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Another Possible Video Game Catastrophe For 2014: 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'

Jan 4 2014, 3:36pm CST | by

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Another Possible Video Game Catastrophe For 2014: 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'
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Another Possible Video Game Catastrophe For 2014: 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'

Recently Forbes’ Paul Tassi took a swing at the predictions bat: The biggest video game disaster of 2014 will be The Elder Scrolls Online, largely due to its reliance on a subscription revenue model.

That’s a pretty safe bet. A while back I wrote a similar piece , arguing that the new MMO should have adopted the buy-once, play forever model of Guild Wars 2. There’s certainly a huge risk in adopting a subscription model in an age of free-to-play.

But there’s another candidate for disaster: Dragon Age: Inquisition, from EA and BioWare. Indeed, Paul uses BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO as one reason why TESO might be such a disaster.

Glancing over the past few games BioWare has released, there’s reason to be worried about the next Dragon AgeMass Effect 3 was easily the most controversial title of 2012, and Dragon Age 2 was widely criticized as a step down from Origins. Then there’s the afore-mentioned Star Wars MMO.

BioWare, in other words, has already missed three times at bat on their last three major releases

I’m actually really excited for Inquisition. Everything I’ve seen about the game so far looks great. Multiple playable races are back, as is an optional top-down tactical view. The game looks gorgeous, and promises even more customization options than Origins. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s been in development for quite a while already, so we don’t have to worry about this being a rush job like Dragon Age 2.

All the hopeful signs point to a great single-player RPG; but there’s plenty of reasons to worry that this will not be the case, if only because of BioWare’s recent problems at bat.

Of course, for BioWare to salvage its good name and restore its brand, Inquisition needs to be a great game. It must be head and shoulders above anything they’ve done in years, and stand up to the competition—The Witcher 3 in particular. EA and BioWare need to hit this one out of the park. They simply can’t afford another disaster.

EA in particular, especially with the SimCity and Battlefield 4 debacles fresh in gamers’ minds , needs something remarkable to win back trust and confidence.

If Dragon Age: Inquisition isn’t an incredible game, the fallout will be huge. Financially, it may not be the calamity of a failed MMO like The Elder Scrolls Online. But EA risks more damage to its reputation and BioWare risks falling into obscurity.

I remain optimistic that this will be the game that gets BioWare back on its feet. But if I’m wrong, well, 2014 could be a very interesting year for the video game industry.

Follow me on Twitter  or Facebook Read my Forbes blog here .

Dragon Age Inquisition PAX Prime Screenshots

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