Should BioWare give up romances?

Dragon Age writer David Gaider mulls the answer.

Remember all that hullabaloo about revealing lesbian sex in Mass Effect? However ludicrous the criticism, it's the sort of steamy content BioWare fans have come expect - love stories, love scenes, and often quite daring and progressive ones (for video games, at least).

'Who can I bed?' The inevitable question levelled at BioWare's produce within a heartbeat of people being able to answer it. And the answer people don't always like.

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BioWare's commitment to gay and lesbian love stories is nice to see.

It's as if romances, and the increasing variety of them, are becoming something of a duty for BioWare to include. It was a long time ago that BioWare surprised me with a smooch on Bastila Shan's lips in a quiet corner of the Ebon Hawk.

Is it time to mix things up a bit - time for BioWare to make a game without romances?

"Sometimes it's tempting," answered David Gaider, lead Dragon Age writer, on his blog (noticed by OXM).

He knows there will be a day when the Dragon Age: Inquisition romances are out of the bag, and he knows not everyone will be happy, and that some fingers will be pointed and accusations hurled.

"Yes, at that time, the conversation of why we even bother certainly can and will come up within the team."

He went on: "To me, the thing that BioWare does best is not story but characters - I think our characters are done to a level that few other games even attempt, with an element of agency that strikes a chord in our players... and romances have been a natural outgrowth of that.

"Sure we could stop, but that would be turning our backs on something we do which almost no-one else does. The question would be: 'why?' And what do we replace it with?"

BioWare has made games without romances before, he recalled, "and we could do it again".

"Perhaps, if we made a new IP, we might decide it's best not to open that particular Pandora's Box (which, yes, romances have always been) and go with something else... but that 'something else' better be something damned good, as there are a lot of people who enjoy that part of our games immensely and who might not be willing to buy into a new series which didn't have it.

"Some folks might be eager to write those fans off," he concluded, "but I'm not really sure that BioWare feels the same."

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