BioWare: Calling next entry Mass Effect 4 is a disservice

Studio rep says next game in series may not be set after or before Mass Effect 3, or even feature any of the same characters.

BioWare wants to make clear that the next entry in the Mass Effect series should not be known as Mass Effect 4. Writing on the BioWare forums (via Eurogamer), community developer Chris Priestly explained that the only confirmed detail about the new game is that it will not feature Commander Shepard.

"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 said.

"We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. 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."

Priestly added that a much more accurate way of thinking about the next Mass Effect game is "what happens next set in the Mass Effect universe." The developer said he expects fans to speculate as to content, character, and story, but nothing official will be announced for some time.

The next Mass Effect game was officially confirmed in November. It will run on the Frostbite game engine--the technology that powers DICE's Battlefield games, among others--and is said to be "very respectful" of the franchise's core pillars, though BioWare is pursuing new directions with regard to story and gameplay.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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671 comments
ShepardLivesOn
ShepardLivesOn

Am I the only one that thinks the game should be set during the 2 years when Shepard was dead? I personally think it should be that, or a game set after the Reapers, when everything is still getting put back together. I would like some closure with previous characters(Mainly Liara, but that's a personal wish), while adding a cast of new ones, as well.

jeep3r
jeep3r

Well i'am waiting to see how dragon age inquisition comes out, then i will decide if my faith in Bioware will be restored or not, not complaining about me3 , i mean me3 was cool until the last 15 mins, to me to understand the endings would be imagining that all happens in shepard's mind as his being fights to survive after Harbinger's attack.

gtacatalina
gtacatalina

Sounds like that they don't know what they are doing.

Parky-73
Parky-73

My Shepard lives in the end. Does that mean I get a different start in the next game?  Will my choices in the first trilogy have an effect on events in the future?  Will I be able to play one of the different species in the next game?  And finally how do you top the reapers as an arch- enemy?  These are questions I would like answered, but it appears as though it will be a long time before they are.

theCCyberDDemon
theCCyberDDemon

Whatever it may be, EA will end up messing everything anyway. Just let us hope for a new trilogy who can keep up with the logical but not obvious plot, and maybe i can start to care about ME again. Shep should have a very big statue on London, if not, you dont even need to touch that game.

atombomb1
atombomb1

It doesn't have to be a huge epic end of the world scenario...It could be about tracking down a mafia organization around the universe and bringing them down. They wouldn't even have to mention the previous story if they didn't want to. It will be it's own story.

GemTopiary
GemTopiary

What? If "the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side." of the events of Mass Effect, then is it just a Mass Effect Alternate Universe game?

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I really really hope they don't go the "Prequel" direction with this.  Yes, I realize they would have to "cannonize" one of the main ME3 endings..... but with a story that is centered around choices, and having those choices have a real, tangible impact on the universe, anything that comes before ME3, time-wise, seems small potatoes when compared to how the ME3 ending would alter all life as we know it.  

It's like; why do I care if I get to fight Turians in the First Contact War if..... A)  I already know how that conflict will turn out, regardless of whatever little things they will let me alter...... and B)  Who cares, since the Catalyst will have such a huge impact relatively soon thereafter. 

I absolutely LOVED the Mass Effect series..... it was basically one of the coolest sci-fi stories I've ever read/heard/consumed, but I was able to change major (and minor) parts of the story due to my actions.  As a result of this, I almost feel as "Mass Effect 4" (or whatever they end up calling it) would HAVE to take into account all of the endings where the Reapers didn't end this cycle by killing/harvesting nearly all intelligent life.  I dunno, to do otherwise would remove that which MADE Mass Effect such an amazing series by saying "Yeah I know you chose ending A, but we're canonizing Ending C, so we'll keep your other decisions but the REALLY, REALLY BIG ONE we'll just assume you chose differently."  

I realize this would require a LOT of work on Bioware's part....  probably too much work to be able to feasibly make a game, but perhaps that means they should put the series on the shelf for now.  I just don't see how a series that gave you choices that ACTUALLY MATTERED can just start a new trilogy without taking into account the games that came before.  As I said, this would probably bring in too many variables to write script for (one solution they'll never use but that WOULD work: no voice acting; just written script) but anything else wouldn't be Mass Effect anymore.  Then again, Dragon Age: Origins had greatly varying beginning stories based on your Class/Race selection.... maybe there could just be a different 5-10 hour beginning depending on your ME3 ending..... there IS something very close to precedent with DA: Origins...... (heh, I literally just thought of that as I was typing this).  Just as I really didn't have a lot of interest in a story like Omega, knowing (or at least figuring) that it wouldn't drastically alter the main theme of ME3, a prequel to the ME Series just wouldn't really excite me very much.  I'd rather live and die in the universe that I made all those tough choices to save in the first place.  Wasn't that the whole point of saving it?

