Mass Effect: Andromeda was originally supposed to feature a revamped space exploration system which was then scrapped by developer BioWare.
Speaking with TheGamer in a recent interview, Dorian Kieken, who served as a development director during the pre-production days of Mass Effect: Andromeda, revealed that the game once had a working space exploration prototype which allowed players to pilot their ship from planet to planet.
BioWare actually wanted players to explore planets in deep space as well as experience said planets on the ground. The space exploration feature however had to be cut out because as Kieken noted, Mass Effect: Andromeda was becoming too ambitious and such expansive gameplay systems would have taken a sizable chunk of resources from the development budget.
“I remember playing a pretty good prototype of space exploration back in 2015,” said Kieken. “You would basically pilot your ship from planet to planet.”
“I wasn’t in the company anymore when that decision [to cut it] was made, but I’m not surprised,” added Kieken. “Not because it was not fun. It was. But it would have likely required a lot of effort to make work, and so, keeping it would have cost other parts of the game.
“We tried to do too much with Andromeda, from large explorable planets with a ground vehicle to space exploration with tons of planets. Something had to eventually give.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda was supposed to kick-start a brand new trilogy. Its poor reception however did anything but. The game was riddled with bugs and glitches which went on to produce some of the best (or worst) internet humor of all time. BioWare was forced by publisher Electronic Arts to abandon all plans of post-release content support and the franchise itself was put on a hiatus.
That was then. Electronic Arts has now given a green light to a new Mass Effect 4 which will be returning to the Milky Way to continue the original trilogy instead of where Mass Effect: Andromeda left off.
The new game remains in pre-production at present and which suggests the release window to be in the far future. Fans can keep their fingers crossed that BioWare comes around to sharing more details about Mass Effect 4 in 2021.