By Joseph Leray

Speaking with Game Informer Aaryn Flynn, general manager for BioWare Edmonton and Montreal studios, let slip that the role-playing giants are looking to games like "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim" for inspiration during development of Dragon Age III: Inquisition.

"You can't look at a game like Skyrim and not think about how impressive what they've accomplished is -- or [think] that's an interesting new direction or that there was something that didn't work well for them that we could take in a new direction," he told the magazine. "So, we're always influenced by these games, especially in a relatively tight-knit genre like RPGs."
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Electronic Arts and BioWare decided to delay "Dragon Age: Origins" PC to release it alongside the console versions, but while the console versions are still shrouded in mystery, here's what BioWare would say about them a few weeks ago. Read More...

I haven't played "Baldur's Gate," but I have played BioWare's spiritual successor, "Dragon Age: Origins," and after a 10-minute session (albeit one without a proper tutorial), it planted the idea this style of RPG might not resonate with players who've come to expect differently from BioWare. Read More...

When we saw "Dragon Age: Origins" last week, BioWare said the project was still on track for an early 2009 release on the PC, but moments after our demo, the game was delayed until the fall, prompting us to ask BioWare some questions. Read More...

BioWare announced "Mass Effect" as a sci-fi trilogy, but the studio made no such declarations with "Dragon Age," a return to their PC-based "Baldur's Gate" roots, a conscious decision by the "Dragon Age" team, the game's exec. producer told me last week. Read More...

I jinxed the release of "Dragon Age: Origins." Following an hour-long demo of BioWare's latest RPG, I recorded a Lunchtime Video from Electronic Arts' sprawling campus just south of San Francisco, only to find out minutes later that "Dragon Age" had been delayed until the fall of this year. Sorry!

'Dragon Age' - Not full of sashaying elves

BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk talked to me about "Dragon Age" recently. I had just seen an E3 demonstration off-site from the "big" gaming trade show. I witnessed one of the most impressive cutscenes I've ever seen -- an epic clash of armored heroes and grunting orcs that could make Peter Jackson jealous. And I played a few minute's of the game's borne-from-"Baldur's Gate" tactical combat.

Then we talked. About why this game exists, how it relates to "Baldur's Gate," whether they're trying to emulate Peter Jackson, why the lead character doesn't speak, how moral choices work in this game and lots more.

A super-sized Q&A follows. Learn more, because this game is shipping fairly soon: early 2009. On PC. But what's that he's suggesting about console versions way down at the bottom? Read More...

Piracy continues to hurt PC gaming, and no one has a clear answer to the problem.

Development studio Crytek has proposed abandoning PC-exclusive game releases. BioWare, however, is less radical. They're looking at downloadable content, access to multiplayer and -- here's a new one -- simply encouraging consumer loyalty.

"We're doing a lot of post-release downloadable content on all of our PC titles going forward," said BioWare co-CEO Ray Muzyka to me last week. "We think it's a good thing to encourage players to make them want to buy a PC title. That's ultimately the best, most successful path to prevent piracy -- to have players that want your games, want to believe in them and think they're high-quality and realize they're going to get a lot of value out of them as platforms for long time afterwards."

Muzyka said "Dragon Age" -- to be revealed tomorrow -- will join "Mass Effect" as a BioWare game supported long after launch with new content.

It won't be long before we find out how BioWare's hypothesis pans out.

Dragon AgeWhen BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka took the stage yesterday at EA's spring showcase event at the Supper Club in San Francisco, he first told a crowd of reporters that this month's PC version of "Mass Effect" is, "our best game to date."

Then he threw in a nice note for those anticipating "Dragon Age," a PC role-playing fantasy game BioWare announced in late 2006 (at the time, slated for a late 2007, early 2008 release).

Said Muzyka: "It's looking really sweet."

What more do you need to know?

(Image from the Bioware.com)

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