SAN FRANCISCO — Players of the upcoming fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Origins will be able to do more than make magic.
Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, co- founders of Electronic Arts developer BioWare, say that besides slaying beasts and casting spells, Dragon Age will allow gamers to have "contextually appropriate" sex.
"We're not going to shy away from it," says Muzyka. "We're not shying away from it in the Mass Effect franchise, and we're not shying away from it in the Dragon Age franchise or other products we're working on. The key for us is that it's never gratuitous. It's emotionally engaging. It's going to be something that's appropriate for the game."
In Dragon Age, scheduled for release Oct. 20, players take on the role of fantasy characters such as an elf, dwarf or mage, and can build romantic relationships with other characters that could lead to a fiery tryst at their camp. What happens throughout the game depends on the responses to the players' actions during their adventures.
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"What that does to the player is make the game personal, like it's their story and game," says Zeschuk. "The result of that is people will sit around the water cooler and say, 'I did this and that, then I killed this guy and took the key.' And then I'll say, 'I didn't do that at all. I snuck in the back door, got the key and ran off with his wife.'"
Last year, intergalactic sexual content in BioWare's M-rated sci-fi role-playing game Mass Effect caused a stir online. The game was briefly banned in Singapore before receiving an M18 rating, meaning it couldn't be sold to anyone younger than 18. BioWare is developing a Mass Effect sequel for next year.