‘Mass Effect 4’ Release Still Far Off, But BioWare Reveals More Details On The Game’s Development
By Lisa Eadicicco | November 13, 2012 7:29 AM EST
Last month BioWare confirmed that a completely new “Mass Effect” game was in development. Executive producer of the series Casey Hudson further explained the game’s progress last Friday, posting to Twitter that production is in its early stages. On Monday, even more details about the fourth “Mass Effect” installment have begun to surface.
Yanick Roy, studio director for BioWare Montreal, took to the company’s official blog to bring fans another update. According to Roy, the addition of a fourth “Mass Effect” game is an objective BioWare has been planning for quite some time.
“That evolution now takes its next step, with the news that the next Mass Effect game is already in development, driven by the team here in Montreal,” he wrote. “This is the goal we’ve been working toward for years now, and every member of our team is proud, excited, and humbled to take on the responsibility for the next game.”
He revealed that Hudson will remain in the Executive Producer role as the space-adventure shooter franchise moves into its next phase, but he will have a Project Director working underneath him.
“We all care very much about Mass Effect and make our decisions based on what’s best for the game,” Roy added.
The next “Mass Effect” game will be based on the Frostbite game engine, which also serves as the foundation for “Battlefield 3.”In addition, the upcoming installment will borrow some technology from another BioWare trilogy, as Roy said that the Frostbite engine has been “enhanced by many systems that the Dragon Age II” team has been working on.
The BioWare studio director said that there isn’t much information to reveal about the game, but now that the “core” development team is in place, it’s time to accelerate production. There has been no indication as to what the game will be called, but some have begun to refer to it as “Mass Effect 4.” However, this title may seem unlikely, since the fourth installment will not include Commander Shepard and has been called “a completely new” game by Hudson.
When speaking with VG247 last month, BioWare producer Fabrice Condominas hinted that the next game would focus on another aspect of the “Mass Effect” universe. He failed to specify any particular areas of interest, but said the team has a lot of content to work with.
“This is really our starting point,” Condominas said to the video game news source. “Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very, rich. So at this point in time, we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in. All we’re doing is gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things.”
The BioWare team is exploring new avenues in terms of gameplay and storylines, but Roy promises that the next game will observe elements that have already been established in the series.
“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,” he wrote.
The announcement of a new game in the “Mass Effect” franchise comes just as BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuck have retired from the company. The pair revealed these plans to leave the company in September, just as word of a fourth game began to circulate the Web.
The departure of BioWare’s original founding members adds to the fresh feel that the game’s producers have emphasized thus far, marking a new start for the series. However, Roy warned fans that they may not hear any more updates from the development team for a long time, but the team is doing what they can to deliver a game that caters to fan feedback.
The most recent “Mass Effect” game sparked major backlash from some fans who criticized the trilogy’s long awaited ending. Some adamant players even went as far as filing a complaint to the FTC for false advertising after the game launched in March 2012.
But “Mass Effect 4,” or whatever title BioWare chooses for the game, will meet fan expectations, according to Roy.
“We’re all looking forward to telling you more about this next Mass Effect game, but its’ probably going to be quite a while before you hear from us again,” he wrote. “We know you have high expectations for the franchise and we want to make sure whatever we show you lives up to those expectations.”
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