Yes you read that correctly. Mass Effect as a franchise has taken a fleecing on its last outing. The Bioware Montreal Studio that created it has been dissolved, its staff reallocated to EA’s Star Wars projects. No DLC will be dropping, which is highly irregular for a Mass Effect game. And its woes throughout development are well known from dooming ambitions leading to a dissonance between facial animation and script, to certain members of staff being slated for outright racism.
Mass Effect’s last outing has been the most tumultuous of the series. That’s saying something after the widely criticised end to the original trilogy. With the cancellation of DLC plans and with Mass Effect’s seeming replacement, Anthem waiting in the wings, many have come to believe Andromeda was Mass Effect’s last. Loyal fans may yet find hope for the future with EA’s Vice President, Patrick Söderlund’s latest comments on the matter.
In a Gamescom interview with GameReactor, he has expressed his love for the franchise, stating “Well I think, my personal opinion is, I think that the game… I usually don’t do this, but this is one of those places where I feel like the game got criticised a little bit more than it deserved”. More importantly, he doesn’t seem to want to let the franchise go. Commenting further, Söderlund acknowledges common gripes stating:
“I think [Andromeda] is actually a great game. Yes, we have to acknowledge the fact that there were some things that maybe we could have done better, absolutely, but as a whole, if you go in and you buy the game today with everything that’s in it today, I believe that that’s a game worth buying, personally.”
Mass Effect Deserves To Return, According To Söderlund
More importantly, Söderlund pointedly states “I see no reason why we shouldn’t come back to Mass Effect. Why not? It’s a spectacular universe, it’s a loved [franchise], it has a big fanbase, and it’s a game that has done a lot for EA and for BioWare.” This would suggest, in the eyes of top brass at EA, Mass Effect is not deserving of the death sentence the consumer base has assigned to it. “What we need to be careful of though is, whenever we bring Mass Effect back again, we have to make sure that we bring it back in a really [relevant] way, and in a fresh, exciting place. That’ my job, and that’s Casey’s [Hudson] job, and BioWare and the Mass Effect team’s job, to figure out what that looks like, and that we don’t know yet, but we will.”
Casey Hudson is the main take away here. He was an influential figure in the design process of the original trilogy but was not involved with Andromeda. Perhaps his involvement in a future title could organise Bioware in a such a way that they don’t struggle quite so much the Frostbite engine and get plans for lip sync in order pre-production. Hudson has been referenced as expressing a desire to work on Mass Effect again sometime. For our take on the controversial game, check out our review.