Next ‘Mass Effect’ Will ‘Share Core Systems’ With ‘Dragon Age 3′

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 10:27 am,

Dragon Age 3 Mass Effect 4 Screenshots

It may seem that little time has passed since Mass Effect was making headlines, but BioWare is already working toward the series’ next installment. Although the developer hasn’t moved beyond hinting which stories the next Mass Effect could tell, recent comments confirm that the studio’s two biggest RPG franchises will continue to walk similar paths.

Shortly after Dragon Age: Inquisition was mentioned during E3 2013 – release for next-gen systems may be confirmed, but is still a long way off – the studio director at BioWare Montreal has offered an update on Mass Effect development, and how it will be building on the foundations of Dragon Age 3.

While neither game was spotlighted at E3, both of the properties are counted on to be big releases for publisher EA for next-gen consoles. Given the increase in hardware potential – and the somewhat mixed critical reception to both series’ last outing – BioWare seems committed to making the wait worth the fans’ time. Not only will both be developed using the Frostbite 3 engine, but the Dragon Age team remains committed to addressing the fan criticism of Dragon Age 2.

Although we still don’t know much about Inquisition – beyond a leaked Xbox One listing and rumored customization details – BioWare Montreal’s studio director, Yanick Roy, took to Twitter to prove that Mass Effect development is alive and well:

It’s obvious from the size of the design document that Roy was using the term “first pass” lightly, implying that some aspects of the next Mass Effect‘s design are much farther along than others. Roy’s followers brought up the same point, which the director admitted was the case. But when fans voiced their concerns that they were hoping the next ME game wasn’t years away (which is the implication, since it only exists in binder form), Roy assuaged their fears.

According to Roy, the Montreal studio has been hard at work for some time, and since both ME4 and DA3 were being built in the same engine, presumably for the same platforms, the team would be able to “borrow” some elements from their colleagues once development began. Roy went on to elaborate that instead of starting completely from scratch, the “core systems” would be adapted.

Mass Effect 4 BioWare Montreal

Whether that’s good news or bad depends on your feelings toward the growing similarity between Mass Effect and Dragon Age on a philosophical level – foregoing the more ‘hardcore RPG’ elements and systems for a more ‘action-shooter/slasher’ slant. Without more details on exactly which systems will be “borrowed,” fans can choose to take the news as they will. What we do know is that not only will the sci-fi and fantasy RPGs be targetting next-gen gamers, but the size and scope of the two may just be comparable.

How do you feel about this news? Are you simply glad to hear that Mass Effect will benefit from the efforts of the team behind Dragon Age: Inquisition? Or are you more interested in the more hardcore competition in both genres? Sound off in the comments.

The next Mass Effect is currently without a release date or further details.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is expected to release in 2014 for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BioWare (via CVG)

TAGS: BioWare, Dragon Age, Dragon Age 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 4, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • Cariannis

    There addressing the fan criticism of Dragon Age 2 hasn’t really paned out from what we’ve learned of DA3 or should I say DA2.5. Everything we’ve heard that is coming is stuff from DA2. Nothing so far from DAO.

    • Lee

      Never understood why they make such a huge deal about asking for fan feedback, and trying to learn from their mistakes-then go on and do the same mistakes again and again.

  • Jobin

    After playing Mass Effect 3, all I can look forward to is what the multiplayer will be like.

  • Rad

    Personally, I’d rather the two franchises were distinct from each other, but, to be completely honest, EAWare hasn’t been making games I like since ME1 and DAO.

    • boba

      you didnt like ME2? that was a great game!

      • Rad

        I personally found it to be small in scope, feeling more like a DLC or side mission than a chapter in the greater story, with all the depth of a spoon. As many problems I had with ME3, I liked ME3 more than ME2 (which, in all honesty, isn’t hard).

        I don’t begrudge anyone else liking it, and I can see why others would, it’s just not my taste.

  • Alter

    a 2015 “Holiday” (july 4th :P) release date most likely haha

  • Fox

    Considering part of the problem that I, and many other fans of Dragon Age: Origins, had with DA2 was that they made it too much like Mass Effect- No I’m not all that thrilled with this information.

    That said, if it’s more of a philosophical borrowing than actual features that might be cool. Instead of being a series that follows one character and a single story arc, Mass Effect could be more like Dragon Age and tell unique stories from all around its rich setting.

    • reno2200

      It is an increasing trend with larger/more popular video game companies to ‘reuse’ assets and systems in later games. For example, Dice used some of the research into Mirror’s Edge’s first person view for Battlefield 3 and they’re currently deciding how much of Battlefield 4 should leak into Star Wars Battlefront.

      If you played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion then Fallout 3 then Fallout: New Vegas then The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you’d see similarities throughout that gradually get more refined. There’s an argument that, if it works, it’s fine – Battlefield 3 isn’t worse off for using the Mirror’s Edge animation style – but it can come off feeling a bit cheap. As long as the gameplay is sufficiently different, I don’t mind a conversation wheel or a more in-depth romance system.