These may be the first real images from Dragon Age 4

(Image credit: BioWare)

I'm sorry to say that Dragon Age 4—or whatever it ends up being called—was not revealed at today's EA Play livestream, or even mentioned by name. But we did get a look at what may be the first "real" image from the game—three of them, in fact.

The images appeared during a montage in which EA chief studio officer Laura Miele talked about the capabilities of the next generation of game consoles. "Generation shifts are an opportunity to push beyond the boundaries of gaming as we know it today, and this time is no different," she said. "Our studios are taking their crazy, ambitious ideas, and making them real."

"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."

Three images appeared briefly during the BioWare segment: First, a tree:

(Image credit: BioWare)

Next, what appears to be a covered bridge, or perhaps an arched entrance into a ruined castle or cathedral:

(Image credit: BioWare)

And finally, whatever this is:

(Image credit: BioWare)

I would guess that the glowing red growths are significant, an infestation or manifestation of some malignant force, but in what way, I have no idea. The Dread Wolf Rises teaser from the 2018 Game Awards featured elements of a spreading redness that's superficially similar, but there's really not enough to it to make any kind of meaningful connection or inference.

Unfortunately, that's the extent of it, which means that for now, all we can say for certain is that a new Dragon Age is in development. Here's all the rumors and details (and plenty of guesswork) we know so far.

Update: A few readers have popped into the comments to point out that the glowing growths in the image is likely "red lyrium," a more potent and addictive form of lyrium, an extremely volatile mineral that only dwarves can safely handle, because of course it would be the dwarves. According to the Dragon Age Wiki, red lyrium thins the metaphysical barrier known as the Veil, allowing spirits and demons to interact with the physical world. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.