It's been a long wait since Inquisition, but Dragon Age: Dreadwolf is bringing the band back together. Some of it, anyway. At some point. After spending years doing everything but acknowledging the next sequel, BioWare dropped the coy act, confirming that a fourth game was in development. Our time in Thedas isn't over yet.
While we've got a name, hard Dreadwolf details are still hard to come by. We know it's going to be a "singleplayer-focused" experience, with BioWare abandoning an earlier multiplayer incarnation. Even in the era of service games, Anthem's collapse still looms large over EA's efforts. While we patiently wait for a proper unveiling, here's everything we know about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's story, possible release date, trailers, characters, and more.
Does Dragon Age: Dreadwolf have a release date?
We don't have a release date for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf yet. Thanks to a May 2023 financial report from EA, we know that Dragon Age: Dreadwolf isn't due until sometime after April 2024. The report includes EA's projected releases for the 2024 fiscal year, ending in April 2024, and unfortunately, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf isn't listed. In other words, don't expect Dragon Age: Dreadwolf until the back half of 2024, at the earliest. The latest update on Dreadwelf development came from the teaser trailer in December announcing that a "full reveal" is planned for summer 2024.
However, we do know that progress is coming along steadily. In October 2022 BioWare general manager Gary McKay announced that Dreadwolf had reached its internal alpha milestone. "We can experience the entire game, from the opening scenes of the first mission to the very end," McKay said. Prior to that, the latest tiny crumb of a clue circling the internet was a tweet from game director Corinne Busche in August 2022 with a picture of a PS5 controller that said "Couch, coffee, controller and ready to play 🐉👵:😱🐺."
What trailers are there for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
The latest Dragon Age: Dreadwolf teaser trailer
The newest trailer for Dreadwolf is a teaser trailer debuted in December 2023. This trailer shows off vistas from different nations in Thedas we're familiar with and accompanying voice over. The important line comes at the end from a character who says "All the world will soon share the peace and comfort of my reign." That's not our Dread Wolf Solas though, or any character I can name offhand. So we may be in for a different antagonist than we'd suspected.
In an accompanying blog post, BioWare explains that we'll be seeing more of Thedas than in past games too.
What other teasers and trailers are out there?
In 2021, many of the Dragon Age: Dreadwolf teasers we saw were concept art shared by then executive producer Christian Dailey. You can flip through a couple of those above.
During The Game Awards in December 2020, BioWare showed off a teaser trailer for the next Dragon Age game. The trailer does at least seem to confirm one returning character: dwarven archer Varric Tethras, a party member in both Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Aside from that, the trailer also confirms that, as is Dragon Age tradition, we'll have a new protagonist for the next game.
The Gamescom 2020 Opening Night Live show gave us a look at some of the early production of the next Dragon Age. The video shows off concept art, some 3D environments, a bit of voice acting production, and some gameplay prototypes. It's a bit too early to count anything seen as true Dreadwolf gameplay, but getting a look at the process is something at least. Dragon Age might still be far out, but the trailer successfully sells the excitement of returning to BioWare's fantasy world.
In June 2020, EA didn't mention Dragon Age by name during EA Play but did make some allusions to it. "BioWare imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story. And we're using this next generation of technology to make those fantasy worlds your reality," it said, while sharing some 3D environment clips that sure look like they included red lyrium.
The first teaser for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf was during The Game Awards in 2018. It was a very brief video with voiceover from Solas, the Dread Wolf himself, who we're definitely assuming will be the game's antagonist.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's setting and gameplay
What is the setting for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
Tevinter—it's official. We'd been operating on this assumption for years now, given the less-than-subtle ending of Dragon Age Inquisition's final DLC, a 2019 report about the game's development, and the short story collection called Tevinter Nights from 2020. BioWare finally confirmed it in their huge studio history book "Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development".
Tevinter has yet to appear in a Dragon Age game properly, though the country run by mages is often mentioned and we've had several party members from up north. The glimpse of Tevinter capitol Minrathous we saw in the 2020 Game Awards teaser had an almost cyberpunk feel to it with the colorful urban nighttime and floating central segment.
BioWare has now confirmed that, like Inquisition, Dreadwolf will not be set just in one country but will visit other nations as well. "In past games, you only got to see a slice of the world," BioWare says. "This time, however, much more of Thedas is yours to see. The desolate, beautiful badlands of the Anderfels with curtains of distant mountainous spires. The twisting canals and gleaming towers of Antiva, where Crows may lurk in any shadow. The turquoise seas of Rivain with its rushes of greenery and hardy sea-faring people. And of course, there’s more."
No one's mentioned the Deep Roads, but we're probably not escaping a Dragon Age game without a visit underground too.
What will Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's gameplay be like?
It will certainly be an RPG, or so one would assume, but beyond that any real details about Dragon Age: Dreadwolf are still very hush-hush. From Kotaku's 2019 report on the first version of the sequel, codenamed Joplin, "a large chunk of Joplin would center on heists. The developers talked about building systemic narrative mechanics, allowing the player to perform actions like persuading or extorting guards without the writers having to hand-craft every scene. The goal was to focus as much as possible on choice and consequence, with smaller areas and fewer fetch quests than Dragon Age: Inquisition."
Game development is a highly iterative process, especially so at BioWare, according to Kotaku's reports on both Dragon Age and Anthem. Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has definitely changed staff and has likely changed vision as well since then. It's still possible that BioWare is attempting to make a smaller, denser open world for Dreadwolf after player critique that Inquisition's open world felt somewhat empty.
