A bit of misinformation was reported through, well, practically all channels, regarding the Black Emporium content patch. It was first believed that the Black Emporium was going to be released with Patch 5 — but according to Bioware, the Black Emporium was never intended for inclusion with Patch 5, but simply being tested with it. Beta testers have access to the Black Emporium on PC, but no one else presently does. Patch 5 has rolled out without this additional content.
Why Isn’t the Black Emporium in Patch 5?
There are two possibilities: it was either never intended to be included or it was supposed to be included but there were too many issues. The official line from Bioware is that it was never intended to be included — which is likely, because otherwise they may have just delayed Patch 5. Of course, this has led many players to wonder why Bioware did not correct publications when they reported that Patch 5 was going to be a content patch and that Patch 5 was going to include the Black Emporium.
When Will the Black Emporium Be Released?
No one knows. On Twitter, it was stated that the Black Emporium still needs work for release. This is a good thing though — no one wants something rushed out to release.
The Black Emporium is not part of patch 5 for @dragonage. We are continuing to work on it based on the great beta feedback we received.
Will the Black Emporium Be Free?
It’s not known whether it will actually be free now, but it’s very likely that it will be free simply because it has been so thoroughly reported as being free. Again — this is only speculation. With the changes to its release and its unknown release schedule, it would be extremely negligent to make any specific assumptions.
This is an excellent example of how the Twitter-based news cycle is actively hurting gaming; publications pick up and report information and then never seek to verify it. Meanwhile, the developers cannot correct the information because they are muzzled by their own legal team; there are liability issues if they respond.