BioWare: 40 “Meaningfully Different” Endings in DA: Inquisition

Multiple endings have become fairly common in games, but try this on for size: BioWare says there will be a whopping 40 different endings in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and they’ll all be “meaningfully different.”

How’s that for a juxtaposition to Destruction, Control and Synthesis?

The news comes from a preview in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine (shared by NeoGaf). OXM interviewed Executive Producer Mark Darrah, who promised, “You won’t find 40 endings with only slight degrees of variation between them.”

Lots more new info on Dragon Age: Inquisition in the preview, including:

  • There will be five regions to explore: Fereladan, the Free Marches, Orlais, Nevarra, and the Dales
  • There will be numerous companions, but BioWare promises none of them will be tied to DLC
  • The dialogue wheel will feature three parts: tone, choice, and reaction
  • There is a prologue section, but it will be a single story, unlike the multiple prologues in DA: Origins
  • Playing as the Inquisitor, players will have a unique ability to to close tears in the Veil that are opening throughout Thedas
  • Armor will not be class specific – a warrior can wear a mages’ robes

BioWare has been sharing quite a bit about DA: Inquisition of late, most notably the video below, and it’s hard not to get at least a little excited about what we’re seeing and hearing. The 40 different meaningful endings, in particular, seems like a concerted effort to make up for breaking previous promises.

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27 Comments on BioWare: 40 “Meaningfully Different” Endings in DA: Inquisition


On March 28, 2014 at 8:35 am

I wouldn’t get too excited. There’s still plenty of ways they could screw players over. The endings: how many of them are really overly cinematic “game over” endings that effectively rob you of 10 hours of gameplay? The other characters: how many months will it take before they add one into a DLC to make it look like it was a “last minute” idea?

I believe the answer here is to “wait and see,” but I’m going to wait a good while (until DA: Inquisition is in the $10 bin) before I pay for it. I’m not even taking advantage of the free Dead Space offer, simply because I don’t want to encourage EA’s behavior.


On March 28, 2014 at 8:37 am

Personally, I think that’s the way to go. Don’t purchase until a good while after release, to show EA/Bioware what their lives could be like if gamers suddenly stopped wanting to purchase from them. I think they’ve forgotten just how important their relationship with customers really is.


On March 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

its gonna be hard coming with 40 visually-distinct colors….

hopefully this time they get it right with the endings. I also hope if they have dungeon/instance areas that they will make each one unique rather than re-using the same ones over and over like in DA2.


On March 28, 2014 at 9:40 am

40 shades of red green blue.

Sorry Bioware but no one takes you seriously any more.


On March 28, 2014 at 10:09 am

Believing any of this crap now is like believing your abusive spouse will change their ways. BioWare has simply shat the bed and broken its promises too many times, promises that two years ago led to one of the largest backlashes in videogames history that was directly related to over a dozen noticeably different endings that ended up being seven endings whose only meaningful difference was the colour of the explosion. And since then, at no point has any apology or even acknowledgement been made of how what was put on the shelves did not match what was advertised. If BioWare really thinks that customers are going to be stupid enough to preorder a sequel to a rushed first sequel based on something they already showed they can’t be trusted to stick to, then they have even more contempt for their fanbase than we knew already.


On March 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

I’m still waiting to hear EA’s plans to integrate multiplayer and microtransactions into the game.


On March 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

Like Admiral Ackbar says in Return of the Jedi, “IT’S A TRAP”…


On March 28, 2014 at 11:44 am

So far the marketing sounds like “we promise we won’t do the same thing we did in DA2 and ME3″, and I don’t blame them for going that route. If they manage to pull all this off properly, then kudos to them. For now though, I’m just going to wait and see how it turns out.

T. Jetfuel

On March 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Ah, BioWarez… Brings back the memories. “We can’t even say how many endings there are cuz it’s so sophistimacated!”

And even if they weren’t simply lying this time, it still “makes up” for approximately nothing. My Mass Effect is still horribly broken. Can’t wait to not buy the next one. In the meantime, I’ll just have to settle for not buying this.


On March 28, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Did EA or Bioware ever acknowledge legitmate gripes with Javik being day one dlc or the choose your color endings of ME3?


On March 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

And here we go with the ing and rehashing of the Mass Effect 3 arguements…

The Defenestrator

On March 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm

“Meaningfully different” seems like a typical PR overstatement. This was the sort of thing that got them in trouble with ME3. A color swap or a slightly altered cutscene is not “meaningfully different.”

I’m fully expecting BioWare to continue to over-promise and under-deliver.


On March 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

From Mark Darrah on the Bioware Forums:

Mark Darrah in another thread. Posting here because some people say they only read this thread:

Hey guys,

I just want to clarify the endings in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition’s endings variations come in three levels

1. Minor variations based upon choices you make in the game or previous games. There are HUNDREDS of these variations.

2. Major variations based upon larger decisions in the game. There are about forty of these

3. Completely unique endings. There are a small number of these


On March 28, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Pretty sure Bioware said Red, Blue, Green was meanigful endings. It was us who are too stupid to understand the meaning.

Please Unruin ME

On March 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Yeah, that’s the line of thinking that sneering dipsh*ts like to use when they’re challenged. “Oh, there’s a plot hole or something doesn’t make any sense or is clearly contrived? Well, that’s not a flaw in the writing, it’s just that the audience is too used to having its ignorant hands held and doesn’t have enough imagination to fill in all the blanks. Look, I can make up a bunch of explanations that are tenuous at best for what happened, and because I did this it means that the writing was good. So there.”

