Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic developer BioWare is reportedly working on a brand new IP — and the game might not be an RPG.
In the years since the studio was founded back in 1995, BioWare has become firmly established as one of the best RPG developers anywhere in the world. Now, it seems that the company might be preparing to try its hand at the action genre with a brand new IP.
Today saw EA’s annual Investor Day briefing, and the company offered up plenty of information on projects currently in development behind closed doors. One slide from the presentation shown to investors laid out the publisher’s market share in each of the most popular genres of video game.
Predictably, EA was strongest in the sports genre, thanks to its tight grip on key licences like Madden NFL and FIFA. Results for the FPS, Racing and Strategy & Sim categories were also impressive — but the Action genre is a real outlier, where the publisher only accounts for 1% of the PC and console software market.
We’ve already heard comments from EA regarding the company’s intention to compete in this genre with a ‘gigantic action game’ in the style of its competitors Ubisoft and Take-Two. However, this briefing went one step further, confirming that BioWare is working on an action game right now — its first non-RPG project since MDK2 in 2000.
It seems likely that this action game is the new IP that BioWare was apparently teasing at GDC 2016 back in March. However, there’s still next to no detail about what the game is set to be about, which might suggest that we’re about to see a full reveal when E3 takes over Los Angeles next month.
We do know that the game isn’t Shadow Realms, the intriguing 4vs1 dungeon crawler that built some early hype through a series of unsettling viral videos. That title was cancelled last year, as BioWare Austin needed all hands on deck to complete content for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
There is the possibility that BioWare’s action game is actually Mass Effect: Andromeda, as suggested by a report from GameSpot. The original trilogy of games definitely grew more action-centric as the series progressed — but fans would be upset to hear that the follow-up was ditching its RPG trappings entirely.
BioWare’s upcoming output remains shrouded in mystery, but we’re sure to learn more at E3 next month. Whether the studio’s action game is Andromeda or an entirely new IP, it will certainly be interesting to see how the company makes the transition to an unfamiliar genre.