BioWare: Next Mass Effect Isn't Mass Effect 4

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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BioWare: Next Mass Effect Isn't Mass Effect 4


Like a cat in a box, BioWare Montreal boss Yanick Roy says the next Mass Effect game both is and is not Mass Effect 4.

BioWare Community Coordinator Chris Priestly made an interesting comment [http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/15648266/9#15692438] a couple weeks ago when he said that calling the next game in BioWare's space opera franchise Mass Effect 4 is "doing it a disservice," and claimed that he never refers to it by that name during internal conversations. "I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'," he wrote. "No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it."

It's actually a pretty straightforward idea - don't make assumptions about the next Mass Effect - but as the conversation continued, BioWare Montreal Studio Manager Yanick Roy decided to inject some clarity into the situation. "What Chris is saying is that thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games. But because we are switching to a new engine and need to rebuild a bunch of game systems, we have an opportunity to rethink how we want these systems to be going forward instead of just inheriting them from the previous games," he explained.

"Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe. That doesn't mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won't get recognized, but they likely won't be what this new story will focus on," he continued. "In other words, because the game takes place before of after the first trilogy does not mean it necessarily is a straight prequel or sequel."

I would hazard a guess that BioWare would also like to draw a line under the Commander Shepard trilogy in order to distance it from future games in the minds of people who either loathed the ending of Mass Effect 3 or can't imagine a Mass Effect game without the crew of the Normandy. That's a big hill to climb, and BioWare would very likely prefer to do it with as fresh a start as possible.

Source: BioWare Social Network [http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/323/index/15702171/2#15812730]


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Cry Wolf

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Sigh; I'm really glad that they are (probably) not making a direct sequel, or prequel for that matter, of the original Mass Effect trilogy but I cannot buy another installment in this series. Given I paid the Australia Tax ~$100 last time round and was denied multiplayer or online content due to errors with their registration process that still haven't been resolved anything Bioware ships has to be nothing short of life-changing in it's quality.

We both know that's not going to happen.
 

2clueless

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You know.. I want to get excited about this. I would like to say I am looking forward to a new Mass Effect game. Unfortunately, all I feel is trepidation.
 

_tinned_magpie_

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First trilogy? Just how many games are they planning to release?

Still, those comments seem pretty sensible: Shepard's story is done, for better or worse. I'll be curious to see what they do with this, and hopefully they'll do something decent with what they've got. I mean, with a world like that they could pull off something really interesting if they explore it right. If we're lucky.
 

Legion

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"That doesn't mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won't get recognized, but they likely won't be what this new story will focus on," he continued.
Well it's not like most of the choices we made were recognised within the trilogy either, unless you count the same thing happening but with a different line of dialogue. So I'd be surprised if anybody was even expecting it to happen for the next game.

I imagine that it will be like Fallout 3 with New Vegas. Yes, they happen in the same universe, but they do not directly link to one another in any way. Which to be honest I quite like in games. It allows you to enjoy the setting without feeling like a story is being dragged on for too long. Not that this is the case for Mass Effect as I am done with the series.

The new engine suggests it will be a next generation game as well.
 

plugav

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It's pretty obvious and they've already said it at least once. But I guess that's how PR works.

Personally, I'm pretty excited about a new Mass Effect that has nothing to do with Shepard and his/her crew.
 

AnarchistFish

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Andy Chalk said:
"I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'," he wrote. "No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it."
Brilliant.

This is exactly what I said they should do if they made another game, if they wanted to make it work.

This is reassuring news.


Can't wait
 

kommando367

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I figured it would be a spin-off

I'm guessing it will be a while before they release information about the game's actual content.
 

oldtaku

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Yes, enough Normandy and Shep. Something new. Just don't Dead Space 3 or Dragon Age 2 it.
 

Fappy

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The pessimist in me reads this and thinks they're going to take too many liberties with the story/lore and turn it into something unrecognizable :(
 

StriderShinryu

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Pretty much what I expected, really. The ME universe and lore base is easily large enough to fit many stories within multiple genres. I'm definitely excited to find out more about their plans.
 

Headbiter

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An EA-executive and a Bioware-representative in a meeting.

"So Chris, buddy, what do you plan next? C'mon, you guys are a cash cow, people will buy anything you put out,no matter what you do and daddy needs a new condo."

