When BioWare gave E3 2014 attendees a brief look at the future of Mass Effect at EA’s Press Conference many were under the assumption that the eventual finished product — potentially titled Mass Effect 4 — would release sometime in 2015. However, a recent presentation from the BioWare developers at Comic-Con 2014 has us seriously doubting that assumption.

For those who may not have heard, the Mass Effect panel at Comic-Con featured a fair amount of juicy reveals about the upcoming game. BioWare confirmed the return of the Mako, revealed that cooperative multiplayer is now a mainstay of the series, and shared a few details about the player character, mainly that he or she will be an N7 operative.

In addition to the more substantial information, however, BioWare also mentioned, albeit in an offhand fashion, that this next Mass Effect game is likely “years away.” More specifically, Producer Mike Gamble confirmed that the game is still in the early stages of development.

While many presumed that Mass Effect 4 might not be as far along as they hoped, the fact that BioWare was only showing concept art for the game and keeping reveals to a minimum should have been a major tip-off. In fact, we were rather surprised to see the 2015 tag at the end of the Mass Effect trailer at E3. We did speculate that BioWare might have meant more details were coming in 2015, but rumors regarding potential release dates and talk of the game being in a playable state had us starting to believe.

Check out the Mako concept demo below:

Now, it seems pretty clear that the journey for Mass Effect 4 is only just beginning. Fans have plenty more to learn about the game, and plenty more to see as well. On the flip side, the fact that BioWare is willing to talk about their game so early suggests they want to include fans in the development process. For example, revealing the Mako’s return so early gives them time to tweak if based on feedback and not just drop the contentious vehicle back into the game willy-nilly.

If the attendees at Comic-Con were any indication, it appears that most of the sour reception to Mass Effect 3‘s ending has worn off, and now fans are looking ahead to the future. It just turns out that future is further away than we thought.

Are you disappointed to learn that Mass Effect 4 is not releasing next year? Would you rather BioWare take their time or do you want this game as soon as possible?

Source: NeoGAF

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina for more Mass Effect 4 updates.