In a post to BioWare's blog following the teaser trailer from December 2018, then producer Mark Darrah wrote that "we have been building a new team around a core of Dragon Age veterans, people I've worked with on Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and some of whom I've worked with since the Baldur's Gate days." While that may just be a way to reassure players of the quality the team that will produce for Dreadwolf, it might also mean that BioWare is looking to channel its earliest CRPG roots for its next game.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will be a story about having no power
In the Gamescom trailer, lead writer Patrick Weekes described how Dreadwolf's story will diverge from Inquisition. "For the game we're working on now, we want to tell the story of, 'What happens when you don't have power?' What happens when the people in charge aren't willing to address the issues?" Weekes said. Now that we know the game will be set in Teviner, that's starting to make a lot more sense.
From the sound of it, BioWare is aiming for the story and its characters to feel a little less important to the world than in Inquisition (at least at first). Dragon Age games have typically followed the rise of a seemingly inconsequential hero to a position of power, though it almost sounds as if Dreadwolf will follow a character who never breaks into Thedas's traditional power structures.
Which characters will be in Dragon Age: Dreadwolf?
We don't know yet which former and future Dragon Age characters will be party companions just yet. Even those who make a return could take on non-combat roles like Dragon Age Inquisition's advisors. Even if we don't know who's made the cut for the adventuring party yet, here's who we think could show up in some way during the game.
One character we know will play a part in the events of Dreadwolf is, naturally, the Dread Wolf himself. Solas has been featured in both teaser trailers so far and his relationship to the greater struggles of Thedas means he's not going anywhere any time soon. It seems unlikely that he'll actually be included in your party this time though. You know, because of the Dread Wolf stuff.
Beloved party member and storyteller Varric narrated the second teaser trailer for Dreadwolf, so it seems safe to assume he'll be making an appearance too. He was a party member in Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. Will he be in the fray for a third time, or staying on the sidelines like Inquisition's advisor characters?
Dragon Age has a history of recurring characters, like Alistair who was a companion in Origins and returned for appearances in the two sequels or Leliana who shares a similar trajectory. It's safe to say that we'll see some more familiar faces in Dreadwolf, but which ones?
So far BioWare has committed to hanging up its protagonists between Dragon Age games. Each adventure comes with a new hero, though the Grey Warden and Hawke do have the ability to cameo in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It's possible we might then see an appearance of The Inquisitor in Dreadwolf, but they'll likely not be center stage.
Flemeth, like Solas, is either elven legend or a god going by many names, who has seemed to be an underlying force in the overarching plot of the series, as has her daughter Morrigan. It seems likely that one or both will make an appearance as well.
Another old friend that may make a comeback is Fenris, the Tevinter elven warrior from Dragon Age 2. He was the star of a Dragon Age comic called Blue Wraith in 2020. It's hard to say whether Fenris appearing in a comic is setting him up for a cameo in the next game or for retirement as a character. Previous party members showing up in supporting Dragon Age media have gone both ways in the past.
Tevinter mage Dorian Pavus seems like another likely candidate given that he headed back to his homeland in Inquisition's final DLC. He also made a quick appearance in the Tevinter Nights stories. Some of the concept art shown during the behind the scenes video in summer 2020 sure looked like that familiar mustached mage too.
What other information do we have on Dreadwolf?
Former Dragon Age lead Mark Darrah is returning for Dreadwolf
Just as it's gathering some old in-game faces, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf looks like it's pulling some BioWare veterans back into the fold. As reported by VentureBeat, former Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah is returning to work on Dreadwolf as a consultant.
Darrah left BioWare in 2020 after a lengthy tenure with the studio, stretching all the way back to the development of BioWare's second game, Baldur's Gate. Worth noting is that, in the years since, Darrah has spent time dispelling some myths about the famed RPG studio. In 2022, he published a YouTube video declaring that "BioWare Magic is bullshit," arguing that the studio's reputation masked endemic issues with crunch and direction.
According to VentureBeat, Darrah's work as a consultant will focus on "connecting this new experience with the legacy of the franchise," ensuring that the new sequel gels well with earlier games in the series.
Dreadwolf won't be a live-service game
In early 2018, Kotaku reported that the next Dragon Age game had been rebooted as a "live" game to better fit with EA's push for "games as a service" that could continue to generate revenue after initial launch sales.
However, as of 2021, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has reportedly ditched all multiplayer elements to stay a singleplayer experience. This news came shortly after BioWare announced plans to cease work on Anthem, the live-service sci-fi game that it had been attempting to overhaul after its poor reception in 2019.
We don't know exactly what plans for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf's multiplayer were before this decision, but it's safe to say now that it definitely won't be an online-only game like Anthem. BioWare is now calling it a "single-player focused experience".
Based on what the studio has historically done well, this seems like a good decision. Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda had a multiplayer mode that was actually pretty decent, but singleplayer stories remain the focal point for both series.
Dragon Age: Absolution is connected to Dreadwolf
We might not be getting Dragon Age: Dreadwolf in 2022, but in December Dragon Age fans did get something: Netflix's Dragon Age: Absolution, an all-new anime series collaboration with BioWare.
"When a heist against the most powerful man in Tevinter goes south, an elven mercenary named Miriam is forced into a desperate fight for survival," Netflix says. "Now, to save herself and her friends, Miriam will have to confront the tragic past she’s spent a lifetime trying to escape."
Like Dreadwolf, the series is set in the magocracy of Tevinter. It doesn't tie too much into the next game, aside from some thematic crossover, at least. The series follows an "ensemble of new characters," in an already established Dragon Age palette: mages, Qunari, templars, elves, all the hits.
The voice cast features Mass Effect voice actor Ashly Burch as well as Kimberly Brooks, Matt Mercer, Sumalee Montano, Phil LaMarr, Keston John, Josh Keaton, Zehra Fazal, and more.
Are there going to be DAD jokes?
In game? Who knows. From fans? Yeah, I'm expecting a lot of dad jokes and "daddy" jokes too. BioWare knows how you feel about Solas.