Dragon Age 2 expansion canceled for 'other opportunities'

Dragon Age 2 executive producer Mark Darrah has revealed that an expansion for the game was canceled in favor of "other DA opportunities."

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Although it's been about a year since the release of Dragon Age 2, BioWare's RPG sequel was apparently set to receive an expansion, entitled "Exalted March." However, executive producer Mark Darrah says it has now been canceled.

Darrah revealed on Twitter that the expansion was abandoned in favor of "other DA opportunities." A sequel seems likely, given BioWare's vague hints.

He further elaborated on the BioWare forums. "You've most certainly heard the rumors floating around, and unfortunately I can't really comment on them," he wrote. "However, what I can say is that we've been thinking a lot about Dragon Age - what it means, and where it could go. This past year, we’ve spent a lot of time both going back to the 'BioWare vault' of games and re-examining them, and looking at some new possibilities that today's industry allows.

While the company prepares for the announcement of whatever comes next for the series, it's inviting feedback on what fans would like to see from the series. Given the outcry over Dragon Age 2, the obvious answer would seem to be "not that."

Editor-In-Chief
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 20, 2012 8:45 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Dragon Age 2 expansion canceled for 'other opportunities'.

    Dragon Age 2 executive producer Mark Darrah has revealed that an expansion for the game was canceled in favor of "other DA opportunities."

    • reply
      March 20, 2012 8:49 AM

      And nothing of value was lost.

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      March 20, 2012 8:49 AM

      Screw Hawk, give me back my hero of Fereldon.

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        March 20, 2012 8:57 AM

        My hero is dead :(

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          March 20, 2012 10:20 AM

          Just play awakening so he can come magically back to life lol

      • Zek legacy 10 years
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        March 20, 2012 9:05 AM

        Honestly I think giving the main character a voiced personality like Shepard was the better way to go. The game just fell short in a lot of other ways.

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          March 20, 2012 9:12 AM

          I actually dug the story and the characters of DA2 a lot more then the original. It was just going into the same like five maps over and over again that really soured me. They proved with the first expansion that they can do great original content in DA2.

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            March 20, 2012 9:22 AM

            Yeah I felt the same. The game was wasn't broad enough.

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            March 20, 2012 9:22 AM

            Ya, I didn't mind the gameplay and such of DA2, I just groaned entering the same cave or running around the city for the 29182938239823th time.

          • Zek legacy 10 years
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            March 20, 2012 9:22 AM

            Yeah, there's nothing inherently wrong with building an RPG story about the politics in and around a single city, it's sort of a cool idea. They just shamelessly reused content over and over again throughout the entire game and didn't even try to cover it up.

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            March 20, 2012 9:25 AM

            Yeah, likewise. A part of me is sad to hear this. DA2 was a nightmarish disappointment in a lot of ways but this made me realise I did want more Hawkventures. :[

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            March 20, 2012 11:22 AM

            I bought the one DLC but didn't the expansion(that's with the elf rogue lady?). Cool to hear it was decent.

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          March 20, 2012 10:19 AM

          Maybe it was the other ways the game feel short that ruined the experience for me. It might also be because the main reason I played DA2 was so I could find out what happened with Morgan and that didn't happen.

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      March 20, 2012 8:49 AM

      Maybe it's me, but I don't be playing any DA if BGEE comes out well.

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      March 20, 2012 8:50 AM

      what. I thought they had abandoned DA2 stuff to focus on DA3. such a disjointed dev house

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      March 20, 2012 9:07 AM

      Bioware is a developer that should take a break. EA should stop asking them to produce so much. They clearly need focus. To ask the community to assist in the making of their next game is like asking Spielberg asking the fans to help every step of the way in his next movie.
      These guys (Bioware) are gun shy, they want to make a games that please everyone, to maximize profits so as to please EA, rather than make the games we all know and love...the reason they were appealing to EA in the first place.

      After Dragon Age 1, they lost direction and vision. Animes? T-shits? CGI's? Changing ending's? working on RTS?

