Ever since Mass Effect 3 became one of the most divisive games of 2012, as gamers celebrated/derided the conclusion of BioWare’s space opera trilogy, news on the next Mass Effect series entry has been in shorty supply. We know that the game will not follow prior protagonist Commander Shepard, whose story was concluded in Mass Effect 3, but for now it’s still unclear whether the next entry will serve as a continuation of the current plot line – or tell an entirely new story somewhere in the same universe.
Some gamers were hoping to see the Mass Effect spin-off (for lack of an official title) announced at the Spike VGX, after all the Mass Effect 3 teaser trailer debuted at the 2010 event, but despite new looks at the The Division, Titanfall, and Quantum Break (among others), there was no Mass Effect announcement from BioWare. However, according to BioWare General Manager, Aaryn Flynn, the studio is hoping to provide gamers with some tangible answers to their Mass Effect franchise questions in 2014.
Replying to “some guy,” who was disappointed that Mass Effect did not make an appearance at Spike’s annual video game award show, Flynn stated “maybe next year” before laying out a slightly clearer explanation (read the full back and forth at Flynn’s Twitter feed):
@20reach10 More info sometime in 2014 I hope. That's the most specific I can be :(— AaryN7 FlynN7 (@AarynFlynn) December 8, 2013
It shouldn’t come as an enormous surprise that Mass Effect was not at the VGX event this year, since BioWare will essentially be building the next game entirely from the ground up (allegedly on the Frostbite 3 engine). Common sense indicates that the title will be developed for next-generation consoles (along with the PC), so the studio will have significant work ahead of them – long before they’ll be ready to reveal their spin-off (or prequel) storyline. Of course, that work has likely been going on for several years (already) but, while we’d all love to have a clearer idea of Mass Effect‘s future, it’s safe to assume that BioWare isn’t going to unveil the next installment before they have most of the game’s core functionality and narrative locked down.
After all, gamers are keenly aware of the negative buzz that can arise out of extremely long development times (and delays). Many fans will even remember that Mass Effect 3 was delayed out of a holiday 2011 window into 2012 and, even then, was perceived by a good portion of players to have shipped as an incomplete product. As a result, it makes sense that BioWare is going to hold-off on presenting such a highly anticipated title to the world until they have a pretty clear idea of how long it will take to deliver the actual game.
Still, in addition to a non-Shepard story, we have culled a few (minor) pieces of info that fans can pour over until something more official is revealed – specifically that the next Mass Effect is not “Mass Effect 4” and that BioWare is designing the game to be “newcomer friendly.”
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date when BioWare actually does decide to share new Mass Effect information (hopefully earlier rather than later in 2014).
The next Mass Effect game does not have a release date yet.
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