Developer BioWare has spoken over the matter last year as well but today they want to remind everyone again that “calling the next game Mass Effect 4 is a disservice.”
So what should we see the next Mass Effect title as – a prequel, a sequel? It’s neither. Chris Priestly, BioWare’s community manager wrote on the company’s forums that referring to the game as Mass Effect 4 would only “cause a lot of confusion here.” Doing so would imply that it has anything to do with Commander Shepard.
“We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying ‘well, they’ll have to pick a canon ending’. No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda.”
Mass Effect 4… I mean the new Mass Effect game is currently in development at BioWare Edmonton, the same studio behind the side-quests of Mass Effect 2 and 3.
Further comments by BioWare Montreal’s boss Yanick Roy confuses us even more. According to him story of the new title ‘might’ be after the events of Mass Effect 3.
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. 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.
If you had three games centered around a group of key soldiers in the US army during World War I and then decided to make a game about another group of people during the Second World War, the games could have many points in common and feel true to one another.
You likely would have to recognize how the events of the first war influenced the ones of the second, but you would not necessarily think of it as a sequel. Again, the analogy is not great, but what I’m trying to say is that the ME universe is so rich that we are not limited to a single track when coming up with a new story.
Regarding any sort of reveal on the game, BioWare confirmed that they won’t be disclosing any information “for several more months”.