Released in November 2014, Dragon Age: Inquisition was seen by many as the best installment that the series has seen thus far, with critics praising the action RPG as one of the best games of the year. We've since learned that the title was a huge commercial success as well — the best that developers BioWare have ever accomplished.
Details released this week as part of EA's earnings report for shareholders indicate just how well Inquisition did commercially. EA CEO Andrew Wilson described it as "the most successful launch in BioWare history," and the company's CFO Blake Jorgensen noted that its release had exceeded expectations.
According to EA, players have spent more than 113 million hours in the world of Thedas, and 32 publications have named Inquisition as their Game of the Year for 2014. Considering the rather lukewarm response that Dragon Age 2 received back in 2011, the work done to salvage the promising franchise has to be commended.
What really makes this news something to take note of is the other BioWare games that Inquisition has apparently outdone. Titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect series were critically lauded games from highly recognizable IP — but, seemingly, a lack of major competition in the closing months of 2014 allowed Inquisition to becomes something of a runaway success. All of those game delays sure helped.
It's not just that audiences are hungry for a WRPG with a fantasy setting now that the incredibly popular Skyrim is a couple of years behind us. Dragon Age: Inquisition launched as a (mostly) polished, complete product in a period of time when several high profile releases were stricken with game-breaking bugs and glitches and/or a lack of content — and that's something that fans will remember.
Whereas a company like Ubisoft might have forever spurned sectors of their audience with shoddy products in 2014, BioWare will undoubtedly reap the benefits of one of their best efforts in recent years reaching so many players. With a new franchise set for this year in Shadow Realms, and a new Mass Effect on the way, it's a great time for the studio to remind fans just how good their games are.
This commercial success also would suggest that we'll see the Dragon Age series continue — something that didn't seem all that set in stone after its second entry faltered. It'll certainly be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here; as well as what the future holds for BioWare.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is available now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.