      These guys are stretched thin and in most cases they are out of thier league.
      As a backer to Brian Fargos Wasteland 2 I'd like to share something Mr. Fargo said during his last update that I found particularly telling, this is a quote of his:

      "I have always loved both making and playing games, but the business side of it has been painful at times. In fact, there were a couple times the frustration with publishers was so high I considered stopping. It just seemed like the era of purity was over. Even when Interplay was a large company there was such a positive vibe with everyone pulling in the same direction with a real passion for their job. I frequently run into the folks I worked with in those days, and this same memory of those times remains with them.

      One friend of mine who worked with me there said recently he felt that in the beginning of the industry all the nerds were in charge, but then as the industry grew it changed, and now the guys that picked on the nerds got back on top. I think there was some great truth to that. We all hope this movement is bigger than just Tim Schafer or Brian Fargo as we want to get power back into the developers hands again. And the unbelievable Indie scene shows that there is momentum in that direction."

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        March 20, 2012 9:09 AM

        no kidding. scope creep is running rampant in the games industry. the total opposite of focus and vision.

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        March 20, 2012 9:11 AM

        How does a massive company take a brake? That doesn't seem like something a huge mega million dollars company is allowed to do and still be considered healthy. I"m sure they would like to pull a blizzard and rest on the laurels of their MMO, but that obviously aint happening.

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          March 20, 2012 9:22 AM

          By giving themselves more time to make their games, I guess? I dunno. Their last couple especially could've used more time in the oven.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
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          March 20, 2012 9:24 AM

          Blizzard has always done that even before WoW. I think Bioware could easily be in a similar position if upper management allowed it.

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        March 20, 2012 9:16 AM

        EA jumped on Bioware when they were riding a high, pounded out some really good games, a few bad ones, but ultimately created tons of customer dissatisfaction through excessive DLC, questionable design directions, excessive DLC, rushed projects, and excessive DLC which has tarnished Bioware's reputation as a game developer.

        I used to buy Bioware games on launch day, but I've held out to wait for sales on their last two games (DA2 & ME3) just because I didn't trust they could put out a good game. I never thought I would be saying those wor.ds

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        March 20, 2012 9:24 AM

        DA2 wasn't great, but I've enjoyed everything else Bioware has published, and I've enjoyed it a LOT. By far my favorite SP game developer and I see absolutely no reason for them to "take a break" just because they (were forced to?) rush out one title. Personally I think the amount of negativity surrounding them is nothing but hot air generated by a sense of entitlement and some strange ass vendetta people are on against them, because they're not producing exactly the games or sequels people would like them to. Not everyone is wishing for the same things, but all of them are acting like what Bioware is doing instead is shit, when with one exception it's really, really not. Just about any other publisher could have published a game like ME3 with an ending as sucky as heavenly possible, and that ending would be considered a negative in a great game. Now it's the one and only thing people are talking about, and it's just a sad state.

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          March 20, 2012 3:15 PM

          How about the fact that the stories in their last two games have been abominations when they are touted as story-driven games? Also the fact that Dragon Age 2 was a huge disappointment and Mass Effect's combat is still boring as fuck.

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            March 20, 2012 7:21 PM

            Pretty sure that's an opinion and not a fact.

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              March 20, 2012 8:49 PM

              The stories in Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 are objectively terrible.

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                March 20, 2012 10:22 PM

                Compared to what? They're not even the worst among BioWare's own works. For all its faults DA2's story was an improvement on the by-the-numbers 'epic' droning of its precessor and ME2's plot was pretty much a waste of time only made worth it by the character side-quests.

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                March 20, 2012 11:55 PM

                On ME3 I simply don't agree. I've enjoyed the story plenty. As have many other people I know. As for the combat, ME2/3 combat is the amongst entertaining combat systems in existence. ME2 is my favorite game ever, and ME3, while not quite as good, is a close follower.

