Just as a follow-up to Jim's post earlier, it's worth pointing out a Bioware comment from last week in which they revealed that Dragon Age: Origins was their most successful game ever. Which makes it doubly weird that they're trying to make Dragon Age 2 more like the Mass Effects. The first one, at least, was a less successful project.
*As of last November. Mass Effect 2 probably did okay too.
We should be very proud.
This means that a title made primarily for PC (or, at least, I'm going to presume as much, due to Dragon Age's console versions reviewing far less favourably) has outsold primarily console hits Mass Effect 1 and 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Speaking at an EA showcase, principal designer Rob Bartel said to MCV, "Dragon Age was an extremely successful title for us – last November it was the single most globally successful title we’ve put out to date."
Also, as of February, EA had shipped 3.2 million Dragon Age units to retailers worldwide, y'know. That's big. Really big.
I'm going to make a bit of a wild guess that something a little similar to Sins of a Solar Empire happened. The game appealed heavily to a bunch of gamers who know exactly what they want, who have money to spend and are prepared to spend it, rather than just a mass of floating audience who were simply curious. People who go deep, especially. Dedicated, passionate, impossibly valuable customers.
If DA2 really is going ME2, that's then an astonishingly risky gambit. In the name of having an even bigger success yet, they're risking alienating their biggest audience so far by emulating the approach of less successful but broader, more widely-hyped game.
Or maybe they're not. I've not seen or played DA2. I'm just very surprised that so far the discussion has centered around how it's not like DA:O, rather than how it is like it. They're clearly chasing both audiences, because that means really big numbers. Helluva chance to take, though.
[General RPS note: it's worth considering how the single chappie character design pitches this against The Witcher 2, which is offering the only clear competition to the Bioware game.]