Taking any mystery over whether or not BioWare will develop another Mass Effect game, the studio has revealed that development has already begun on the next title. It is being developed at BioWare Montreal, rather than at BioWare Edmonton like Mass Effect 3.
“The next Mass Effect game is already in development, driven by the team here in Montreal,” said BioWare Montreal studio director Yanick Roy. “This is the goal we have been working toward for years now, and every member of our team is proud, excited, and humbled to take on the responsibility for the next game.”
“To ensure a proper and effective transition, we'll continue to be supported by the Edmonton studio through the game's development, working with and learning from them on some critical initiatives. On top of that, Casey remains the Executive Producer, but he will have a Project Director under him, working in Montreal, leading our development team and making day-to-day decisions for the game. We all care very much about Mass Effect and make our decisions based on what's best for the game.”
While the Edmonton studio is most readily associated with Mass Effect, Roy said that much of the cinematics and DLC for Mass Effect 2 and 3 were made in Montreal. “We started by building about half the cinematics for ME2, then most of its N7 missions, and finally we played an important role in the development of much of its post-release content,” said Roy. “Then on ME3, we took charge of the multiplayer portion as well as making significant contributions to the single-player campaign. Most recently, we built a large piece of DLC that will be released on November 27 and that you know under the name of Omega.”
Also revealed is the fact that the studio will shift to the internal Frostbite 2 engine (which powered Battlefield 3), rather than continuing on with Epic's Unreal Engine 3. “There is really not much I can tell you about the game right now, except that it will be built with the amazing technology of Frostbite as its foundation, enhanced by many of the systems that the Dragon Age III team has already spent a lot of time building. The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games, with the original trilogy now concluded and the switch over to a new engine, we are exploring new directions, both on the gameplay and story fronts. You can still expect the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore, and of course rich, cinematic storytelling,” concluded Roy.