BioWare: Hang on to ‘ME3′ Game Saves; ‘Mass Effect’ Prequel Games?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 4th, 2012 at 10:44 pm,

Mass Effect 4 MMO

BioWare’s final installment in the Mass Effect Commander Shepard trilogy is set for release in just over a month. Despite the fact that very few gamers have even gone hands-on with a demo, much less the final build of Mass Effect 3, plenty of franchise fans are already stressed out at the prospect that this could be BioWare’s last installment in the series.

However, even though the developer maintains that Mass Effect 3 will mark the end of the Commander Shepard storyline, the game’s Associate Producer, Mike Gamble, asserts that BioWare still envisions plenty of stories worth telling in the game’s universe – possibly in the form of prequels, sequels, or even spin-offs.

Speaking with OXM, Gamble asserted that, even though nothing has been announced and Shepard as well as his full crew aren’t likely to return for future Mass Effect games, that doesn’t mean that the developer is simply going to abandon the beloved property.

“We have so much to draw from. We haven’t made a decision about whether we’ll do anything in the future, but if we were to do something, we just have a lot of information to choose from.”

As for what players might expect from any future Mass Effect titles, Gamble seemed to indicate that the developer isn’t just going to carry the story forward from Mass Effect 3 – they’re open to the possibility of exploring any number of points on the ME canon timeline (hopefully without using the flawed Mass Effect:Deception novel as a guide). Could we see a Mass Effect prequel or a spin-off game that occurs simultaneously to the Shepard saga? It sounds like anything is possible at this point.

“Without going down any specific path, you can think of many, many different areas throughout the IP, throughout the history, where there are large wars to be won, battles to be had, and a lot of development to be done around where these races came from, how they came about.”

“If you boot up Mass Effect 3 and look through the codices you’ll see we have tonnes and tonnes of backstory. Obviously, for Mass Effect 3 it’s Shepard’s story and this is where Shepard’s story finishes, but the future is wide open for what we can possibly do.”

That said, just because Gamble seems to be indicating that the series might double-back and explore pre-Sherpard story beats, that doesn’t mean that the decisions gamers make in Mass Effect 3 will simply culminate in one enormous dead end. Speaking with Gamerzines, Gamble hinted that players might want to hang on to their Mass Effect 3 saves – even if Mass Effect 4 is far from a sure thing:

“It wouldn’t be a bad idea (to keep your ME3 saves). Obviously I can’t say anything, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea…”

Mass Effect 3 Game Saves

Of course, just because Gamble hints that Mass Effect 3 saves could be utilized for further titles down the road, gamers shouldn’t assume that means we’ll eventually see an actual Mass Effect 4 title either – as the developer could, using prior save data, offer some interesting prequel interactions that, retroactively, set-up the player’s Mass Effect 1-3 choices. For example, after finding save data for the side mission “The Fan,” a Mass Effect prequel could open an interaction with young Conrad Verner to set the stage for his obsession with Spectres – an obsession that ultimately leads to his interactions with Shepard in Mass Effect.

That or the saves will just be used to unlock special Mass Effect 3 armor in a future BioWare release or port-over multiplayer and unlocks – which would, no doubt, be somewhat of a letdown.

Mass Effect 3 releases March 6, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.

Source: OXM and Gamerzines

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, Microsoft

  • Simon

    First Contact war with the Turians?, Rachni Wars?, all have possibility in all but RPG sense because we know how history unfolds which kinda walls you into a set destiny.

    Please, don’t mention messing about with retconning through Time-travel.


  • Ace

    Prequels could be fun, but I’m hoping for a much more expansive RPG game set after the events of The Shepard Trilogy.

    Let people choose their race like we will be able to in the Multiplayer, have our imported saves effect how the universe remains after the battle with the reapers, let people customize their own ship, and crew. How awesome would a slightly more streamlined (combat and customization) and more expansive version of Skyrim be on the next gen consoles but as a Mass Effect game sound?

    Considering cloud gaming, it shouldnt be a problem transferring all save data to the next gen console.

  • TaboriHK

    It’s going to be an MMO. It couldn’t be more obvious.

  • EternalWrathX

    I don’t see an MMO working that well Bioware said you could loose to the Reapers so it wouldn’t mesh and Bioware would have to ignore alot of saves, go back in time or stick to singleplayer