Despite generating one of the biggest video game controversies of 2012 with the mixed reaction to its conclusion to the trilogy,Â Mass Effect 3 remains one of the most acclaimed and successful titles of the year. It even won Best RPG at last week’s Spike VGAs.
Mass Effect 3Â brought triple-A storytelling and character depth unheard of in most games, and even with the story of Commander Shepard coming to an end, the series is far from over.Â Mass Effect 4 is currently in development at a different studio and while we don’t know if it’ll be a prequel or a sequel, we do have an approximate release window.
In an effort to thwart the leaks and rumors surrounding the nextÂ Dragon Age title and the awkward buzz surrounding the exodus of several key employees at BioWare, from writerÂ Alexander Freed andÂ lead designer Daniel Erickson to co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, BioWare has been rather open about their future plans.
The day before Muzyka & Zeschuk announced their retirement, BioWare unveiledÂ Dragon Age 3: Inquisition. The day of, they then revealedÂ Mass Effect 3: Omega DLC and more importantly, that they were planning a new Mass Effect game. Two days later, the studio also revealed that they were working on an entirely new IP built on next-gen technology.
With development ofÂ Mass Effect 4 moving away from its home at BioWare Edmonton to BioWare Montreal – the team behindÂ ME3 multiplayer – the home crew is likely working on the new IP andÂ Dragon Age 3. Since the time of the announcements, actual development has begun onÂ Mass Effect 3 while executive producer Casey Hudson asks the community for ideas and whether or not they’d likeÂ Mass Effect 4 to be a prequel.
In an interview withÂ Gamer Syndrome, an unnamed and unverified (we’ve emailed EA) BioWare representative discussed the developer change for the nextÂ Mass Effect game.
[Update: We've confirmed through EA and Gamer SyndromeÂ that no one at BioWare actually provided these answers. You can read them for fun, but the basic timeline probably isn't too far off when it comes to the next ME's release date.]
“While I canâ€™t comment on why it changed studios, fans can expect a similar style of choices and action thatÂ they’veÂ come to know in Mass Effect. Casey Hudson is very much involved in the new Mass Effect game, as well as many from Edmonton. BioWare Montreal is a great studio and they did fantastic with the multiplayer for Mass Effect 3, so fans should know the series is in good hands. The gameÂ isn’tÂ far along in development so I canâ€™t comment on specifics because theyÂ isn’tÂ any yet, Frostbite 2 is a really good game engine that we are also using on Dragon Age 3. As far as release date, thereâ€™s nothing to be announced yet. Youâ€™ll hear more about the new Mass Effect game [next year] in 2013.”
We suspected last October, months before ME3 released, that Mass Effect 4 could potentially be a PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720 launch title. Depending on when Sony releases their next console (the next Xbox is strongly speculated to release next fall), that very well could be the case.
“Late 2014 to Mid 2015. I honestly canâ€™t tell you an exact because full development on the game started a month or two ago.”
For fans still enjoyingÂ ME3, there will be more single-player and multiplayer DLC after Omega, but not that much as game approaches its one-year anniversary.
After seeing how Mass Effect 3 ended, are you interested in more sequels, and if so, what should it be about?Â Read our Mass Effect 4 wishlistÂ for some of our ideas.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Source: Gamer Syndrome