Any lingering delusion that there was a grand plan or larger meaning behind the endings was removed with the now infamous screenshot of the PC file folder that clearly shows the ending files as not even mentioning the choices, but being entirely based on the colour used for the explosion effect. And now, BioWare expects us to take what they say at face value. Clearly they’ve never heard of something called ‘memory’.


On March 28, 2014 at 5:53 pm

I still maintain that some of those endings are going to not be endings on the ground that they will take place too early in the game.


On March 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Nice to see this is still the emotional gaping wound for others as well as myself.


On March 28, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Part of the failure of the ME3 endings was that, although there actually were a couple of fairly significant differences in the three endings (Reapers alive/dead, Synthesis arglebargle yes/no), there was no differentiation in what was presented by the game. We never got to see what was different in the supposedly different endings.

If DA:I provides some substantial amount of storytelling detailing the consequences of our actions, that would actually be meaningfully different endings.

It’s a bit hard to believe that the endings will actually be based on the sum of our decisions after being promised the same in ME3, which somehow turned into “pick door number one, two, or three”. But for some inexplicable reason I am optimistic that they will actually be able to make the decision tree matter this time.

That probably qualifies me as insane.

As David pointed out, they do seem to be at least cognizant of the fact that everyone is worried about this game in light of DAII and ME3, so maybe they won’t make the same mistakes again.


On March 29, 2014 at 1:05 am

I’ll give them credit in that what I hear about this game sounds great, and a lot of it sounds like them acknowledging that BioWare made some serious missteps with DA2 and ME3. But like others have said, BioWare is firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” area. 40 meaningful endings sounds awesome, but what do they mean by “meaningful?” I heard similar talk prior to ME3 and the company ended up handing us three colors plastered on the same thing and then acted surprised when people called them on it. Something like letting players put any armor on any character with sufficient stats sounds good since it is a return to DAO, but it’s hard to get too excited about this when after DA2 a company that prided itself on giving players choices decided something as basic as armor was no longer an allowable choice because players got it “wrong” by letting a mage wear heavy armor.

Eliseo Rocha

On March 29, 2014 at 1:37 am

Well it sure is strange to see others that are still affected by the ME3 “ending”, I thought it was just me left after all of the hate and bashing I’d receive elsewhere. I used to be excited for this game until I started seeing these posts of 40 different ending and had a flashback to the destruction of the ME universe for me. Now I’m in the I’ll just wait it out list and will spend my money/time elsewhere.


On March 29, 2014 at 2:01 am

Can’t help but feel this promise was made before…..


On March 29, 2014 at 3:38 am

Yeah, right. I totally believe that after the Mass Effect stunt they’ve pulled.

Let us wait and see, what is delivered in the and. And just for the record: endings that will only be avaible if I buy some (day one) DLC, don’t count in my book.

Don’t get me wrong: if they really deliver a great game again, I’m certainly willing to play it, since I had a lot of fun with DA:O and the ME series (except the end), but I don’t trust EA/BioWare announcements anylonger. They have to prove to me, that what they claim is true.


On March 29, 2014 at 3:41 am

The biggest problem for me is that C&C has become nothing more than a shallow means of padding out a game and a cynical excuse for replayability. If you look at the old Infinity Engine games, all the choices you made had some pretty relateable and logical consequence, and it wasn’t made clear that an important decision was even being made. You had to stay vigilant. Now, they just plaster on the back of a box or in press statements that you’re going to be able to unlock certain endings or play the game as a hero or villain, and give you colour-coded prompts and incredibly obvious dialogue options that let you play the game in a certain, very contain way that usually has no logic behind it at all. Even the original Mass Effect, as great as it was, fell foul of this.

“40 different endings,” even assuming it’s true – which, considering BioWare already lied about stuff like this in the past is unlikely – just sounds like 40 ways to play most of the game repeatedly in exactly the same way in order to make a handful of decisions differently so you can see a marginally different cutscene that doesn’t derive naturally from the path you chose. This is not a good thing. Replayability should be a biproduct of C&C, not the actual goal. And this sounds like a new low for an already stale device.


On April 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

Good grief you lot are a bunch of bloody whiners. Don’t like Bioware? Don’t buy their games. If you’ve been repeatedly disappointed, learn your lesson, stop spending money on them and then complaining you didn’t get what you feel was your ‘money’s worth’.

I for one am very excited about it. No, I am not expecting 40 totally unique endings, but I’m looking forward to whatever they give, regardless.

If you think you can do better, go to college and study game design, get a job as a designer, and actually do better. They don’t owe you anything. They’re not your mum, they’re a company.


On April 6, 2014 at 11:25 am

Oh wow, where to start with R’s amazingly dense comment? It ticks all the boxes of everything wrong with the apologist mindset. “They’re a company, they’re not here to make friends” is self-defeating in an industry which relies directly on strong customer relations. Don’t keep your customers happy, don’t make money. Simple concept, dumbass. Also, the people complaining are those who were loyal fans of BioWare for years before they started routinely sh*tting the bed with stupid and audience-betraying decisions. Not good enough saying “choose another company,” that’s a false choice. The true fans are those who hold their favorite companies to account and keep them on their toes instead of blindly accepting everything.


On April 6, 2014 at 11:28 am

Oh, and the whole “they don’t owe you anything” line? Yeah, you lose I’m afraid. When I pay $60 for a game, I am in fact owed something – specifically, a finished game. In the case of both Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2, we did not receive this. Expecting what we actually paid for is not unreasonable. The fact you believe otherwise says a lot about the low standards you’ve set for yourself and wrongly believe others should abide by. Fortunately, in both instances the majority were strong enough to bite back, and we ALL benefit from this. Show some gratitude or at least some humility to those that are actually trying to drive games forward instead of keeping them static.