BioWare's name was once synonymous with great RPGs, as it developed full-blown universes like Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect. Recent years haven't been so kind, though, as Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem have left a bad taste in the mouth of many fans. However, recent developments have showcased a bright future for BioWare if the studio can live up to its reputation once more and succeed on upcoming games like Dragon Age 4.
It's now known that Dragon Age 4 is in development (though it has had some troubles), and it's likely to be the next big game form the studio, meaning a lot is riding on it. Recent reports have also indicated that Anthem is getting a massive overhaul, and a new Mass Effect is in development. Provided these projects live to see the light of day, BioWare has a big opportunity to make a serious comeback.
Dragon Age 4
Dragon Age 4 was officially revealed at the Video Game Awards in 2018, but it was a simple teaser. There wasn't an official title or anything like that showcased for the game, as if the developer was just trying to say, "hey, we're working on it." Reports later indicated that Dragon Age 4 had been in development prior, as Project Joplin, before it was closed to finish up Anthem. Details from Dragon Age's Project Joplin revealed that players would spies in Tevinter with heists being a core gameplay mechanic, but this new project, Dragon Age's Project Morrison, may or may not have anything left over from that.
As a result, the Dragon Age 4 release date is still far off. There's a chance players will hear more about the game at the upcoming Dragon Age celebration or maybe even at this year's Video Game Awards, but it won't likely be substantial. Truth be told, that's a good thing. If EA or BioWare rush Dragon Age 4, it could end up being another Mass Effect: Andromeda or Anthem in terms of reception, which could be the final nail in the coffin for those who have persevered through the company's last shortcomings.
Recent reports have also indicated that BioWare is working on bringing Anthem back from the brink, effectively changing up the entire game. How extensive it is remains to be seen, but this project reportedly has "dozens, if not hundreds" of developers behind it. Anthem Next or Anthem 2.0, as it has been called, will be a direct attempt to resurrect itself, not unlike No Man's Sky did over several updates, not unlike Destiny did with the Taken King, and not unlike how Final Fantasy 14 was literally remade.
Anthem, at its core, has a lot going for it, even if it fell short in a ton of places like loot. Prior to launch, many believed it to be something truly special, including those at BioWare itself. If BioWare can capture that magic once more, even as late as it is and reinvent Anthem then the future is indeed bright.
In the report of the Anthem overhaul, there was one little nugget of information that itself has huge implications for BioWare: a new Mass Effect game appears to be in development, with Mike Gamble taking the helm. Gamble has previously worked on ME2, ME3, ME: Andromeda, and Anthem. Of course, that's equal parts excitement and wariness, but it's worth mentioning that a lot changed between ME3 and Andromeda. If BioWare returns to its roots and Mass Effect launches to the success and popularity of the original trilogy, it'll be big.
Assuming BioWare pulls all of this off, it seems likely many fans will brush Andromeda and Anthem's initial launch off as growing pains, but this comes as a double-edged sword. Potential for huge success doesn't come without potential for huge failure, and hopefully, BioWare finds itself on the former half of that equation.
Dragon Age 4 is in development for unspecified platforms. Anthem Next and Mass Effect are reported to be in development.