There will be no more games in the Mass Effect series for the foreseeable future, it seems.
Kotaku reports that the sci-fi RPG series has been put on hiatus and that its developer, BioWare Montreal, has been turned into a support studio. Indeed, the site adds that many of the studio's employees have been transferred to EA Motive to work on Star Wars Battlefront II.
The decision comes following the mixed reception and apparently disappointing commercial performance of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
None of this means that Mass Effect as we know it is dead. It does mean, however, that work will not begin on a successor to Andromeda, and that when and if the series does return, it may be in the form of another reboot.
Some staff remain assigned to patching Andromeda and maintaining support of its multiplayer.
Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing Mass Effect: Andromeda to players around the world. Even as BioWare continues to focus on the Mass Effect: Andromeda community and live service, we are constantly looking at how we're prepared for the next experiences we will create,” BioWare Montreal studio director Yanick Roy said.
The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects. With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. We're also ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development.
There will be much more to come from BioWare in the years ahead.”
ME: Andromeda was the first game in the series without BioWare Edmonton leading development.
It was confirmed yesterday that BioWare's new mystery IP has been delayed until EA's next financial year, meaning it will arrive some time in the year ending March 2019. Development is being headed up by Edmonton.
EA boss Andrew Wilson also stuck up for Mass Effect: Andromeda in a recent investor call.
Mass Effect is an interesting title. It was in development for a really long time and represented a lot of the great things that BioWare is known for: story, size, depth, breadth, imagination,” he said, as reported by Seeking Alpha.
And while overall, the aggregate review scores were lower than we would have liked, we did have over 100 reviewers score the game at 80 or higher. So it represents a fan base that's very passionate; looking for very particular things. And many players found exactly what they're looking for and some players did not.
In terms of the new IP, the choice to move the new IP and what happened with Mass Effect are completely unrelated. We're very happy with BioWare. BioWare has continued to support Mass Effect, and the new team is doing some amazing things, and you'll hear more about that in the months to come.”