Mass Effect 4 made by Bioware Montréal; running on Frostbite 2

#1 Posted by AuthenticM (3699 posts) -

The new Mass Effect game is being made by the team in Montréal, who was mostly responsible for the DLC in ME2 and ME3. The guy running the studio, Yannick Roy, was a key personnel in the development of both the original Mass Effect and its sequel. In his blog post (see below), he's announced that they are hard at work on the next game in the franchise and that it'll run on a version of Frostbite 2 modified by the Dragon Age 3 guys. Here's his blog post:

Hello Everyone,

I am really excited to share some news with you today, but first, since most of you probably don’t know who I am, I thought I would start with a bit of an introduction.

I was born and raised not too far from Montreal, in the province of Quebec, and while I won’t bore you with the details, I was lucky enough to grow in an environment where videogames were very present. The passion I had for them resulted in a bachelor degree in Computer Science, and in time work took me to Edmonton. I’d regularly play pen & paper role-playing games with my group of friends, until we switched to PC RPGs and played through Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, and Neverwinter Nights. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that the company who developed them, BioWare, was just down the street!

A few years later, in January of 2006, I was lucky enough to join my favorite game company! I was immediately assigned to the original Mass Effect, which was in very early production at the time, as its Senior Development Director. I worked closely with Casey Hudson and the Leads team through the rest of ME1 and the first half of ME2, when BioWare decided to open another studio in Montreal. I was honored to be asked to lead the team, so I wrapped up my work in Edmonton and moved back to Montreal in the summer of 2009, where our small team was being put in place.

Because BioWare has always believed that the company culture is one of the key ingredients of the games we make, we took two important steps with the team. First, we deliberately seeded the new studio with many transfers from Edmonton. Second, we chose to grow the team relatively slowly, allowing new people to join the team and integrate into its culture in due time. Even with that approach, though, the Montreal studio has made significant contributions to the Mass Effect franchise. 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. 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. With each new portion of work, we took on deeper and broader responsibilities, but we always worked in conjunction with Casey, the Mass Effect leads, and the developers in Edmonton.

That evolution now takes its next step, with the news that the next Mass Effect game is already in development, driven by the team here in Montreal. 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.

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.

Now that the core of our team is in place, the next step for us is to have the BioWare Montreal studio grow at an accelerated pace over the next year as we build a team large enough to support the production of what we know is going to be an amazing game in the franchise. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our team, keep an eye on our job postings. We’re always looking for talented and passionate people, but it is more the case now than ever!

We’re all looking forward to telling you more about this next Mass Effect game, but it’s probably going to be quite a while before you hear from us again. We know you have high expectations for the franchise and we want to make sure whatever we show you lives up to those expectations.

Thank you all for your interest and your passion,

Yanick

Studio Director – BioWare Montreal

@YanickRRoy

Source

Needless to say, this has me very excited. Here's hoping they won't make the same mistakes the old team made with ME3.

#2 Posted by cmblasko (1123 posts) -

Sounds great, good luck to them. Hope that they get the opportunity to break up the monotony that I felt plagued ME3.

#3 Posted by TromboneTony (156 posts) -

"Next Mass Effect game" does not necessarily mean ME4 though (at least I hope). Could be good news, but I'm not sure with the Doctors out of the picture.

#4 Edited by Zippedbinders (983 posts) -

"Who was mostly responsible for the DLC in ME2 and ME3"

Well shit, the Mass Effect 2 DLC was leagues better than the regular game. Sign me the fuck up.

#5 Posted by Rafaelfc (1314 posts) -

I wish they'd just let the name Mass Effect be, set new games in the same universe, but let it be called something else. But yeah, money, shares, investors, yadda yadda yadda

#6 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

Does 'post release content' mean they're the ones that made Shadow Broker? Because that would be good news. I haven't had a chance to play 3 yet, but honestly, I'd be interested in a return to the ME universe that wasn't focused on Shepard, so I for one support their efforts to continue milking this space cow.

#7 Posted by Sterling (2078 posts) -

I hope the main protagonist is a Drell.

