'I suspect you have questions' about Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf
(Image credit: EA)
Dragon Age 4 has been a bit of an open secret for a while now, with rumors surrounding the upcoming fantasy RPG having cropped up as early as 2017. We now know that it is indeed real and in development, and that it will be called Dragon Age Dreadwolf when it finally releases.
To help keep you in the loop with all things Dragon Age 4, we’ve put together this page. It contains everything we know about the game so far, and will be constantly updated as new information is released. At present, there’s trailers for you to look at, as well as some rumors that could shine a light on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf’s story.
Dragon Age 4: cut to the chase
- What is it? The fourth installment in the RPG franchise, Dragon Age
- What can I play it on? TBC (Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC are likely)
- When can I play it? TBC (2023 or later seems most likely)
Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf release date and platforms
(Image credit: Bioware)
Despite the fact that the game’s development had long been an open secret, Dragon Age 4 was only officially announced by BioWare a couple of years ago. Since then, BioWare has kept its cards pretty close to its chest. Neither a release date nor a release window has been announced.
EA’s 2019 earnings call (via Eurogamer) had a note about Dragon Age 4 that suggests we won’t see it released for several years yet. During the call, the company’s CFO Blake Jorgensen said that the game “probably comes after fiscal ’22”. This lines up with a 2021 report from GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb, who claims that multiple sources familiar with the project have said the game is on track for a 2023 release.
Jeff Grubb stuck by his 2023 estimate in a February 2022 episode of his GiantBomb video series GrubbSnax (opens in new tab). In that, Grubb said that the game is in “very good shape” but that it’s “still at least 18 months out” and suggested that we may not get our hands on it until “maybe late 2023” at the earliest.
Shortly after this report, BioWare posted an official development update (opens in new tab), stating that the game is “right in the middle of production” and promised further updates “later this year”. Basically, it looks like the game won’t be with us until 2023 at the earliest.
Platforms haven’t been officially confirmed yet. Given its release date seems to be a while off and a Gamescom 2020 clip made mention of “next-generation technology”, it’s likely that Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf will skip PS4 and Xbox One, coming to PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC instead.
Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf trailers
As per of Dragon Age Day 2022, BioWare released an in-game cinematic from Dragon Age Dreadwolf. You can check it out in the Tweet below:
Elven god of lies or heroic rebel against tyranny? Depends who you ask.Happy #DragonAgeDay! We’re kicking today off with an in-game cinematic from #Dreadwolf! pic.twitter.com/tQeXpZeUFlDecember 4, 2022
Official teaser trailer
The Game Awards 2020 brought hungry Dragon Age fans a brand new CGI trailer to enjoy. Though it doesn’t reveal very much, it does feature the characters Varric and Solas, alongside some extremely pretty locations that we will likely explore when we can finally become the new hero of Thedas.
At Gamescom Opening Night Live, we got a behind-the-scenes video with the developers at BioWare who were keen to start talking about their plans for the fourth installment of the game.
Although there weren’t too many specifics, the video gave us a rousing look at some voice recording footage, some in-development game footage as well as interviews with developers. At the beginning of the video, then-General Manager of BioWare Casey Hudson mentioned the game was still in “early production” (at the time) but added that the studio is making use of “next-generation technology” in the development of the game. Developers also mentioned that Dragon Age 4 will have “new things” and “new places” and a chance to “interact with people who live and grew up in these spaces as well.”
The game will explore “what happens when you don’t have power, what happens when the people in charge don’t address the issues” and will allow players to form “close relationship with game characters” who will be “loved or hated”, with a particular focus on the divisiveness of Solas.
Take a look for yourself below:
The Game Awards 2018 had plenty of reveals but one of the biggest was a teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4. At only a minute long, the trailer doesn’t give much away but the hashtag #TheDreadWolfRises, as well as the appearance of Inquisition’s Solas, is enough to pique any fan’s interest. You can watch the teaser trailer below:
“I suspect you have questions…” #TheDreadWolfRises pic.twitter.com/oT7L6LOFKADecember 7, 2018
Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf story and setting
(Image credit: BioWare)
BioWare hasn’t confirmed the exact storyline for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf just yet but that title and the game’s trailer makes one thing clear: Solas is going to be involved somehow. This time as the main antagonist. Now, we’ve put together a guide on exactly who Solas is for those keen on digging into the details but suffice it to say he’s a murky character who made a strong impression in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
This is BioWare’s description (opens in new tab) of him: “Solas, the Dread Wolf. Some say he might be an ancient elven god, but some say not. Others say a betrayer of his people…or a savior who now seeks to rescue them at the cost of your world. His motives are inscrutable and his methods sometimes questionable, earning him a reputation as something of a trickster deity—a player of dark and dangerous games.”
