As Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans anxiously await concrete details about the new games currently in production, developer BioWare has provided a brief development update for both projects, along with a tease that will keep Mass Effect fans busy for a while.
In a new blog post about the state of BioWare, General Manager Gary McKay provided brief updates on both of its highly-anticipated RPG sequels, while also addressing the toll the pandemic has taken on development.
"And of course, we remain hard at work on the next iterations of Dragon Age and Mass Effect," McKay said. "I’m seeing some incredible work from both teams."
For Mass Effect fans, McKay encouraged players to take a look at the most recent poster revealed for the game.
"If you’re curious about Mass Effect, I’d encourage you to take a look at the poster we released on N7 Day," McKay said. "If you look closely, there are a handful of hidden treats; by my count, there are at least five surprises, all of which point to an amazing future in the Mass Effect universe."
The Mass Effect poster in question was revealed on N7 Day 2021, and the image depicts a ship touching down on a planet near a crater. Fans immediately noticed the crater resembled the Geth, a sentient AI species from the original trilogy. You can also see four characters exiting the ship below, which could hint at the party size in the new game. In our original story, we theorized the group exiting the ship could contain a Salarian, Turian, and Krogan from the first three games. With BioWare's tease of secrets hidden in this poster, fans will surely theorize about what hints it could hold for a long time.
McKay also addressed Dragon Age 4's development, saying, "we have a veteran group of talented developers working on the next iteration of the franchise. We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter."
The confirmation of a single-player focus is likely a relief for some BioWare fans, after the studio's 2019 project — the multiplayer-focused Anthem, released to middling reception.
McKay said his goal upon taking the GM position at BioWare was to rebuild the studio's reputation. After the positive reception to Mass Effect Legendary Edition last year, McKay said their goal is for every game they release to live up to that quality. Both Dragon Age 4 and Mass Effect seem to be a long ways away, as there are no official titles, confirmed platforms, or release windows for either project.
The pandemic has been a challenge for every game development studio, and McKay addressed how BioWare is going to move forward with a new work model. He says BioWare will move forward with a hybrid approach to, "maximize collaboration and communication between onsite and remote people." BioWare will also begin hiring people all over North America, without an expectation for them to relocate to one of the studio's locations in Austin or Edmonton.
The new Mass Effect was first confirmed on N7 Day in 2020, and we know that multiple members of the original trilogy dev team are on board to tell the next chapter in the beloved sci-fi universe. The game was officially revealed at The Game Awards 2020, with a brief teaser trailer, and confirmation that the project was in "early production." The teaser didn't show much, but it ended on a shot of an Asari who appears to be Liara T'Soni from the original games.
If you need to catch up on the original trilogy before the next entry, you can do so with Mass Effect Legendary Edition, which is part of January's Xbox Game Pass lineup.
As for Dragon Age 4, the game was first teased back in 2018, before BioWare showed it off at The Game Awards 2020, with a teaser trailer that confirmed the return of a few characters. Thanks to a BioWare book, we know the next Dragon Age will take place in Tevinter, a location that's been mentioned in Dragon Age lore, but never visited within the games themselves.
Late last year, Dragon Age 4's creative director left BioWare. McKay said this change would not impact BioWare's commitment to the game, saying, "we will not ship a game that is not up to BioWare’s standards."
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.
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