Online
#8 Posted by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

@Zippedbinders said:

"Who was mostly responsible for the DLC in ME2 and ME3"

Well shit, the Mass Effect 2 DLC was leagues better than the regular game. Sign me the fuck up.

Alright, I'll admit it. Now I'm interested.

#9 Posted by spankingaddict (2659 posts) -

We can only HOPE .

#10 Posted by Lysergica33 (517 posts) -

This habit of making fourquels to completed trilogies needs to fucking stop. Cut it the fuck out, you bastard meddling suits!! Anyhow, Mass Effect on frostbite 2 will be a gorgeous sight despite my issue with this game even being developed in the first place. Publishers need to learn that franchises should be allowed to die with some grace and dignity. Sure, the games may end up being totally functional, but its just the principle of it. 3 is a sacred number, and thus why humanity shows such a powerful inclination towards it, leading to this constant obsession with everything being a trilogy. To make a fourth entry into a series when there's already been 3 succesful games, films, or whatever, just comes across as all kinds of wrong to me. Halo 4, I feel, is going to act as the poster boy for this trend. Functional, yet stagnant. I'm calling it now that this will be the case for ME4 too. That and the inevitable ME 5 and 6.

#11 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3027 posts) -

I'd really kill for a prequel trilogy instead of a full on sequel to what just happened. Any who can't wait to see what's next in store for the universe.

#12 Posted by RE_Player1 (7549 posts) -

Mass Effect starts with the first game and ends with the second for me. The universe is done for me so good luck to them but I couldn't give a shit.

#13 Posted by solidwolf52 (300 posts) -

I'm kind of concerned. I almost expect this game to be just a shooter, with al the RPG and choice options gone.

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9588 posts) -

I really appreciate the low key, personal touch BioWare put on the DA3 and this announcement. I so appreciate being spoken to like an adult. Obviously near launch its going to be "TITS AND GUNS KABLAOW!" but right now it's nice.

#15 Posted by Kerned (1169 posts) -

That dead horse is thoroughly beaten.

#16 Posted by believer258 (11641 posts) -

Ah, well.

They should just place it in a different universe altogether. Think Final Fantasy, but in trilogies. 1, 2, 3 would be the Reaper trilogy, 4, 5, 6 would be the something trilogy, 7, 8, 9 would be something else, etc.

#17 Posted by Brendan (7687 posts) -

@MarkWahlberg said:

milking this space cow.

#18 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

Who cares? Mass Effect as a universe is more dead than Firefly. The only difference is that sane people want more Firefly. Fuck Mass Effect and fuck Bioware. I will dance on their graves!

#19 Posted by N7 (3573 posts) -

Man. Lens flare was bad enough when you were on the ground, imagine all of the lens flare from fucking SPACE.
 
"SHEPARD. LENS FLARE IS ATTACKING EARTH. TAKE THIS PISTOL AND DO EVERYTHING."

#20 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -
#21 Posted by wait (54 posts) -

This might bring some fresh material and new perspective into the franchise. I'm a huge fan of Bioware, but the last two games they put out( exclude old republic) I didn't even finish. Best of luck Montreal

#22 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4929 posts) -

Mass Effect adventure game.

Think about it.

#23 Posted by StarvingGamer (8007 posts) -

Gimme gimme gimme

#24 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

Games this should be:

  • Character Action Game where you play as a Justicar.
  • Adventure Game set in C-Sec, LA Noire style. Investigatin' murders.
  • Political strategy game of some sort.
  • RTS game across the Mass Effect universe; First Contact War, Krogan Rebellion, Rachni War and The Reaper War could all be involved. Features shifting factions based on council alliances at each timeframe.

Games this should not be:

  • Mass Effect 4
  • Anything that plays like a Mass Effect RPG
  • Asari Dating Sim
#25 Posted by JeanLuc (3572 posts) -

I still really like Mass Effect so sign me up.

#26 Posted by Voxus (320 posts) -

The only logical place ME can go is Time Travel, right?

#27 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2135 posts) -

I loved ME3 despite the ending, so I'm down.

