It’s certainly a hectic day at BioWare: co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk have decided to retire from the games industry and pursue new challenges. Their sudden departure will no doubt worry some fans, but Aaron Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton & Montreal, brought out some news that should make Mass Effect players happy: not only is the studio working on a new, post-Shepard trilogy Mass Effect title, but single-player ME3 DLC featuring Omega is coming to consoles and Origin this fall.
Savvy gamers have actually been predicting the Omega DLC since August, when it was discovered that coding in the Extended Cut seemed to imply a visit to the fan-favorite location was on the table. Omega was a popular setting for fans, one that left the typical shiny metallic feel of most other levels behind in exchange for a rusted, decrepit atmosphere filled with hostile vagrants and mercenary gangs. Omega made our list of Most Wanted Locations for Mass Effect 3, and we’re glad to see that BioWare hasn’t let the opportunity to head back slip under the radar.
While the plot for the Omega-based DLC hasn’t been revealed, it’s likely that Shepard will be forced to perform some assignments for Aria T’Loak, the vengeful Asari who is the de facto ruler of Omega. While she’s left stranded on the Citadel, there’s undoubtedly going to be much business to take care of in her name – and perhaps some stolen technology that will aid in the fight against the Reapers. Flynn stated that the DLC is being scheduled for release this Fall, so a November window is likely for the first single-player Mass Effect 3 DLC since Leviathan.
With the Reaper plotline seemingly concluded, what’s next for the franchise?
It wasn’t just news of the Omega DLC that Flynn let loose on the world today, though. In his open letter to followers of BioWare, he also let slip that the studio is working on a follow-up (or prequel) to the Mass Effect trilogy itself.
“The Mass Effect universe is vast, and Casey and our teams have plans for another full game.”
The game is still in the planning stages right now, and may even be a prequel to Shepard’s timeline. While the official word is that the first-person shooter idea is still cancelled, the series may yet branch from its traditional third-person perspective. At this stage, the new title may as well be a kart racer – only time will reveal more about the project, though we have a few of our own suggestions for the studio.
Working on a sequel to the events of Mass Effect 3 would be a hectic task for the studio, which would have to deal with multiple endings that have gigantic ramifications for the universe of the franchise. Whether the next game will have a concurrent timeline, or perhaps even detail historical events like humanity’s infamous first contact with intelligent life (The First Contact War), is yet to be discovered. Now that the word is out that Casey is already in the conceptual phase of the project, he may have a few things to say in the near future.
What do you think, Ranters? Are you excited to head back criminally-controlled husk of an asteroid? Are you excited for the Mass Effect franchise to continue?
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