There seems to be a lot of confusion amongst fans about the next Mass Effect game, and this uncertainty has led to many using the name ‘Mass Effect 4’ as shorthand to talk about what BioWare is cooking up next for the franchise.
These crossed signals, however, have also become rather frustrating to some at BioWare, community manager Chris Priestly chief amongst them who recently went on a tangent on the official forums to try to set the record straight.
“To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here,” Priestly wrote. “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. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it.”
So, what should we call it?
Priestly then went on to say how the game is referred to internally at BioWare – and ‘Mass Effect 4’ isn’t what they call it:
“I do not call the game ME4 when I talk about it ever, [because] that makes people think of it more as “what happens after Mass Effect 3” rather than “what game happens next set in the Mass Effect Universe”, which is far more accurate at this point.
“Obviously fans are going to speculate content, character and story until we actually reveal details in the years or months to come as you have almost no actual details, just don’t get bogged down in “well how are they going to continue ME3…”.”
BioWare Edmonton chief Yanick Roy then piped up on the forums to back up Priestly’s sentiment, saying:
“What Chris is saying is that 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.
“Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe. 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.”
“I apologize for being cryptic right now,” Roy continued, “but it’s early enough in development that we don’t have much to share ‒ things still fluctuate quite a bit.”
What do you hope to see from the next game in the Mass Effect franchise?