Although Commander Shepard's story was sufficiently (or not) wrapped up in Mass Effect 3, BioWare is not ready to give up on that universe just yet. In fact, the acclaimed developer has already revealed more Mass Effect games are on the way, but they have not said much beyond that.
At a PAX East panel, however, BioWare revealed some behind-the-scenes details that might change fans' reaction regarding a sequel. Moreover, BioWare teased a new IP that is being developed by the original Mass Effect team.
First up, Mass Effect 3 Creative Director Casey Hudson revealed that Mass Effect 4 (or whatever the next game will be called) is in development at BioWare Montreal, not the game's original home, BioWare Edmonton. Hudson will stay on as an Executive Producer, but the Montreal studio will be in full control.
As such, Mass Effect 4 will be a "fresh and new" experience — a new way for gamers to get into the franchise. What exactly that means is unclear, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Mass Effect take an even heavier shooter focus.
In preparation for Mass Effect 3's launch, BioWare touted the trilogy-ender as approachable and a "good starting point," which to some degree hurt the overall product. Instead of realizing it was only die-hard fans that were prepared to say goodbye to Commander Shepard, BioWare developed a game that was a series of vignettes more so than a cohesive and satisfying experience.
While we can't say BioWare's decision to make the game approachable factored into the construction of the game's missions or the ending, there was still something off about it all.
Of course, with BioWare Montreal on-the-hook for the next Mass Effect, talk instantly jumped to what the Edmonton studio would be working on. Obviously the team is not ready to reveal that game just yet, but Hudson did have this to say:
"We are developing a whole new fictional universe at BioWare…that's kind of our next thing. We're focusing on building something new the way we did at the very beginning on Mass Effect."
Gamers will likely be of two minds about this decision. While it's sad to hear that the Edmonton studio will not be continuing work on Mass Effect, knowing they have a new IP in the works is exciting. Could this be the next-gen franchise BioWare was talking about?
How do you feel about BioWare Montreal taking over the Mass Effect franchise? What new IP/universe would you like to see the Edmonton team create?