So here's what I can confirm for now:
- The next game will be called Dragon Age III: Inquisition.
- We won't be talking about the story of the game today. Though you can make some guesses from the title.
- This game is being made by a lot of the same team that has been working on Dragon Age since Dragon Age: Origins. It's composed of both experienced BioWare veterans and talented new developers.
- We are working on a new engine, which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization. At PAX East, we talked about armor and followers… Yeah, that kind of customization. We've started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.
There's much more to talk about, of course, but it will have to wait until it's ready for the prime time.
We are going to be as open as we can. We will continue to have a dialogue with you and answer what questions we can. Keep providing us with your feedback. I'm excited about what we are working on and I hope that you will be too. I know this is going to be hard to believe, but it is just as hard for me not to tell you stuff as it is for you to wait.
Other stuff Kotaku's found out:
- It will have improved level design over Dragon Age II. During the Dragon Age presentation at PAX East, the team announced in no uncertain terms that they had heard and understood the feedback about recycled environments from DA2, and would be avoiding a repeat.
- Players will be visiting at least one city or other location in Orlais, Dragon Age's equivalent of France. In the game's lore, it's the home base of the Divine, who is more or less the reigning papal figure of Thedas — and who, as head of the Chantry, of which both the Seekers and Templars are branches, may well be highly involved in the plot.
- Players will be able to customize their companion characters' gear. BioWare have detailed at length, both in the PAX East presentation and on their blog, the way that they plan to blend unified, thematic visual appearances in the manner of DA2 with the armor customization from DA:O. Players may also be able to mess around with textiles and dyes.
- Player decisions from the first two games will carry forward, creative director Mike Laidlaw confirmed at the same PAX East panel. Dragon Age II let players import a save from Dragon Age: Origins. If players didn't import, then at new game creation, they chose one of three possible predetermined sets of outcomes from the first game. Whether or not DA3 actually has save-game imports is still up in the air, but it seems likely to.
- There will be an online or multiplayer component. No specifics have bubbled up yet, but Dragon Age III is guaranteed to have some kind of online or multiplayer element. Not only is EA actively and publicly putting online "universe" behind all of its games and series, but also lead writer David Gaider has confirmed as much on the forums.
The fact they're using a new engine derived from Frostbite 2, instead of DA:Origins/DA II's Eclipse engine...that's kind of a big deal. At least BioWare is finally getting some benefits from EA, those being that DICE is FAR better at tech than them.