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Bioware explains why ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ romances are split by orientation

Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts, used with permission

When Dragon Age: Inquisition launches later this fall, players won’t simply be able to pick which companion character that they wish to romance and expect to be able to start an in-game relationship with that person. Instead, the potential romance options of the upcoming third installment of Bioware’s fantasy franchise will each have their own sexual orientation and gamers won’t be able to develop a relationship with certain characters due to their gender choice as every character is exclusively straight, bisexual, or gay according to a report by Gamespot on July 20.

The set-up of restricting the title’s various romances by gender and sexual persuasion may seem limiting to fans of Bioware's Dragon Age II, which allowed gamers to build a relationship with any of the last title’s presented options regardless of gender choice. However, Dragon Age II only featured a total of four potential romances while Dragon Age: Inquisition doubles that number by provided players with eight romance options.

During a recent romance panel at GaymerX2, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider admitted that each of the relationships of Dragon Age II simply had to be bisexual due to the limited number possibilities. With the greater options of Inquisition, however, the developer was able to create a living history for each character in which they felt that players still had a good variety of romance options even if some were restricted to certain genders.

Gaider revealed that building orientation-specific romances was something he always wanted to do within the Dragon Age series and the upcoming title was the first time that the story-based feature was possible. By writing each romance with a sexual persuasion in mind, Gaider says that the relationship can be more developed and personalized rather than simply being a generalization where the parties of any give romance could be interchangeable.