Dragon Age was designed as a franchise where choices matter – who you romance, who you kill, and friendships you forge can all change the world. In Dragon Age Inquisition, choices you made in previous games can be carried into the world of Thedas using the Dragon Age Keep.
As explained on the Bioware blog, the issue with importing save files was important to the developers. Dragon Age Inquisition uses a new game engine, and can be played on next generation consoles; they had to find a solution that still allowed decisions to carry forward, regardless of past or future platform. Thus, Bioware decided to use the cloud (like the force, but different) to create the Dragon Age keep. As they explain:
Within the Keep, you’ll be able to customize as much or as little about the world of Thedas as you wish. Then you’ll be able to import your saved world state into DAI at the start of a new game. Have you lost or corrupted your save files? No problem — remake your world state on the Keep, and preserve it for the future. For those folks new to the Dragon Age franchise, the Keep will serve as a great way to understand the people, places, and events that shaped the world leading up to DAI.
Sounds like a pretty cool idea. I played through Dragon Age Origins completely only once, but completed most of the achievements by playing through the first 50-75% of the game as a variety of characters. When I played Dragon Age II, I imported my original completed play through. Now, with DAI, I can mix and match the choices that I made across play throughs to shape a unique world. You can check out the Dragon Age Keep ahead of launch – to sign up for the beta, go here.