I am thoroughly disappointed with BioWare's handling of SGRA. Restricting it to one planet, sticking it behind both a level wall and a pay wall and not including romanceable is just insulting. I was fine with BioWare's poor handling of other aspects of the game. That whole mess with the oceanic release, the sharding of areas, the lack of basic mmo features such as chat bubbles, the annoying restrictions the game used to have (alignment restriction of colour crystals for example), the gambling machine that is the cartel market, I could put up with all that, but this is pushing things too far. Not only does it not give me hope for the future of the game, it makes me question the future of BioWare as a company and all their games. Can we expect the same sort of treatment in DA3? ME4?
In DA3 no, in ME4 not exactly, but still pretty bad. Thats just a guess in both cases, based on the previous games in each series, but the DA series started good and improved to great, the ME series started decent (1 out of 2 female teammates romancable, like DAO) and finished terrible (0 out of 3 female teammates romancable in ME2 and 1 out of 5 in ME3, but with one female NPC romancable in ME2 and two in ME3 for what thats worth) . Ultimately it comes down to the guy making the decisions in the DA series wants to give us as much as possible, the ME guy wants to give us as little as possible, like the SWTOR guy. The level of pressure on each guy in the ME and SWTOR games dictated exactly how much he gave us, they'd give us zero if they could, but they can't. The DA fellow, whose name is David Gaider for those who don't know, has stated quite clearly that those at the highest levels of Bioware don't care what he or any of his equals in the other game series' do with the romances, they can do them the way he did them in DAO, in DA2, or just the way they did it in SWTOR, they don't care one bit (Im sure he would add that they do care when the decisions result in extreme public backlash, like the ME2 and SWTOR ones, seems like a reasonable guess). But the general point is each game has a head guy, and that one guy has all the power when it comes to who is, and who isn't, allowed to enjoy the romances. I remember back when the ME2 controversy came out (the first Bioware game in modern history that had no SGRA whatsoever, other than one NPC which they tried to pretend wasn't even a romance, it shocked everybody at the time), virtually everyone that worked on the game favored the DA style approach, and thats how it was going to be in the game, then the head guy swooped in at the last minute and made them disable all our romances, every last one of them, with the dreaded gender check, thats why there was plenty of evidence of the romances still on the disc, bits and pieces here and there. The Devs made it as clear as they could, without losing their jobs, that they disagreed with the guy's decision and fought to keep the romances in, but ultimately the one guy had all the power and he abused it to our tremendous disadvantage.
The DA guy will always give us plenty, that will never be a problem, he's made that perfectly clear. The ME and SWTOR guys will always give us as little as public pressure, or lack thereof, allows them to, they've made that perfectly clear as well. Thats who they are as people, thats what they believe in. Thats why we can't let up, if we let up thats when it ends, we've gotten all we're gonna get at that point, other than in the DA series which will always be good. Its ironic and sad, if the romance decisions were made as a team, by the folks working on each game, we'd be happy with the results in all of them. Most of Bioware is on our side, including most of the people working on each game, but ultimately the decisons of which romances do or dont get gender-checked away are made by one person, the guy at the top of each game. Nobody else's opinion carries any weight at all, except when the pressure gets so huge that somebody higher up orders them to do something to put an end to it. If the head of the ME or SWTOR series changes, we'll likely get romances-o-plenty in that given series. Until then, we're only going to get what they feel is absolutely required to avoid bad press, that's why what we're doing by constantly asking for fair and equal treatment is so important. But DA3 will be awesome either way, that's a given.