One of the signatures of BioWare-developed games are the romance options that players can access. But one of the main developers working on the Dragon Age series believes that they are merely sideshows that have little impact on the actual story.
Writing on his own blog, David Gaider, the main writer linked to Dragon Age, states, “Romances are a nice extra, and naturally we're always going to struggle with how to do them right, but they're well down the list on things I need to concern myself with.”
“I could, in fact, happily have a game without any romances at all... or spend an equal amount of time developing relationships with followers that are non-romantic,” he continues.
BioWare has often been praised because it introduces ways for the protagonist to enter a romantic relationship with most if not all the party members, but Gaider believes that even that is a mistake, because it encourages certain behaviors from the player.
The writer explains what other aspects of love he would like to explore in video games, talking about: “tragic romances, romances where your partner cheats on you, romances where the character is already involved in another relationship, characters that don't know how to relate to someone else on a romantic level or aren't interested in such.”
The core idea is to introduce an element of unhappiness to the video game world, which has long offered wish fulfillment without any actual cost.
Gaider also comments on the way players expect to see more of the same when it comes to BioWare-created relationships, instead of exploring and discovering the new interactions and new ideas that the developer introduces.
At the moment, BioWare is working on Dragon Age III: Inquisition, which is supposed to be launched during the fall of this year with a new protagonist and setting.