Dragon Age: Inquisition is taking so long because BioWare wants to put in a number of fan-demanded features; multiple playable races chief amongst them.
Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah told GameInformer that BioWare needed time to add in the feature, which was one of the most compelling draws of the original Dragon Age before its lazy sequel killed it off [along with most of our love for the franchise - Ed]. "Because we moved the date we were able to bring it back,” he said during a video interview. “We basically just had the time necessary to bring it back.”
Series creative director Mike Laidlaw claims that the decision was entirely based on fan feedback and demand from several team members. “Why didn’t we bring it up?” he continued, discussing the need for the lengthy delay. “We wanted to make sure it was locked down; we wanted to make sure our homework was done so we could commit to it and people could, with absolute enthusiasm, get ready for elf or dwarf or whatever.”
Your choice of race will affect how you're perceived by other characters, with Elves seen as dangerous criminal outsiders or second class citizens. These are the only two choices announced as present.
Dragon Age: Inquisition was effectively delayed by a year, so we hope it lives up to the original. It's out next Autumn.