Intriguing, right? The return of Solas as well as characters like Varric certainly suggests that Dragon Age: Dreadwolf’s story will pick up not too long after Dragon Age: Inquisition. However, like all the previous games in the series, it’ll see players step into a brand new protagonist’s shoes with the official website stating, “Thedas needs a new hero; one they’ll never see coming.”
New heroes and fresh starts make sequels accessible and we also know that playing Dragon Age: Inquisition isn’t going to be a prerequisite for getting stuck into Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, as BioWare has confirmed (opens in new tab) that “if you’re new to Dragon Age, you have no need to worry about not having met our antagonist just yet. He’ll properly introduce himself when the time is right”.
Dragon Age 4: Dreadwolf news and rumors
(Image credit: Tor Books)
Alpha milestone reached
In the latest Dragon Age 4 blog update, published in October 2022, GM Gary McKay revealed the game has reached its Alpha Milestone, meaning it is now playable from start to finish. But the game “is not finished by any means”, and the studio is now focused on polishing narrative and gameplay features.
“First and foremost, we can now turn our sights toward bringing the visual fidelity to its final form and iterating on gameplay features,” McKay wrote in the blog. “The big question now is, “Where do we focus our efforts?” To answer that, we solicit feedback from a number of sources, including our Community Council members who each have unique perspectives and experiences, our quality verification team, and extensive internal playtesting. Gathering feedback from multiple sources gives us the greatest insight on where we need to spend more time improving the experience.
“Additionally, we can now evaluate the game’s pacing, how relationships evolve over time, and the player’s progression, as well as narrative cohesion – essentially how the story comes together. We can take the story we’ve written and see if we’re expressing it well through the characters, dialogue, cinematics, and ultimately, the player’s journey. Now that we have the ability to do a complete playthrough, we can iterate and polish on the things that matter most to our fans.”
(Image credit: BioWare)
Characters will have “more personality”
BioWare gave a brief community update on Dragon Age 4 in an April 2022 blog post as part of the developer’s efforts “to further pull back the curtain for a more transparent look into the process of making the games you love”.
In the post (opens in new tab), Dragon Age technical director Maciej Kurowski says that a principal of the game’s development has been to have “the right tools that best fit our game” so that “developers are able to be at their most creative”.
Kurowski adds that he “can’t wait to talk more about some of the interesting things we have done on the tech side for Dragon Age. We take characters very seriously and do a lot of work to give them more personality than they have ever had in the past.”
Though he couldn’t reveal any more than that, Kurowski says more will be revealed “over time” and that “it’s shaping up to be something amazing.”
It was “in the middle of production” in February 2022
Back in February 2022, BioWare posted a development update (opens in new tab) on Dragon Age 4, describing it as being “in the middle of production.”
In the post, BioWare general manager Gary McKay said that there are “are a few different stages to a game’s development” and that Dragon Age 4 was, at that time, “right in the middle of production”. “Our blueprint was completed last year, so we’re now focused on building out our vision: creating amazing environments, deep characters, strong gameplay, impactful writing, emotional cinematics – and much more,” McKay wrote. “The blueprint for the game is well understood and the team is focused.”
McKay went on to announce that the game’s executive producer, Christian Dailey, was leaving BioWare. With Dailey’s departure, McKay explained that “a strong leadership team of industry and Dragon Age veterans is in place to carry us through production and beyond.” Mac Walters, who led development on Mass Effect Legendary Edition, is production director; Dragon Age design director, Corrine Busche, is game director; and long-time Dragon Age team member, Benoit Houle, is director of product development. McKay said that he will also be working closely with the team.
(Image credit: BioWare)
“Built on choices that matter”
In a brief update on the development of Dragon Age 4 in January 2022, BioWare general manager Gary McKay dropped a small, but substantial, detail about Dragon Age 4.
“We have a veteran group of talented developers working on the next iteration of the franchise,” McKay wrote. “We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter.”
The details also came alongside further comments, in which McKay emphasized how the game is being developed to rebuild goodwill among the studio’s long-time fans, with many having been left disappointed by the studio’s most recent releases.
“When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority,” he wrote. “We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality.“
McKay went on to say that he wants future BioWare releases, like Dragon Age 4, to represent “seminal moments in the industry” that garner similar reactions that last year’s Mass Effect Legendary Edition received.
