Former BioWare CEO discusses The Witcher 3’s biggest advantage over Dragon Age: Inquisition


True or not, Dragon Age: Inquisition has often been compared to The Witcher 3. Released just a few months earlier, Dragon Age: Inquisition won the Game of the Year award and was widely praised by critics, but ultimately drew unfavorable comparisons with role play CD Projekt Red.

Speaking to GLHF, former BioWare CEO Aarin Flynn said the CDPR’s decision to focus on the PS4, Xbox One and PC has benefited greatly from the project compared to Dragon Age: Inquisition, which also ran on the Xbox 360 and PS3.

I would say that the biggest compromise was because we had to release Dragon Age: Inquisition on the Xbox 360 and PS3 at the same time as we did on the PS4 and Xbox One.

It ruined so many ambitions because we didn’t have the size of the team or the time to differentiate these things, really. So you had to develop the lowest common denominator. And when that happened, it certainly shattered some of the expectations and ambitions we had about certain fun features in the gameplay. On the contrary, CD Projekt didn’t do that with The Witcher 3 a few months later, and I think their game was better for that.

Released in late 2014, Dragon Age: Inquisition was a great RPG based on research, relationship building and recruiting new characters to your headquarters. She was noted for the scale of her world, but was criticized for its somewhat basic combat system and similar IMO quests.

Flynn says that BioWare struggled not only with the integration of its own powerful RPG on the previous generation console, but also with the proprietary EA Frostbite engine. Flynn describes the work within the limitations of an engine originally designed to support DICE’s Battlefield series as a “titanic effort.”

Bending it to make RPG elements was definitely a challenge. This has led to trade-offs and things that we, of course, would not want to do if it were not for technological limitations. But the team has always found incredibly clever and clever ways to get around it. I haven’t touched her in five years, so I can’t say where she is now, but I still see the mistakes players make and think, “Oh, that’s very bad.”

Frostbite has been a painful issue for EA for many years. Both FIFA and Madden struggled to adapt to the engine, and the NHL refused to use the technology until the release of NHL 22. Whenever EA had problems with development, the Frostbite Engine tended to be at the center of the problem.

But BioWare fought harder than most. Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem had problems as BioWare handled poor internal support and created new tools from scratch. His most successful Dragon Age project: Inquisition – Mass Effect Legendary Edition – is stuck on the old Unreal Engine 3.

As a programmer, I underestimated the complexity that Frostbite presented to our development teams, and I would like to better convey this to EA’s senior management. It’s a pity I didn’t understand the friction that the engine created for us, creating a completely different game. I see it now in the news and in the press, so I kind of understand that, but I think I could do a better job. I could use the fact that I had engineering experience to better communicate things, rather than believing and relying on engineers to be smart, we will understand this as we have sometimes done in the past.

Flynn is currently the CEO of Inflexion Games, a new studio working on Nightingale, a survival game that will allow players to explore the “seemingly infinite” number of worlds inhabited by fairies.

As for BioWare, it is still working on Dragon Age 4, which has reportedly been restarted several times during development. BioWare says it is currently “right in the middle of production” and that the new game will focus on a single-user experience. There is no word on the release date of the project.

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