BioWare Developing New Next-Gen Franchise

Published 2 years ago by

BioWare Developing New Next Gen Franchise

With the (well-earned) retirement of BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuck, there are sure to be some who believe that the main driving force behind the studio’s creativity is now absent. But those still manning the fort are quick to point out that’s not the case, and the team(s) assembled are up to the challenge – not to mention determined – to continue the momentum and success.

For the team behind Mass Effect, the most successful series the studio has produced, that doesn’t just mean continuing to support Mass Effect 3 through DLC. Besides planning a brand new game in the Mass Effect series, the studio has confirmed that a new franchise, set in a new universe, using new hardware, is currently being developed.

Obviously some fans will automatically be enraged that BioWare isn’t making a return to the worlds of Jade Empire, Baldur’s Gate, or Knights of The Old Republic now that they’ve wrapped up Commander Shepard’s saga. That doesn’t mean those past franchises aren’t on the minds of those in charge, but for now, it seems that the only direction to look is forward.

In a post covering plenty of updates on the current state of BioWare’s various teams, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton Aaryn Flynn took to the company’s blog to thank the Doctors for their years of service, and give a sense of the studio’s direction from here on out. Included in the post was an announcement that a brand new game series for the next generation of consoles is currently in the early stages of development:

“Both Dragon Age and Mass Effect started as single games but grew into vast universes. But we aren’t stopping there. While Casey continues to oversee the development of our new Mass Effect project, he and his leads are putting together their vision for an all new game set in a fictional universe, built from the bottom-up with all new gaming technology.”

Let’s all take a moment to process that, and have a few deep breaths. There’s no way to overlook the fact that Mass Effect 3 didn’t go over as well with fans as the original, even with the extended endings. But regardless of personal investment and relative feelings of closure, there is no  denying the fact that Mass Effect 3 was one of the most polished and impressive games we’ve seen. Dragon Age 2 is a much harder game to say that about, but at least those responsible have admitted their shortcomings, and are asking the fans for input with Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.

Mass Effect Developers Next Gen Series

Considering just how much baggage ME3 brought with it, and how readily comparable both it and Dragon Age 2 are to their predecessors, perhaps a fresh start is what’s needed. In hindsight, the time and energy that went into making the world of the original Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins led to generally more satisfying and well-rounded experiences. If the first game in a BioWare series tends to become the most beloved by fans, then this announcement is particularly good news. One doesn’t have to look too far to see how modern consoles have limited even as well-positioned a studio as BioWare, so a next-gen release isn’t surprising. And considering what seems to be possible with Star Wars 1313, BioWare might have an even better platform with which to tell compelling stories.

Now the question remains as to what type of game series is being planned. With science fiction and fantasy both covered, it seems unlikely that the new franchise will fall into either category. Even if they were tonally unique, different aesthetics and worlds would be needed just to avoid confusion. Perhaps a modern day, realistic setting? So far there is little to go on besides Flynn’s comments, but the fact that the most accomplished and successful development team within BioWare – Casey Hudson and his leads – is being trusted to come up with the next idea is promising.

What type of series would you like to see BioWare pursue next? A darker, more serious story, or something a bit more action-focused and light stylized? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

We’ll keep you up to date on all BioWare projects as details are released.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BioWare

TAGS: BioWare, Dragon Age, Dragon Age 3, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS4, Xbox One

32 Comments

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  1. Mass effect was in the future and dragon age in the past. So perhaps their new franchise will have something to do with modern day times.

    • Exactly what I was thinking.

      • Yeah. Do we think that setting can work with their style of games, though?

  2. How about instead of making a new franchise, they make kotor 3, or even better, they make a new kotor from a different time period

  3. I’m not looking forward to anything spawned from the mind of Casey Hudson.

    • With the ending of ME3 rumored to be that, I’m inclined to agree with you.

    • Could we step back and remember that he worked on Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate II and was the project director for Jade Empire and KOTOR before he even touched Mass Effect. I’m not gonna say that the ME3 ending was perfect because it obviously wasn’t, but everything he did before EA put their giant, oppressive glove over him was next to flawless. Cut the guy some slack, it was one mistake.

      • Brent Knowles was in charge of a lot of the changes to the gameplay of Baldur’s Gate 2 and Bioware no longer has him or Drew Karpyshyn.

    • Can’t agree more.

  4. If they can make another rpg with the excellent conversation system and decision making of their previous games, I’m interested.

  5. I’m interested to see what they come up with,but I agree with Justin and Rad,I don’t trust this to Casey Hudson. Not since,it seems,he was responsible for the end of ME3.

  6. I think something dark with an amazing story like they always do. I think something steam punk or maybe fantasy modern.

  7. A guy on FB suggested a vampire rpg set in a modern city. Like Angel lol. But sounded kinda cool,idk I think i could into that.

  8. I don’t like the steam punk ideas but the vampire thing could be cool. As long as I can be a day walker lol

  9. I’ll give them a pass on the Mass Effect 3 ending since they did come back and polish it up not to mention that the rest of the game was great. However, both Dragon Age 2 and The Old Republic left me cautious. It’s not that I felt they were horrible games. I enjoyed Dragon Age 2 but I felt it fell far short of what the original gave us. The Old Republic was a good game but the problem there is that it’s an MMO and when you make an MMO with a subscription you had better be certain it’s top tier or else.. well we saw what happened. It’s not that I’ll never buy another Bioware game like so many people seem to freak out about if this next game doesn’t cut it. I just won’t get excited for another Bioware title until I see the response. I’m still hoping for a little turn around.

