I’m a huge RPG fan, and have been for years. There are plenty of games, series, and franchises out there that I love. However, only a few can claim any true influence over my love of the genre, one of which happens to be Bioware’s Dragon Age. The fantasy franchise is heralded as one of the best of all time in the world of RPGs, alongside its distant cousin, Mass Effect.
There are multiple reasons for this, from enigmatic characters, to enthralling lands, exciting combat, an exquisite narrative, and everything in between. Since we now have the official name for the fourth instalment, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, I find myself asking a simple question, one that’s haunted me for ages – why isn’t Dragon Age on Nintendo Switch? Say it with me, people, why. Isn’t. Dragon. Age. On. SWITCH!?
Excuse me while I momentarily freak out all over again about this. It just really grinds my gears that one of the most influential RPGs of all time, and its equally successful sequels, aren’t on Nintendo Switch, when the likes of Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Outer Worlds are. Three huge role-playing games that prove the hardware is more than capable of running Bioware’s masterpiece.
In my mind, the lack of Dragon Age or Mass Effect (a rant for another time) on Switch is astounding, if for no other reason than it’s a quick money-grab opportunity for Electronic Arts, and we all know how much that games behemoth enjoys money. Yes, for the longest time, it claimed it has no interest in rehashing old games in the form of remakes or remasters, then low and behold, it dips its proverbial toe in the water with Burnout Paradise.
That game proved successful enough that EA finally listened to the people, and gave us all the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which features the original trilogy in stunning graphics, with all DLC included. MELE launched in May 2021, that’s more than a year ago at this point, and I know I’m not alone in wondering where on earth the ‘Dragon Age: Legendary Edition’ is, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make (right now, at least).
Instead, my point is that EA invested more time and money into giving a gorgeous makeover to ME, before it ports any of the sci-fi RPGs, or Dragon Age, to Nintendo Switch, which arguably takes less time and effort, because, guess what? Many of us don’t care for a fancy-ass version of the epic fantasy trilogy. We just want to take it on the go with us.
That’s right. I’m not expecting a huge redo of DA. Honestly, just port the original Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition – EA gets money and we get to experience greatness all over again. That, to me, makes this a win-win situation, whereas the games giant seems content to continue with its lose-lose approach – objectively, this is upsetting.
Dragon Age: Origins is a phenomenal game that forces you to care. Even if you want to detach yourself from your companions like a certain Witch of the Wilds, it makes you give a damn. You want to save Fereldan, stop the blight, complete your duty as a Grey Warden, and save those you care about.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve completed this trilogy, with the first one definitely holding a higher completion tally for me, and I’ve done this across PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. In fact, my reason for discussing this topic right now is that I just completed my journey on the PS3 for the umpteenth time.
Heck, not even consoles are enough for me anymore, my dreams of holding a device to play it in my hands is a reality thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming. In fact, for the past week or two, I’ve split my time between my phone and Gamesir controller, to the PS3 version, and I will say that while waiting desperately for a Switch version of Dragon Age, playing it on a smartphone does somewhat quench the first I feel.
Nonetheless, as with any time that I complete this game, I can’t help but wonder why I can’t play it on Switch when everything about the game honestly screams ‘Switch port.’ I have no doubt that there’s a place for it on Switch. Besides what I’ve already discussed in the sense of it being a win-win for EA and consumers, let’s look at it objectively – can the Switch run it? Of course, it can.
As I already stated, you just need to look at the fact Skyrim and the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have a place on Nintendo’s platform, those titles are proof that performance concerns aren’t the issue, or at least they shouldn’t be. Dragon Age: Origins is a 2009 title, current-gen hardware shouldn’t struggle, and that includes the Nintendo Switch.
But, let’s take a step back, let’s be fair about this, and look at it from EA’s side. Perhaps that can shine some light on the continuously baffling decision not to port the RPGs to Switch. We know it’s not performance. In fact, I’d argue that this is a reason to do it, as the performance could do with a few improvements if we’re completely honest about that.
We also know that it isn’t going to cost a ton of time to port a series of games to the Switch, particularly when the titles in question are from 2009, 2011, and 2013, respectively. Or, maybe this is part of the issue after all, big things are going on, and there’s no time to spare? Though this seems redundant to me, especially since it’s a high payout guarantee.
See, I could go on, but each time I think I crack what EA is thinking, the tables turn, and it becomes yet another arrow in a quiver full of reasoning that offers support to a DA Switch port, while it also nullifies the potential arguments that explain the continuous disappointment we all feel.
I’m going to throw something else out there, a marketing tactic. Think about it? Yet another reason to throw Dragon Age on Switch is to reach a new demographic, one that may have plenty of players that didn’t get the chance to enjoy the original games – this could well convert into more fans for the fantasy series, and what an opportune time for this to happen.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf is coming. We know this, so why not make the game attractive to a wider audience? Switch players could try a port for cheap, fall in love with the world like so many before them, and then keep DA:4 on their radar, especially if they also happen to have a PS5, Xbox Series X, or PC – the platforms we know for a fact the latest title is coming to.
All logic screams that giving the people what they want – another chance to play through a phenomenal series – is the best course of action. Unfortunately, it seems that destiny dictates I continue to torture myself with hopes and dreams that Electronic Arts doesn’t want to fulfil – until it finally wakes up and smells the money, at least.