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Good News May Finally Be On The Way For Dragon Age Fans

After teasing an announcement one month ago, EA (via IGN) confirmed in a press release that Dragon Age 4 will make an appearance at 2020's The Game Awards next Thursday. The news dropped in honor of Dragon Age Day, an annual worldwide celebration of the series held on Dec. 4. The awards show's host and producer, Geoff Keighley, also confirmed the announcement on Twitter.

EA didn't specify what would be shown at the awards show, but the announcement also pointed fans towards four brand new short stories written by BioWare employees and set in the Dragon Age universe: "The Next One," by Brianne Battye; "Ruins of Reality," by John Dombrow; "The Wake," by Mary Kirby; and "Minrathous Shadows," by Sheryl Chee. The stories shed some light on the overall directions of the franchise and appear to contain clues about what's going to be in next week's teaser. You can read them here.

So far, plot details about Dragon Age 4 have been scarce, but it will be a continuation of the storyline from Dragon Age: Inquisition's Trespasser DLC. At the end of Trespasser, the heretic elven mage Solas revealed his plans to re-establish an elven empire in Thedas. BioWare dropped a teaser trailer at 2018's The Game Awards, which ended with a voiceover from Solas saying "You found me at last. I suspect you have questions," echoing his words at the end of Trespasser

In June 2020, BioWare shared two screenshots at EA Play that seem to indicate red lyrium will be a big part of the plot. Red lyrium is an addictive crystalline substance that allows demons to communicate with the physical world and corrupted the Templars during Inquisition.

News of Dragon Age 4's presence at The Game Awards arrived on the heels of another report that might spell trouble for the franchise. BioWare announced the departure of two senior employees, General Manager Casey Hudson and Dragon Age executive producer Mark Farrah. Chief Studios Officer Samantha Ryan will be replacing Hudson on an interim basis, while Christian Daley will be filling in for Farrah. Previously, Daley was working on Anthem 2.0.

The studio shakeup could be cause for concern for Dragon Age fans, since the game's development has already been shaky. EA took designers off Dragon Age 4 to assist the difficult development of both Andromeda and its loot-based shooter, Anthem. Dragon Age 4 was actually canceled at one point. Eventually, BioWare rebooted Dragon Age 4 under the code name "Morrison," reportedly using Anthem's code and design tools.

Dragon Age 4's release date hasn't been announced, but it likely won't launch for a while yet. Chief Operating and Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said on an earnings call that the game probably won't be available until April 2022 at the earliest. In the meantime, you can tune in next Thursday to see what BioWare presents at The Game Awards.