Fallen London is a wonderful browser-based choose-your-own-adventure game, set in an alternate Victorian London. The game was created by the team at Failbetter Games, who also created the StoryNexus toolset for developing narrative-based games. Failbetter is still working on its own projects, like the Kickstarted PC adventure game Sunless Sea, but in a post on its official blog the studio announced that it was working with Bioware on some unannounced project.
"Keeping secrets doesn't come naturally to us. We are excitable: we love our work: we love talking about our work," wrote FailBetter chief narrative officer Alexis Kennedy in the post. "But for the last year, on and off, we've been working in absolute secrecy on a project for a much larger company. When we've gone quiet for no obvious reason, it's because we've been heads-down on this. When I've mentioned that we don't take client work any more, with rare exceptions, this is the rare exception."
"We've finally been allowed to lift one corner of the veil. I can't tell you anything at all about the project – not for a little while yet – except to say that it's a Failbettery one, down to its bones. But I can tell you the name of the company: BioWare. We are thrilled about this. We can't wait to say more."
So what could Failbetter be collaborating with Bioware on? DLC for an upcoming title? Bioware is currently working on Dragon Age Inquisition, a new Mass Effect, and one unannounced IP. Perhaps the last game is getting a helping hand from FailBetter?
My guess is that Failbetter's StoryNexus tool will power an an adventure creator, letting players craft their own stories within the confines of Mass Effect, Dragon Age, or whatever. A similar thing happened in when Sony Online Entertainment collaborated with another narrative-based startup, StoryBricks, to power the adventures in the all-new Everquest Next. This would make sense with Failbetter's current work and Bioware's devotion to its community.
Alternatively, FailBetter could be creating an online narrative to flush out the existing Dragon Age and Mass Effect universes. Novels and comics based in both universes already exist, with some of them being written by Bioware writers like David Gaider and Patrick Weekes. This could be like Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Initiates website, which fleshes out the world of Assassin's Creed for players willing to dig a bit.