  10. I know Neverwinter Nights is sort of old, but there’s still a wide fan-base with both of the games. They were fantastic (in my opinion), with a really good story and not bad, if outdated, animations. They could always do NWN3. I’d buy it.

    • I would absolutely buy Neverwinter Nights 3, especially if it was made by bioware. Even though I didn’t really like 2, the first and all its expansions and community content is one of my favorite games of all time, maybe my favorite.

  11. I think the vampire would be cool even better to be a day walker

  12. I’ll bet it’s a post apocalyptic setting. That’s pretty popular these days. A modern setting would be a nice change of pace though.

  13. An RPG Sherlock Holmes game would be cool.

  14. Having converstaion choices and consequences would be cool.

    • Conversation choices

  15. What about an almost H.G. Wells styled time machine theme? Then you’d have freedom of time periods, and all sorts of different followers to pick up. There’s lots of opportunity to come up with cool and complex explainations about how time travel works, and what reprecussions it has on the world. Your decisions would literally shape the world around you, so your every action and conversation would have true and varied consequences.

    Morality would also be an interesting feature in a game like that. Say you get the chance to kill Hitler or something. You go what you think is the good guy route and kill him, and then find out that because the war never happened, the world went deeper and deeper into the great depression and brutal civil wars broke out all over the planet. So you could try the “fix history” path, or the (probably really fun) “destroy history” path, or try your hand at acting by fitting in with the locals in the historical accuracy path.

    Perhaps the antagonist of the game could even be an alternate version of yourself gone mad by the realization that the fate of the universe rests on his shoulders, and the only way to truly “save the world” is to ultimately undo his former self and let history run naturally. There’s so much complexity to time travel fiction that I think could be very compelling in the right hands (which I fear it may not be, but we’ll see).

    • @DarthMalnu

      That is actually pretty damn cool lol. I think I’d rather someone with no combat experience at this point. A scientist in your time travel idea. I wanna see that happen. A deep and rich story without all the gun fights. When I read your comment all I could think of was the movie trailer from Cloud Atlas.

  16. CCP is supposedly coming out with a world of darkness vampire game so they should just stay out of that zone, and vampires are so played out and boring now. A really good horror game might be nice. Horror however is hard enough to do well in a regular action or adventure style game let alone an RPG game. Not sure what I would like to see. Good story is key that’s all that really matters.

  17. if Bioware isn’t going to make a completly new Universe for they’re new series.., wouldn’t mind if they like got a license like from a cool Manga/Animé…

    …like Naruto Shippuden or Fist of the north star.., with Jade Epire Gameplay for the Naruto license or ME3 (resp. Fallout) Gameplay for fist of the north star. license….)
    ___

    if they are going to make a complet new Universe for they’re series…, then, maybe something “Gothic” like would be cool…

  18. Gothic is gay. the only thing bioware is good at is sci fi and fantasy, and perhaps a present day post apocalyptic setting with biowares rpg spin on it. There are enough JRPGS. there is a reason its WESTERN RPG and it should remain so either in sci fi fantasy. apocalyptic or some real world setting.

  19. gothic isn’t gay, just think of Castlevania (NES,SNES, 16, 360 ect..), Legacy Kain/Soulreaver ect. ect. gothic-horror is cool…..
    (or ya only thinking of “twilight” ;)

    if they’re going to make Mass Effect 4, then add more and deeper “stratagy” elements, like , conquering, (re)building and controlling planets or galaxies ect. ect.. (but keep the good old RPG, recruiting and action parts as the core of the game..)..

    and concentrate on making a great singleplayer experience (like Skyrim did) and not trying a a half backed coop mode..

    • Twilight isn’t gothic its emo. Emo from a woman that never even read Dracula or Carmilla.

      • yeah, many see emo=gothic.., otherwise they wouldnt call gothic g..y,

        bioware hasn’t done anything gothic-wise and there arn’t many good gothic RPGs out there.. (well, “the Witcher” has some gothic styles and “Darksiders” has a lot of dark and close to gothic styles.., but real cool gothic RPG for the consoles is missing..,

        maybe make it into a gothic-Si-Fi RPG…

        (there are enough “post nuclear world” RPGs out there, also enough “pur fantasy” RPGs…, but not many good gothic ones..)

        ….maybe make Mass effect 4, into something very dark and with gothic elements…, not beeing the savior of the universe but the “most powerfull” being in the univers (then save or enslave the universe), like the shodowbroker.., give Liara the main role…. (and give her a trilogy too!!)

        • I consider the first two Diablo games to be gothic RPG dungeon crawlers.

          The less said about Diablo 3 the better…

  20. Something with samurai, maybe set in Japan or some Asian dynasty…there are hardly any decent samurai games out for grabs. Save for way of the samurai..but it has a bit too much humor for me to get into regardless of the multiple endings.

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