                Don't even entertain the idea that your opinions are somehow more "objective" than those of others. They're not. Judging by the ridiculous amount of whining you've posted about ME3, I'd say it would be pretty easy to question your very own objectivity on the matter.

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                  March 21, 2012 12:08 AM

                  Did you like the part where Shepard is forced to murder billions of people? Did you like the part where Bioware had a stroke of genius and based the entire story on a stupid fucking 'superweapon' or the deus ex machina of a God child or perhaps even the fact that your choices mean literally nothing. Also that if you're colorblind, you get the same ending everytime! What fun. Somehow Bioware managed to destroy the entire mythos of their series in one masterstroke. Who knew that the plot of an entire series could be ruined in ten minutes? I think I overestimated their abilities, even after Dragon Age 2's terrible ending.

                  I'd be pretty curious to hear you articulate what is interesting about Mass Effect's combat. It's pretty much Gears of War with a few magic powers sprinkled in, squirt guns, and bad controls. There's no strategy, especially if you play a Vanguard. You just hit Biotic Charge every three seconds and watch everything die. This is on the harder difficulties too.

                  Mass Effect was kind of fun because it had some notion of exploration and pretty good art direction. They got rid of the exploration in Mass Effect 2 and then gave me more guns. Sweet?

                  Last year's Deus Ex and The Witcher 2 had more varied and challenging combat, while also having pretty good stories and worlds to explore. All some RPG mechanics and functioning inventory systems. And hey, guess what? In the Witcher 2 your actions actually affect the story...

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                    March 21, 2012 1:14 AM

                    I don't think the ending(s) are great, but they're ok, and nowhere near as poor as the worst of the whiners are saying... and certainly not poor enough to ruin the experience of the game for me, let alone the series. I don't mind the ending not being rainbows and unicorns, and I certainly don't mind Shepard being forced to do hard things - that's one of the things that have made the whole story so compelling for me. To me you just sound like a guy foaming at the mouth over details. Not meant as an insult, just the way I feel about it... The last 10 minutes are just that to me, last 10 minutes. More significant than your average 10 minutes in the game? Sure. Singular series defining moment? Hardly.

                    As for the combat, I like Gears of War. What I like even more is Gears of War with a few magic powers sprinkled in. I don't know what game you are playing, but every time I shoot guns in ME2/3, my subwoofer is jumping, there's a very good feel to the weapons. I have no problems with the controls in ME2/3, Shepard does exactly what I want him to with the odd exception here and there, and the squad commanding is just simply enough to be a slight bonus instead of extra work I don't want to worry about. My first playthrough was on Hardcore, and it was just right. Next up, Insanity. I've actually heard many people compliment that finally Insanity is hard enough - congrats on your truly epic skills if it's not that for you.

                    The Witcher 2 is a great game, but also a different game. For me, the setting isn't as interesting, I've seen the elves, kings and assassins shit a million times over. The combat for me was an awkward mix of a hack'em'up and action RPG, I didn't especially enjoy it. And yes, decisions had more of an effect in TW2. So what? That's the strong point of the game in question. I'm not going to rip on Deus Ex: HR because the stealth portion of it wasn't just as good as in Splinter Cell.

                    You have your reasons for liking Mass Effect to the extent that you do, I have mine. Obviously I like them a lot more. I just don't understand what makes you think that your POV is any better founded than that of others. The series obviously has a shitload of fans and critics love it. You're the one skating uphill here, not the people who enjoy the games for what they are.

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                March 21, 2012 1:16 AM

                I don't think you know what words mean.

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        March 20, 2012 12:11 PM

        Man that guy knows WTF.

        INF!

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        March 20, 2012 12:52 PM

        Don't they have like five or six Bioware-branded studios at this point, all producing different games? Or am I thinking of another developer?

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          March 21, 2012 12:11 AM

          You're right. EA renamed a bunch of their dev studios "BioWare" to capitalize on their good name.

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      March 20, 2012 9:12 AM

      Its called --> Dragon Age III "Dragon Age development team at BioWare is done working on Dragon Age II and "has fully moved onto The Next Thing."

