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BioWare: don't be scared of RPGs

You're ready, insists Dragon Age II dev.

Gamers shouldn't feel intimidated by the RPG genre, so says Dragon Age II developer BioWare. They might not know it, but they already have the necessary skills to jump in and have fun.

Discussing how the forthcoming fantasy sequel can bring in a wider audience, lead designer Mike Laidlaw told Gamasutra, "For me, I guess, fundamentally, there are more people who are ready to play RPGs than realise it."

He went on to explain how most gamers should have picked up the core principles of RPG gaming from more accessible titles.

"These are people who will play FarmVille. These are people who have shot enough people in the head that they've leveled up in Medal of Honor. They've gained XP and have received awards as a result. That's an RPG mechanic.

"They've played [Grand Theft Auto] San Andreas and they've run enough, and gotten buff enough, that their endurance is a higher. They've leveled," he added.

"It's honestly on RPGs to try to figure out how to take the mechanics that people are actually loving in other genres and say, 'No, no, no. We had those years ago, but we understand that they kind of were scary.'"

Laidlaw promised that even though BioWare was hoping to bringing in some newcomers with Dragon Age 2, it hasn't dumbed the game down.

"There were decisions that we made as a team that said, 'Okay, this is, I think, more welcoming.' Not 'dumbed down' or anything like that, but welcoming," he explained.

Dragon Age II arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 from 11th March. Take a look at Christian Donlan's recent hands-on preview for more on what to expect.