Commitment to single-player
BioWare, has confirmed that Dragon Age 4 will be a “single-player focused experience.” The confirmation comes by way of a 2021 blog post (opens in new tab) celebrating Dragon Age Day, which takes place on December 4 each year. In the post, the Dragon Age team thanked the community for their passion and said that they’re “still hard at work” on what will be a “single-player focused experience for Dragon Age.”
In the post, BioWare also said that we can expect more updates on the game in 2022, stating that they’re “excited for next year when we can talk more about what we’re working on”.
(Image credit: EA)
Dragon Age fans have been living on crumbs of concept art in between solid details and this particular Tweet (opens in new tab) by executive producer, Christian Dailey, back in July 2021 appears to be of the Antivan Crows. The accompanying message read: “sorry for no EA Play news this year but please know that the team is heads down with a lot of momentum and making great progress. We are excited to share more when the time is right. Please stay safe and have a great weekend!”
Based on the insignia in the corner of the image and the clothing of the characters, the art Dailey shared features the Antivan Crows, an organization of thieves, assassins and spies with a long, important and bloody history in Antiva and Thedas as a whole.
Hi Friends – sorry for no EA Play news this year but please know that the team is heads down with a lot of momentum and making great progress. We are excited to share more when the time is right. Please stay safe and have a great weekend! @SerGoldman @dragonage pic.twitter.com/eveXFbJtgYJuly 2, 2021
Return of the Grey Wardens?
Dragon Age fans were treated to a hint that the Grey Wardens will make an appearance in the game, back in April 2021. The tease came in the form of an image of the game, tweeted by executive producer Christian Dailey.
@SerGoldman I got you! Is this the right amount of pointy and gray?Happy Friday all. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. 🙂 🐉⚔️🛡️🐉 pic.twitter.com/LbAmD1SKGRApril 30, 2021
Mage concept art
Brace yourself for another piece of Dragon Age 4 concept art. BioWare Austin Executive Producer, Christian Dailey, tweeted the art out in March 2021 with the message “Happy Friday my friends – I hope you are all staying out of the rain! Stay safe. Have a great weekend!!”. The image shows a mage standing in a rain-drenched alley, wielding a staff carved to look like a snake.
@SerGoldman perfect!Happy Friday my friends – I hope you are all staying out of the rain! Stay safe. Have a great weekend!! pic.twitter.com/ViYBms8GngMarch 20, 2021
Set in Tevinter
It looks like, as long-suspected, Dragon Age 4 is going to be set in Tevinter, if the BioWare book is anything to go by. As spotted by Eurogamer (opens in new tab) in early 2021, BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development confirms that Tevinter is the setting for Dragon Age 4.
This will make it the first time players will get to visit Tevinter, which was set up as the next location at the end of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC. According to Eurogamer, the book also hints that Dragon Age 4 will take us to other locations, too, as Antiva City, the capital of Antiva, is also shown in the book.
(Image credit: EA)
EA Play 2020 screenshots
It was largely quiet on the Dragon Age 4 front during EA Play 2020 but it’s possible the game wasn’t completely absent. A montage of images was shown while EA chief studio officer Laura Miele discussed how “generation shifts are an opportunity to push beyond the boundaries of gaming as we know it today, and this time is no different,” adding that “our studios are taking their crazy, ambitious ideas, and making them real.”
Miele then moved onto BioWare specifically, saying that the studio “imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story. And we’re using this next generation of technology to make those fantasy worlds your reality.”
The images shown during this elaboration on BioWare’s next-gen plans were not explicitly tied to a specific game but they certainly look like they’re from Dragon Age 4, largely because of what appears to be the presence of red lyrium, which appears often in the Dragon Age universe, usually to cause trouble.
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(Image credit: EA/BioWare)
(Image credit: EA/BioWare)
(Image credit: EA/BioWare)
Story and character focused
Every game in the Dragon Age franchise has had a heavy emphasis on story and character and fans will be glad to know that Dragon Age 4 isn’t likely to be any different.
After Mark Darrah tweeted that he was working on the game in 2018, former BioWare general manager Casey Hudson chipped in with his own elaborative tweet. In this tweet he said it was “too early to talk details” but the game would be “story & character focused.”
Reading lots of feedback regarding Dragon Age, and I think you’ll be relieved to see what the team is working on. Story & character focused.Too early to talk details, but when we talk about “live” it just means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.January 25, 2018
It seems that the game will continue on from Inquisition’s Trespasser DLC in some senses given the appearance of Solas and Varric in its teaser trailers, though the 2020 trailer has confirmed that players will step into the shoes of a new hero rather than the Inquisitor.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.
With contributions from
- Vic HoodAssociate Editor, TechRadar Gaming
- Jake Green
- Henry Stockdale