      Source : http://ps3.ign.com/articles/122/1221113p1.html

      I am really looking forward to 3 I hope it will be good and they fix some of the issues in 2, 2 was solid but it still can be better, I hope they open the world up a bit more and not make it so mappy.

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        March 20, 2012 9:16 AM

        Dragon Age 2 should never be referenced again for anything. One of the biggest disappointments in gaming history. What a turd.

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          March 20, 2012 9:18 AM

          real talk !

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          March 20, 2012 10:21 AM

          You know what grinds my gears?

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          March 20, 2012 10:59 AM

          Serious question: Could someone outline a well reasoned explanation of why Dragon Age 2 was disappointing, or shitty, or terrible, or whatever else it is you guys say?

          I see people say this all the time but I haven't seen a good explanation of why.

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            March 20, 2012 11:03 AM

            Copy/paste level design (literally)
            Significantly less tactical combat than DA:O (enemies attack in wave spawns in DA2, turning most battles into giant clusterfucks)
            Not so great writing
            Bland art design (note that I'm not slamming the graphics quality; the quality is fine. the art direction is boring)
            Unremarkable story that falls asleep when you get to the third act

            I liked the snappiness of the combat and the menu system (which, oddly enough, most people hated), but that's about it.

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            March 20, 2012 11:16 AM

            Sure, here goes.

            Dragon Age 2 was touted as many things, but being a DIRECT sequel, fans had a lot of expectations. Before release these expectations were somewhat mismanaged which resulted in an initial backlash.

            This wasn't helped by the game itself. Traditionally Bioware game open up with a scene, then give you an overarching task, you can then assemble the elements of that task as you see fit e.g BG2 - exploring Athkatla doing quests to gain the requires money / KotOR - finding the Star Maps to track Malak / Mass Effect - going to different planets to find what Saren is after.

            Dragon Age 2 was wholly more linear than any other Bioware game to date, the fact that the whole game took place in a single city (aside from 2 outside excursions to a Elf Camp and a coastal region) was immediately cause for concern, even more so when over the 10 year in-game span the city doesn't change at all, sorry, it aquires a Statue in one area, aside from that, nada. Hell, one character inherits a house in chapter one and it's wrecked and littered with corpses, he takes possession in that year and NEVER cleans up, in 10 YEARS!

            This brings me nicely to the textures, whole areas of the game were copy pasted. You'd be in a different part of the city, or at a different cave on the coast instead of at the elf camp and the textures and even the LAYOUT would be EXACTLY the same. Major, major fail.

            The plot was also terrible *SPOILERS* The central conflict between mages and templars, templars who believe all mages to be evil and obsessed with blood magic and mages who swear they aren't, decide to prove that they aren't, by becoming blood mages. It's nonsensical and renders and decision making Bioware games are famous for absolutely moot.

            The characters themselves are mostly one dimensional, with a couple of exceptions (Fenris/Merril/Varrick) although they carry it well enough it still feels lacking. Not to mention the TERRIBLY handled romance options for both same sex and hetero players. It amounts to basically clicking the HEART symbol, getting an "I love you" dialogue, then both lying fully clothed on a bed with bad motion capture.

            That pretty much sums it up dude.

            TL:DR - Bad game is bad dude, go play the first one or the Mass Effect trilogy instead as they are all awesome.

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              March 20, 2012 11:17 AM

              The combat was good though. Lol.

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                March 20, 2012 2:35 PM

                The combat was fast-paced, but I wouldn't call it good in a tactical sense.

                There's little to no resource management for battles because everything recharges so quickly and there are waves of enemies that just constantly spawn.

                The waves are just a reset button for the battles to make them go on for longer. Terrible, terrible design.

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                  March 20, 2012 2:39 PM

                  As a massive Baldur's Gate fan I was obviously overjoyed at the combat system in Dragon Age : Origins. DA2's combat was different sure, but not in a bad way, in fact it was one of the strongest points of the game.

