BioWare's Dragon Age Getting Pen and Paper Treatment

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I talk weekly about the convergence of pen-and-paper gaming with the digital game space of video games but today I get to announce a convergence going in the opposite direction.. Green Ronin, publishers of the popular Mutants & Masterminds, True 20 and the current publisher of The Song of Ice and Fire RPG just announced that they will be taking the world of BioWare’s forthcoming Dragon Age: Origins and converting it into a traditional RPG.

Dragon Age, often referred to in hype releases as “the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate” (BioWare’s original Fantasy RPG based upon the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms settings), will be getting a “box set” release in the summer meant to introduce both the world of Thedas (Dragon Age’s setting) and the concepts of traditional role playing to video game fans.

“We’re delighted to be working with Green Ronin to explore more of the Dragon Age universe through a pen and paper role-playing game. We’re excited to deliver Dragon Age’s unique dark, heroic fantasy to our audience in a brand new way—a perfect complement to the landmark game we’re launching on PC, Xbox 360, and PLAYSTATION 3 this fall,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, General Manager and CEO, BioWare and General Manager and Vice President, EA. “Our development teams craft rich, deep worlds, and this is an excellent way to expand the franchise.”

This is not the first RPG setting to make the transition from video game to paper – previously Everquest, Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft have gotten a conversion to traditional RPG products at Wizards of the Coast and with White-Wolf’s Sword and Sorcery imprint. While none of those settings are still in active development this is the first time I can recall that an in-development video game property is getting a tabletop treatment before its even been released.

Who knows, maybe if Dragon Age grabs its audience Green Ronin and BioWare can negotiate to bring Mass Effect to pen-and-paper RPGs as well. I’d be first in line for a game based on that setting. Dragon Age feel like more of the same Tolkien derivative fantasy at this point unfortunately. You can read the full details of the press release after the jump.

Bioware and Green Ronin to Publish Dragon Age Pen & Paper Role-Playing Game
BioWare’s Highly Anticipated Epic Fantasy Video Game Gets the Pen & Paper Treatment

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (May 5, 2009) — Leading video game developer BioWareTM, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today announced that Green Ronin Publishing will launch a pen and paper role-playing game (RPG) based on the highly anticipated video game, Dragon AgeTM: Origins. The pen and paper game extends the Dragon Age universe, making it more accessible to passionate RPG fans looking for another way to experience the epic fantasy world of Thedas.

“We’re delighted to be working with Green Ronin to explore more of the Dragon Age universe through a pen and paper role-playing game. We’re excited to deliver Dragon Age’s unique dark, heroic fantasy to our audience in a brand new way—a perfect complement to the landmark game we’re launching on PC, Xbox 360, and PLAYSTATION 3 this fall,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, General Manager and CEO, BioWare and General Manager and Vice President, EA. “Our development teams craft rich, deep worlds, and this is an excellent way to expand the franchise.”

“Dragon Age: Origins has been described as the spiritual successor to BioWare’s Baldur’s GateTM, one of the most highly-acclaimed fantasy computer RPGs in the world, so when BioWare approached us to do a pen and paper version, we had to say ‘yes!’,” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. “With our work on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Black Company, and Thieves’ World, dark fantasy is in our blood and Dragon Age: Origins is the best in its class. An opportunity to collaborate with BioWare on Dragon Age: Origins was not to be missed.”

The Dragon Age pen and paper RPG will be available at card shops, and book and comic retailers in summer 2009. The first release will be a boxed set—perfect for new and experienced role-players alike. Green Ronin plans to release additional boxed sets and supplemental books, expanding the Dragon Age world even further.

Dragon Age: Origins from BioWare invites players to create their own heroes and join the fight against the darkspawn in a world of violence, lust, and betrayal. The game will feature deep character customization, challenging decisions, and a wealth of gritty, mature plots that, combined with the BioWare heritage, make it one of the most highly-anticipated releases of 2009. Dragon Age: Origins is scheduled to release this fall on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and PC.

Dragon Age: Origins is rated RP by the ESRB. No PEGI rating is available at this time. For more information about Dragon Age: Origins, visit www.dragonage.com. Pre-order the game now at www.eastore.ea.com.

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About Green Ronin Publishing
Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle-based company known for its dedication to quality books and games. Founded in 2000, Green Ronin has won more awards for excellence and innovation than any other game company in the new millennium, and took home the coveted ENnie Award for Best Publisher an unprecedented three years running. With great licenses like A Song of Ice and Fire and The Black Company, groundbreaking games like Mutants & Masterminds and Blue Rose, and a roster of top flight designers and illustrators, Green Ronin Publishing is a leading light in the hobby game industry.

About BioWare
BioWare develops computer, console, handheld, mobile and online video games focused on rich stories and memorable characters. Since 1995, BioWare has created some of the world’s best-selling titles, including the award-winning Baldur’s GateTM and Neverwinter NightsTM series, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old RepublicTM and SonicTM Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (for the Nintendo DSTM). Original BioWare-created intellectual properties include Jade EmpireTM and the 2007 Game of the Year, Mass EffectTM. With studios in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), Montreal (Quebec), and Austin (Texas), BioWare is hard at work on the epic fantasy role-playing game, Dragon AgeTM: Origins, Mass Effect 2TM, the epic sequel to Mass Effect, and the story-driven massively multiplayer game, Star Wars®: The Old RepublicTM, as well as several unannounced projects. In 2008, BioWare was acquired by the world’s leading electronic entertainment publisher, Electronic Arts. For more information on BioWare, visit www.bioware.com.

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets, and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS FreestyleTM, and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA’s homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

*BioWare, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Jade Empire are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. PLAYSTATION is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment. Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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1 Comment on BioWare's Dragon Age Getting Pen and Paper Treatment

Ron Whitaker

On May 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I have to admit, I’ve been intrigued with Dragon Age since I saw the first teasers of it at E3 a year or two ago.

Since I’ve always loved tabletop games, this is the perfect marriage in my mind. I look forward to seeing what Green Ronin does with it.

I may actually be more excited about this than about the actual game.