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

I don't see how they will get around picking a canon ending if it's set after the events of ME3.

While the 3 endings were similar regarding colors, they all were vastly vastly different as far as consequences for the galaxy. Even if it was set 1000 years later, it would still be obvious which ending they chose or didn't choose. Do the reapers still exist? Does organic life exist? Answering those two questions can solidify which ending was "Canon"

Divad222
Divad222

The ending of the Trilogy is one discussion, but as for the mass effect universe, I loved it. The 3rd game really cemented this with its spectacular missions (again, not talking about the ending). 

I would love to return to this universe, but Bioware would need to take a really creative approach in order to keep the life in the franchise.

coolpcgamer
coolpcgamer

I have an idea. How about "Mass Effect: Rise of the DLCs"?

Noshi_Tocho
Noshi_Tocho

How about a brand new sci-fi game? It doesn't have to tie into mass effect at all. New characters, new galaxy, new plot, new technologies, new gameplay mechanics. If calling it Mass Effect 4 is such a disservice, then a logical approach would be to not make another "Mass Effect" game. It doesn't mean it can't be another sci-fi genre. In fact, it may help those that were disappointed with how the mass effect series ended move on.

twztid13
twztid13

All the endings were the same, so that's not hard, lol. J/k

hugoadan
hugoadan

a sequel would be quite interesting imo, just think about it... take the destroy ending as canon and add the indoctrination theory to it, shepard does not make it to the citadel, but survives the battle. then he/she realizes that the last 10 minutes of the game never happened! hahahaa, just thinking aloud :) i just want more mass effect...

skop1234
skop1234

Hey guy, as long as the ending doesn't make me feel like I did something wrong, you can call it whatever you want. Also, bring back the cool down for weapons...thermal clips are kinda dumb.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

Can't see them using Mass Effect Universe either since all the Mass Relays exploded leaving a trail of Mass Murder/Genocide beyond, all technology mostly obliterated yadda yadda yadda. 

I wish they would just move on and maybe DO CREATE something NEW.

Rheinmetal
Rheinmetal

I think will keep calling it Mass Effect 4 to piss them off.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Now that they have more games like ME2 and only one like ME1 I guess calling the first game Mass Effect is actually a bigger disservice. Waiting for a true sequel or franchise to pick up the concept and not turn it into a 3rd person shooter with dialog options.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

Regardless of what the story is, or when it takes place, one thing I do think could add a lot to the experience is if they add the ability for players to choose from multiple races and backstories when they create their character, in the same manner they could in Dragon Age Origins. This would add a ton of replay value (although ME already had a lot as it is) and would make interacting with other races and characters far more interesting.

They don't need to include too many races, mind you. I reckon the four counsel races (Human, Assari, Turian and Salarians) would be enough, but having Krogans wouldn't hurt either (or would, for all your enemies).

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

basically, just telling the world they are alive.

Nodashi
Nodashi

So... Mass Effect 4 release date?

jollybest1
jollybest1

This, DA3, TheWitcher3, Cyberpunk and Rome 2 TW  are on my list even if the released dates aren't announced yet....


lYMICrazyl
lYMICrazyl

Man I do not even care. When I say that I mean that since ME3 crushed my favorite series, I will not take ME seriously in terms of choice and plot. I will still "try" the game like I did the new devil may cry. For giggles

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

You expect me to 'speculate' -- YEA! Why don't you call me when you have some real information. As if I'm going to waste my time on something that "...does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc". P!ss off and raise awareness for your game the NORMAL way. Not through the same method that brought ME3 and BioWare that awful notoriety.

giort08
giort08

I Love the Hell out of this Series, warts n' all. If they can provide a similar experience in the next Mass Effect chapter(s) count me in! :D

Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

I personally still want to have faith in Bioware, but it is real hard lately to do that.  They have made a lot of mistakes lately with DA2, ME3, and TOR.  I liked ME3, but it is still my at least favorite game of the series.  It is a good game.  But it could have been so much more.  Bioware just needs to find a way to get rid of EA and start over.  EA/Bioware is not a good combo.


liron99
liron99

It will run on the Frostbite game engine--the technology that powers DICE's Battlefield games, among others--and is said to be "very respectful" of the franchise's core pillars, though BioWare is pursuing new directions with regard to story and gameplay. 
___________________________________________

so we get BF in ME universe?

