According to an executive at Electronic Arts, Mass Effect: Andromeda is scheduled to release in early 2017. BioWare has yet to confirm the potential release date.
Fans looking to continue the Mass Effect storyline beyond Commander Shepard will have to wait until 2017, it seems. According to Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgenson, Mass Effect: Andromeda will be skipping this calendar year in favor of cashing in during the closing of the company's fourth fiscal quarter for 2016, which actually takes place in early 2017.
Electronic Arts had previously confirmed that the title would be out by March 2017 at the latest, though many had hoped for a holiday 2016 release. The fact that BioWare Montreal lost their creative director two months ago probably didn't help things, but the release schedule does give the studio maximal time to polish their first ever post-trilogy Mass Effect title.
While the term 'fourth quarter' can be a little confusing, here it means Electronic Art's fiscal fourth quarter for 2016, which actually takes place in the first three months of 2017, because anything financial needs to be immediately more confusing than necessary.
During the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Jorgenson was detailing the company's releases in each fiscal quarter. Things started off normally enough, with the CFO glossing over some of the big-name titles coming in the next few quarters:
"We’ve got a great year ahead. We’ve got our Battlefield first-person shooter game coming in the third quarter, and our third-party title that Respawn, our partner, built, it’s called Titanfall, it’s the second title that they brought into that brand."
However, things got interested as Blake went to wrap things up with both Mirror's Edge and Mass Effect. The former is slated to come out late May, but the latter was previously speculated to have a holiday 2016 release window, and some had even optimistically hoped for an N7 day release. That is, until Blake dropped the news that 2017 was the year to look for:
We have our Mirror’s Edge runner game this first quarter, and then we have Mass Effect, which is a sci-fi action game, in our fourth quarter. So big year ahead and we’re pretty excited.
BioWare hadn't officially stated the release date for Mass Effect yet, however, so it looks like Blake may have spilled the beans on his own studio. Though BioWare has been contacted in regards to Blake's verbal timeline affirmation, the studio has yet to release an official statement.
The fiscal fourth quarter for EA begins in January and concludes at the end of March, which is why titles like Mass Effect 3 came out during the month of March - it allows the studio to maximize development time whilst keeping within their fiscal quarter.
We'll keep you posted when Electronic Arts clarifies if the release date for Mass Effect: Andromeda has been unintentionally confirmed or not.
Mass Effect: Andromeda was scheduled to drop for the holidays this 2016, but now may be delayed into early 2017.