#28 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

Cool! Hopefully they create a story that is far removed from previous Mass Effect games. I still love the universe so I hope they explore it more with the new ME game.

#29 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Awesome! can we please play as a jokey Turian on his death row? ... or you know just whatever becuase I really want to explore the universe again hopefully on a lesser role I don't want to save the galaxy again.

#30 Posted by Sjosz (485 posts) -

The new Mass Effect game is being made by the team in Montréal, who was mostly responsible for the DLC in ME2 and ME3.

Except of course for the part where Overlord, Lair of the Shadowbroker, Zaeed, Kasumi and Leviathan were all done in Edmonton.

#31 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

I think Halo 4 proved that sometime a new, fresh dev is what an old series needs.

#32 Edited by themangalist (1717 posts) -

@Tylea002 said:

Games this should not be:
  • Asari Dating Sim

I want Asari Rapelay. And I hope Bioware makes it.

#33 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -

I'm totally down for a Mass Effect 4. I love the series.

#34 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

@Brendan said:

@MarkWahlberg said:

milking this space cow.

Mass Effect: Moonville Farming Simulator 2015.

#35 Posted by Andorski (5191 posts) -

Sounds like they're dumping Mass Effect to the B team while actual Bioware works on something else.

#36 Edited by Etnos (245 posts) -

In an unrelated note: there is not a single fit/thin person on that picture.. game design careers yay!

#37 Posted by Roger778 (953 posts) -

This is very exciting news. It's good to know that the people who are working on this game did the DLC's for Mass Effect 2, which were excellent.

Now, we just need a good story, and a great new cast of characters, including a lead hero who is nothing like Shepard. As of now, I'm definitely on board.

#38 Edited by Aetheldod (3511 posts) -

I hope they bring a new perspective to things .... I wont say I will be blindly optimistic as last time , but hopefull this will be good.

Online
#39 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

@Etnos said:

In an unrelated note: there is not a single fit/thin person on that picture.. game design careers yay!

yes there is.

#40 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Have no problems with this. Let's see how Dragon Age 3 turns out first...

#41 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Etnos said:

In an unrelated note: there is not a single fit/thin person on that picture.. game design careers yay!

dude at least half are fit/thin, what the fuck are you talking about

#42 Posted by Bumpton (441 posts) -

Wow, some surprisingly angry responses to this... Personally, I'm stoked! I think it's an awesome universe and can't wait to jump back in.

#43 Posted by pweidman (2298 posts) -

That's fine by me as I love the ME franchise but man, apparently the hate still lingers. Hopefully they're given the appropriate amount of time for development by EA.

But what I really wanna know is what are Casey Hudson and the team at Edmonton working on.

#44 Posted by Etnos (245 posts) -

@doobie said:

@Etnos said:

In an unrelated note: there is not a single fit/thin person on that picture.. game design careers yay!

yes there is.

OK ill correct that.. there is a handful of fit/thin people in that picture..

#45 Posted by OmegaPirate (5523 posts) -

@Brendan said:

@MarkWahlberg said:

milking this space cow.

where the, how the.... why does this image exist?!?!?!

#46 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

@pweidman said:

That's fine by me as I love the ME franchise but man, apparently the hate still lingers. Hopefully they're given the appropriate amount of time for development by EA.

But what I really wanna know is what are Casey Hudson and the team at Edmonton working on.

Hopefully the team is working ona new strain of flesheating virus and they administer it on Casey Hudson

#47 Posted by BoG (5181 posts) -

I will buy this.

I don't know what to think of this, though:

" the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore"

The fact that this isn't specific baffles me. He says "diverse alien races," but not "Asari, Drell, etc." He says "huge galaxy to explore," again, as if it may be unrelated to the previous game. My main gripe with the third game was that it essentially made it impossible to explore the universe created post-reaper conflict, something I just expected all along. Will they use this as an opportunity to start from scratch, making something totally unrelated? Or will the galaxy become unrecognizable following the events of ME3?

I would laugh if they do the Reaper conflict all over again. These new people have no idea, and the cycle continues!

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