Despite being announced over a year ago, the next Mass Effect is currently only in “early development”, says developer BioWare. The studio recently spoke about the challenges of making both Dragon Age 4 as well as the next chapter in the acclaimed Mass Effect RPG series, bringing to light some interesting processes.
Dragon Age technical director Maciej Kurowski recently spoke about the difficulties of working on the Frostbite Engine, which was mandated by EA to be used on games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem. However, the team has now apparently been given the proper tools to better understand the engine and how to properly utilise it.
Kurowski’s full statement on Dragon Age 4 and its development tools reads:
“At the beginning of this project, we came up with a few principles we wanted to rely on while building the game, and probably the most impactful one was having the right tools that best fit our game. I strongly believe that the developers are able to be at their most creative when we minimize the friction they encounter in their day-to-day work. So making the tools easy to use and dependable makes it easier for them to be creative, which ultimately makes the game a lot better.”
Kurowski added that they’re continuing to flesh out the characters in the game, giving them more personality than they’ve ever had before. Hopefully with the proper tools, they’ll now be able to deliver smoother animations and more diverse locations.
Finally on the topic of the next Mass Effect, BioWare confirmed that the project is only in “early development.” When it was revealed at The Game Awards in 2020, the developer stated that it was just in the prototyping phase. The teaser showed Liara searching through what appears to be the wreckages of Reapers, though what she’s looking for is unclear.
That said, it will likely be a few years until we see anything about the next Mass Effect game. If it’s only in the early stages of its development, then we’re expecting a 3-4 year cycle in production. Meanwhile, BioWare’s efforts are mostly focused on Dragon Age 4 right now.