWare has announced Dragon Age III: Inquisition, and emphasizes that it will be transparent with development, as it seeks to appease fans put off by the last entry of its fantasy RPG franchise.

When Dragon Age II launched last year, the game was met with criticism from the series' devotees, who complained about changes meant to appeal to a broader audience, as well as its decreased difficulty and sense of scale.

"To be honest, we lost some fans," admitted Electronic Arts' (Dragon Age's publisher) Frank Gibeau at the time. "They were not pleased with some of the innovations and things we'd done.. ... As we think about where we take the franchise next, we're going to take that into consideration and really engage them."

Dragon Age III: Inquisition's executive producer Mark Darrah notes that his development team at BioWare Montreal and Edmonton includes a lot of the people who worked on the original Dragon Age and Dragon Age: Origins, and emphasizes the group's commitment to listening to fans' feedback this time.

"We've been listening, and we will continue to listen," he says. "We are going to be as open as we can. We will continue to have a dialogue with you and answer what questions we can. Keep providing us with your feedback."

BioWare's Montreal and Edmonton teams have worked on the project for nearly two years, and intend to release it in late 2013 to unannounced platforms. It's building the game with a new RPG engine that uses DICE's EA's Frostbite 2 (Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter) as a foundation.

Darrah says the new engine allows BioWare to offer a more expansive world, better visuals, more customization, and more reactivity to player choices -- the perceived lack of reactivity to player choices angered fans of another popular BioWare RPG released earlier this year, Mass Effect 3.

BioWare sought to pacify fans then too, and eventually released a free downloadable update with new endings meant to address their criticisms.

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