                  I liked that it was fast paced and visceral, but the extremely limited "tactical" camera was a joke, Half the time I couldn't even put my mouse where I wanted my fireball's to go, couldn't get them to hit approaching enemies etc, etc.

                  I agree with you that tactically it was terrible, but it was a lot of fun. Not a patch on BG2 or DA:O though.

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                    March 20, 2012 2:59 PM

                    The wave spawns meant that tactical positioning meant nothing, and actually worked against you. The "actionification" of RPG combat needs to stop.

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              March 20, 2012 11:18 AM

              Thanks for this!

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                March 20, 2012 11:21 AM

                Anytime dude, I try to stay honest and give a game it's props where it's due. I played it all the way through and was disappointed. Zero replay value.

                GIven that I was a MASSIVE fan of DA:O and still am (played it thru like 4 times) it was hard to bear, but thankfully it's in the past, lol.

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              March 20, 2012 11:20 AM

              I'd agree with this, and I didn't hate DA2. I thought it was a decent enough little game. I think the main thing that Bioware shit the bed on was calling it DA 2 instead of DA: Subtitle. People would've been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more forgiving if they though they were getting an action based RPG lite in between the first game and a real sequel.

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                March 20, 2012 11:24 AM

                Can't fault you man, touting it as the direct sequel made the mediocrity much harder to bear. Given that DA:O is an epic piece of gaming that no one should miss.

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                  March 20, 2012 11:27 AM

                  It was originally an expansion for DA:O that they decided to change the name on.

                  And they also made some really strange decisions in changing what all of the established monsters from DA:O looked like.

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                    March 20, 2012 11:33 AM

                    For real, giving Qunari horns?? WTF, sure, they looked a whole lot cooler but ret-conning the lore to say that those without horns are this and that, yadda, yadda, forced justification.

                    The Sten was cool as hell in the first game, I always took the Qunari just be hardcore warriors following a strict code. Not horned monsters.

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                March 20, 2012 1:58 PM

                I dunno, the biggest offense the game commits is the sheer laziness in the level design/repeating areas, and that wouldn't change at all no matter what you called it.

                That said, I actually quite like the game and find the characters more enjoyable than the first.

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              March 20, 2012 2:32 PM

              I liked the combat and thought the plot was decent. Enjoyed the characters more than DA1. But the repetitive levels were inexcusable.

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              March 21, 2012 12:39 AM

              The worst part is that the combat is NOT fun. This game came out within six months of Witcher 2 and got its ass handed to it for mixture of good action hack n slashing and having real story rpg stuff going on. Don't get me started on how purposefully ugly DA2 is - not poorly textured or animated in the technical sense - but ugly, just shittily designed by someone with a poor sense of aesthetics so even where there was money and time spent the game looks like arse.

              Oh well. There's other developers.

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        March 20, 2012 9:20 AM

        2 was solid
        WTF are you talking about the game a mediocre mess. And it just exuded lazy/rushed development from pretty much every pore.

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          March 20, 2012 9:24 AM

          Dude it's valcan_s, he rarely hates games

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          March 20, 2012 9:42 AM

          Really its odd so many think DA2 is shit, the only issues I had where :

          - the levels where mappy and you could not go any where you wanted even though you could see a nice grass area path shortcut it was not walk able.
          - A lot of the environments where re used and there was not a lot of variety.
          - I wanted more gear and loot with more color grades (not major but bothers me in all RPGs)
          sure I could nit pick on more things but these where the major issues.

          Shit other than that I really loved the combat that was the best thing about the game, the story was good, loved the dialog etc was great.

          Sure those things I pointed out sucked but it did not make the game ass that I wanted to quit and chuck it, did not break the game for me at all.

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            March 20, 2012 9:58 AM

            The story was a mess. And the ending was another wtf this makes no sense thing. Anders blows up the Chantry for no fucking reason. Then suddenly the Captain goes crazy and gains super powers "because of the idol that before caused her to be nothing more than a little irritable". And then suddenly every Mage is becoming an Abomination(which are supposed to be rare as fuck in Dragon Age). And you have statues fighting you.

