Some of the game development stories are fun little anecdotes about weird bugs or hidden Easter eggs. Every once in a while one pops up that completely blows our collective minds for whatever reason, and this Dragon Age story is certainly one of them: It seems that Thedas, the Dragon Age setting, actually stands for “The Dragon.” Age Setting” or “theDAS.”
The fact first surfaced via a tweet from Sam Sharma, a director for Bungie working on Destiny 2: “Since I learned that Thedas stands for The Dragon Age Setting, I’ve never been the same.”
As comments poured in about that observation – from that learn about it for the first time nasty others who knew and enjoyed discovering others–lead writer and creator of Dragon Age David Gaider quoted the Tweet with some observations of his own, confirming that the name Thedas was indeed an abbreviation and was originally intended to be temporary.
I still remember the meeting where we (reluctantly) decided to keep the temporary name “TheDAS” because nothing else “sounded right”. At that time, we had had the internal broadcast name for years. Definitely learned a lesson about what temporary names should be (and shouldn’t be). https://t.co/u5xztKIyRp
— David Gaider (@davidgaider) January 6, 2022
In the accompanying thread, Gaider explains why the world was given a temporary name in the first place, citing a creative difference from his then-boss. “It’s because (as I remember) James Ohlen had a name that he wanted to use and that…I didn’t really like,” Gaider wrote. “But he was my boss at the time, so I wasn’t very good at telling him no and renaming it.”
Gaider also revealed that Thedas isn’t the only temporary name to become part of the established Dragon Age lore: “I actually used this lesson for the Qunari. When I first mentioned them, everyone was weird about it,” he explained. . “‘Sounds like canary!’. With Thedas in mind, I said ‘let’s keep Qunari as a temporary name and come back to it in six months.'” We did, and voila. Qunari is stuck.”
There are countless examples of development stories like this one, including the time when a bee nearly ruined the intro to Skyrim or how Halo Infinite was supposed to have a Breath of the Wild-esque open world at some point. But in this case, now that we know what Thedas really means, we won’t be able to hear it the same way again.
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