Q: One of the criticisms people had with Dragon Age was that the PS3 and 360 iterations felt like the PC version forced into a console frame, and that the interfaces simply didn't work as well. Is that something that's formed your response for this second outing?
GZ: To a certain degree. I mean, we're not proud about saying that the PC version was done first and the console was done second. Now, this way we actually do them all together, so you have much more of a natural experience. It's actually kind of interesting, because if people understood how incredibly hard it was to get the complexity of the PC version into the console version… people just don't comprehend how challenging it was. We worked with Edge of Reality, and the team deserves a medal for what they did. It's one of the most complex interfaces in the PC space - power bars and mouse buttons and up to 50 different powers you could use. To make it work on the console, and really work… Maybe it's a different experience. I think it's a great accomplishment. The other dimension I find interesting is that again, it's before people played it [that they judge the game]. It's actually one of those things that people won't believe it until they try it. It's like the shooting in Mass Effect. Everyone is like, [adopts dismissive voice] "Yeah, yeah, it'll be a great shooter." And then they're like, "Hey! This is a really good shooter." People just wouldn't believe it, and I understand why - they're continually getting sold, "This is the next greatest thing, this is the next greatest thing." They're continually barraged by PR. So I think in the scenario where people get their hands on it and make they're own decision, they'll be pretty happy.
Q: What will Dragon Age 2 do that the first game didn't?
GZ: What's really cool about it, what I'm most excited about, is that we tell a different story in a different part of the world. It's from the ground up a new experience, with all the familiarity. And the depth is there, and all the things you love about the game, I think are there - but what's funny is that we're given the opportunity to tell it differently. Like I say, we like to challenge players a bit. We don't want to do the same old, same old, same old, and I think we'd be doing our fans a disservice if we did that. Will everyone love it? Not every single person will love it, but I think people will generally really, really like it.
Q: My final question… and I apologise in advance for this!
Q: How is sex going to be handled in Dragon Age 2, and how do you react to the intense scrutiny and interest that accompanies the sex in Dragon Age and Mass Effect? I mean, I have a friend who was absolutely obsessed with trying to nail one of his party members. What do you think of that?
GZ: Will there be romance opportunities? Of course! It's not just your friend, it's a large part of the experience. It's really funny, because when we first did it in Baldur's Gate, the same concept, we asked fans and did focus tests they all said, "Oh no, we don't really care about that, we're not really interested." Yet when they play, they do the exact opposite. They obsess over it, spending all this time and effort, and in Dragon Age you had the gifts. It was involved, right? I think it's something that's actually an important part of the game. It's part of the whole concept of having relationships. I think it's a good thing. They key thing for us is that it's mature content for an appropriate age group. But I think it's a big part of the game.
Do you ever get weird feedback on the sex?
GZ: It's funny in Dragon Age, because people were complaining about why they were wearing their Renaissance underwear. It's funny what they'll complain about.
Dragon Age 2 will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in March 2011.