            Not to mention the story goes through a bunch of story threads then just drops them with little or no resolution. Like the entire thing with the Qunari.

            The inventory was god awful and made no sense. In terms of color coding, I mean silver was better than copper icons. But sometimes it wasn't and purple ones were better than gold icons unless they weren't.

            Obviously the assets being reused over and over again (of that area is destroyed so we put a piece of wood in front of it so you can't go in there).

            And the combat was just mindless hack and slash where they just threw weak wave after weak wave of enemies after you. And the only fight in the entire game that required any strategy was the Rock dude at the end of act 1 and playing with the Pillars to avoid that big AOE.

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              March 20, 2012 1:16 PM

              Yeah I didn't get the whole idea of having junk in the inventory. And the ending only proved that despite what you chose everyone still ended up bat shit insane

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            March 20, 2012 10:15 AM

            there was a story? you just hung out at the fucking docks for 50hrs basically

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            March 20, 2012 2:28 PM

            Combat was fine, but they pushed it way too much and quickly got tedious. Once enemies attack, you know there are going to be a few more random waves spawning near/around you.

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          March 20, 2012 10:08 AM

          I enjoyed Dragon Age II more than Origins.

          It was rushed, and it really shows, but it's a rushed, wonky interesting thing. More so that Origins, certainly, which was Another Fantasy RPG all over.

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            March 20, 2012 10:49 AM

            Interesting, I'm wondering how rose tinted my view of DAO is. Both had problems but also great strengths - those strengths were unique to each installment n' the issues with 2 upset the h/c fans more esp for it being a 2nd game? Dunno, I'm thinking Bioware are still the best house for producing this stuff but I cannot see how they would keep all fans happy in a pt3 right now...

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            March 20, 2012 10:55 AM

            [deleted]

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              March 20, 2012 11:11 AM

              Yeah Doc, neither were what I would have tweaked the designer's vision to prioritise. Somehow for all the DAO bits I hated on, n' there were a few groans, I way pref'd it over DA2. Yet I get your point, we're lucky to have another modern one to play thru', so glad d/s-RPGs haven't gone the way of point n' click adventures, yet! :-)

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      March 20, 2012 9:18 AM

      Dragon Age the F2P MMO

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        March 20, 2012 10:04 AM

        lol... you're probably right

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      March 20, 2012 9:27 AM

      It's a Facebook game with Freemium bonuses available for 1,000,000 gold earned in game or $2 real cash.

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      March 20, 2012 9:27 AM

      Wonder what action game they have in store?

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      March 20, 2012 11:18 AM

      You mean EA's yearly Dragon Age of Duty franchise?

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      March 20, 2012 12:45 PM

      i would like to see bioware gone

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        March 20, 2012 12:47 PM

        Then you're a silly, silly man.

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        March 20, 2012 2:39 PM

        It is not really bioware as much as it is the poisoned culture that exists in all the big publishers. Bioware is just the latest victim having been "integrated" into ea. Blizzard isn't doing much better with activision either.

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      March 20, 2012 1:03 PM

      Double Anal

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      March 20, 2012 2:33 PM

      I heard a rumour that DA2 was originally supposed to be an expansion for DA1.

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      March 20, 2012 7:49 PM

      I see bioware's hardcore reputation is plummeting down with Square Enix's these days.

      Let's hope we don't see Mass Effect kart racing game.

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      March 21, 2012 11:03 AM

      sooo, am I the only one who actually really liked DA2, almost more than DAO? (i still have to beat DAO, been bored of it lately)

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        March 21, 2012 1:43 PM

        Yeah, you're the only one.

        DA2 was a terrible game.

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        March 24, 2012 4:13 AM

        I too am slightly saddened by the lack of more DLC or an expansion. As flawed as it was I had grown fond of my Hawkes and her Companions. However I am sure I will enjoy whatever they do next.

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