"Well, actually we have some nifty ideas, considering a new setting, some new gameplay ideas and we finally wrote another script, so we don't have to recycle the Kotor-story for the 20th time."

"Uuuh, Chris, Chris, Chris, what did we say about the n-word? C'mooooon guys, you know how this works: I ask what your next game is and you put a number behind a title I already know. What about.... *scuffles through a little folder* ...this Mass Effect-stuff? I mean that's a safe shot, right? Most controversial response I ever saw about one of your games and the bloody masses still bought it like the little sheep they are supposed to be."

"Well...I guess you're right but...we kinda concluded the story, you know? We made a pretty big deal out of it being the end of the trilogy? And our rep DID suffer some serious blows and I don't think the dust settled on this one yet."

"Hm, I see where you're coming from. How about that: It's Mass Effect....but not the Mass Effect they know?"

"What, you mean like a reboot?"

"Uuuuh no. No. Nonono. Evil word, very unpopular. People HATE that word. No reboot."

"So...you WANT a sequel?"

"No sequel, no. You just said it, you concluded the..erm..what's the word again?" -"Story?" -"Yeh, that's it, story. No, you need to rework the existing story."

"But... if we use the Mass Effect name and set pieces...but cancel out everything we established about it before...that's a reboot, right?"

"....Okay, Chris, love your work so far but...here...we have a seminar, over at our place...come there next friday, 3 a.m., we have an amazing guy, he'll teach you everything about how to describe that rework-thing without using that nasty "Reboot"-word, alright? Alright!"

"Okay, I guess...but what should we name this re...work then?"

"Why, Mass Effect 4 of course. It is the fourth game in the series, isn't it?"

"....I'll see you at the seminar."
 

Sylveria

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Legion said:
I imagine that it will be like Fallout 3 with New Vegas. Yes, they happen in the same universe, but they do not directly link to one another in any way. Which to be honest I quite like in games. It allows you to enjoy the setting without feeling like a story is being dragged on for too long. Not that this is the case for Mass Effect as I am done with the series.
Only problem in ME's case is that Mass Effect's effects occurred on a much, much larger scope than anything that happens in Fallout. It would be almost impossible to not have them directly link together unless they occurred so long before or so long after the events of 1-3 that those events had no bearing.

If the next set occurs during/parallel to the events of ME1-3, you're going feel like the guys in that crappy Lord of The Rings game who spent the entire adventure trying to catch up to the people who actually mattered.
 

Nihlus2

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Well, this is sorta reassuring to read.

I still have a very bad feeling though, considering how Bioware's been doing recently - but hey, you never know, EA might finally leave them alone now that the triology hype is over.

..If I see the slightest glimps of the Starchild though - I'm heading straight for the airlocks, with or without a suit.
 

Doom972

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I'd love to see a brand new story in the Mass Effect universe. Maybe something that takes place in the two years Shepard was dead and the Reapers weren't heard of. I hope that we'll be able to pick an alien race for the protagonist this time.
 

csoloist

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Andy Chalk said:
"What Chris is saying is that thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games. But because we are switching to a new engine and need to rebuild a bunch of game systems, we have an opportunity to rethink how we want these systems to be going forward instead of just inheriting them from the previous games,"
Hahaaa, oh wow. Calling it now - ME4 will ditch whatever vestigial adventure/RPG elements are left (which isn't all that many at this point, anyway) and go full-on futuristic TPS/FPS with modest weapon customization and a buttload of cutscenes. Now that EA have killed MoH perhaps they'll push Mass Effect as a competitor to Halo... Mass Of Duty anyone?

Fuck you very much EA.
 

Jamous

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"Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe." If you're doing another ME game this is very much the way to do it. Same universe, different everything else. Good move, assuming they stick with it. :)
 

Quijiboh

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Headbiter said:
Lovely bit of sculpture you've done there. I like the straw, and it looks very mannish.

More games after the conclusion of Shepard's story seemed inevitable from the very first game. The scope was too great. Like Star Trek and Star Wars before it, it would be barmy to have such a vast universe sustain only one narrative.

People like to play up the old EA boogeyman. But I've been a Bioware fan for long, long time and I simply do not buy it.