We’ve known for some time now that a fourth (and likely fifth and beyond) Mass Effect game is in the works. We’ve also known for quite some time that the new game is going to be developed at BioWare’s Edmonton studio. What we’re just finding out though is that this title is going to be developed with a completely different engine. No more Unreal Engine 3, kiddies!
We don’t know much about the game at this point except that it will be developed with the Frostbite engine and that, apparently, the game will go through some formulaic changes as well. This could be a good thing considering the direction the last 2 of the original trilogy went. So much running around the ship and talking to this person and that person for seemingly no reason other than depth of story. It got a bit old, if I’m honest.
BUT, this article isn’t about those games, it’s about the new one and what they’re doing with it.
Yanick Roy, the studio director for BioWare Edmonton talked about the studio changeover in his blog:
“To ensure a proper and effective transition, we’ll continue to be supported by the Edmonton studio through the game’s development, working with and learning from them on some critical initiatives.” Yanick posted. “On top of that, Casey remains the Executive Producer, but he will have a Project Director under him, working in Montreal, leading our development team and making day-to-day decisions for the game. We all care very much about Mass Effect and make our decisions based on what’s best for the game.”
This is a good thing. It sounds like some of the old guard is still in place to make sure things run smoothly. Hopefully, they’ve shit-canned the people who made the decision about the ending of Mass Effect 3 and will be starting over with completely new writers because, honestly, WORST. DECISION. EVER…
Yanick also had the following to say:
“There is really not much I can tell you about the game right now, except that it will be built with the amazing technology of Frostbite as its foundation, enhanced by many of the systems that the Dragon Age III team has already spent a lot of time building.”
And then finished up with;
“The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games, with the original trilogy now concluded and the switch over to a new engine, we are exploring new directions, both on the gameplay and story fronts. You can still expect the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore, and of course rich, cinematic storytelling.”
So – a new engine, a new crew and the old concept of storytelling, plus the fact that the engine they’re using is much better known for interactive and destructible environments could finally lead us to good things with a Mass Effect game. Only time will tell but I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.