With the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition set for next month, EA is offering players the chance to start the series from the beginning by making Dragon Age: Origins available for download on PC via Origin for the bargain price of free.
Originally released back in 2009, Origins received praise for its story and was considered a solid platform for the burgeoning franchise to build upon. Awakening DLC was to follow — not included in the Origin promotion — and is still considered to be one of the best examples of how to release a compelling expansion.
Unfortunately, Dragon Age 2 was something of a disappointment. Critics were less enamored with it than they were the original, and players were even less satisfied. The entry was a classic case of the sophomore slump, so you can see why it was Origins that is being given away to entice players back for Inquisition.
However, that third entry in the series has a lot to thank its direct predecessor for. From the off, BioWare was well aware that Inquisition is make-or-break for the franchise — but from what we've seen of the new title so far, fans who were let down by Dragon Age 2 have a lot to look forward to with a new entry that seeks to right the wrongs of the previous game.
While Inquisition features a new protagonist and, as such, will likely be a fair entry point for newcomers to the series, offering the first game for free is a canny way for EA to immerse players in the world of Thedas ahead of the release of the new entry. We've known for some time that the game will focus on tensions between the Mages and the Templars, but clearly that narrative will have much more impact for players that are familiar with prior games in the series.
In truth, Inquisition needs all the help that it can get to resuscitate the Dragon Age series. It seems that the game itself is very good, so it's crucial that anticipation for the title builds over the next few weeks — getting as much of its audience playing the well-received first entry in the series is as good a way to do that as any other.
Dragon Age: Origins will be available to download for free for PC via the Origin service until October 14. Dragon Age: Inquisition is set for release on November 18 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.