That BioWare is moving forward with another Mass Effect game is not surprising. What that next Mass Effect game becomes, given the mixed response to Mass Effect 3, is going to be interesting to watch. We should see a slightly different take on the universe, though, with BioWare Montreal at the lead.
The other Mass Effect games were developed largely at BioWare Edmonton. Series executive producer Casey Hudson will remain a principle lead on the game, but he will have a new project director under him based in Montreal. That director will be heading the day-to-day development.
“While it [the new game] will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games,” said studio director Yanik Roy in a blog post, “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.”
What lessons Montreal takes from Mass Effect 3 remain a mystery. The multiplayer garnered a bigger response than anyone could have expected, even amongst the most cynical, and the series was becoming more and more of a competent, enjoyable action game. Will the next one complete the transition, and largely leave its RPG trappings behind? Don’t color me shocked if it happens.