DarthLod
DarthLod

I don't care what it is, I wont be buying it. ME3 was the end for me, failure, and I didn't buy it. Once Multiplayer comes to a franchise I drop it.

jurk182
jurk182

It won't take place after or before ME3. CONFIRMED. The game is all about quantum mechanics and pocket universes that exist outside time and space. 

Evilnator
Evilnator

To be honest the ending of 3 ruined the trilogy so badly that it's a good thing the stories are completely unrelated.

bruce_5
bruce_5

If it's in the same universe, with the same alien races and you can play as an asari, im in

TacticaI
TacticaI

They are about to go so left with the Mass Effect name it isn't even going to be funny. I can feel it. If nothing has been made official why bother to try and control the conversation about it? What of people's expectations do they have to be afraid of? Is it because the game is going to be so completely and utterly unrecognizable like Dragon Age Origins 1 &  2? 

herman-huaco11
herman-huaco11

@CaptWaffleI like your comments but if you think carefully, they wouldn't have to place the game in the past or the present but it could perfectly be situated in the future, wether  near or far away. One such as a milenia that has passed in which Shepard's story is now legend, then all the endings and choices you made could be feasible since the actual story could be "misplaced" or lost. OR, at the beginning of the game could take into account your save from ME3, again like it did in ME2 to ME3, and that way, even if the story of ME4 or wathever is called doesn't have anything to do with Shepard or the characters or even the timeline of the first trilogy, they could give all the players their same personal experience they've been giving us for all this time. For this reasons i believe that it wouldn't be necessary a cannon ending at all. Plaesa correct me if I'm wrong. Bye

Nodashi
Nodashi

@TenraiSenshi As much as I love the Krogans, I think they would be less interesting as lead characters than, say, Salarians. Salarian would be my choice all the way - the guilt of having to deal with the Genophage is my favorite side plot in the ME trilogy, and I'd love to play as Mordin (or someone, like him, directly involved in the Genophage).


jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

@DarthLod Hmmm, don't like multiplayer, eh? Either you are seriously anti-social (in which case, why would you post a social comment) or you just seriously suck at games and can't stand being ashamed of yourself everytime you've played multiplayer.

BTW: ME3 was co-op online, not competitive. So does this change your story? Or are you also going to try to convince us that you don't do Co-op? I call bull's hit if you claim you refused to play either Contra or Borderlands (best ever co-op games, IMO)

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@DarthLod I have read a lot of illogical and irrational comments on this site, but this one is probably one of the worst I've ever seen.

Smurphi
Smurphi

@DarthLod Your loss.  If you were truly invested in the storyline, and not looking for a self serving glory-fest... Yes the ending was questionable at best, but the game (as someone that bothered to play them all through with my choices, not the 'right' ones) I was brought to tears with the many deaths and choices that weren't able to be made... It was real and right and quite possibly my best gaming experience to date.

The ending was needed to end the series, there was a kinda choice in the ending, but Shepard needed to exit and be the legend that the trilogy was building him/her to be.

Bioware... how dare you make me not hate you... for a bit amyways...

Mariner32
Mariner32

@DarthLod So it doesn't matter if the multiplayer is good or if it doesn't detract from the single-player experience at all? You simply drop a franchise as soon as they introduce multiplayer? Seems an odd, arbitrary policy and you've likely missed out on a several good games because of it.

bruce_5
bruce_5

the asari daughters of shepard and liara, the most powerfull biotics in the universe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Kickable
Kickable

@TacticaI considering the rage that Mass Effect 3 ending caused this could be them playing it safe and not giving a volatile fanbase no conclusions whatsoever to jump to yet.  looking at a few comments here already, not the worst idea they've had

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

@jasonlc3221 The term is asocial.  If he was anti-social, he would be actively doing things against societal norms to piss off everyone.   And what a glorious jump to conclusion to make regarding his distaste for MP.  He doesn't enjoy playing what is essentially a tacked on Mass Effect horde mode and actually likes to play single player, so this suddenly makes him asocial?  Begone with you, you judgmental idiocy-injected hypocrite.  It's people like you who are the reason why we have "Facebook gaming" and Sony trying to implement more "social" tripe onto PS4, without actually caring about the games anymore.  Deplorable. 

LatinproX
LatinproX

@Shango4 @DarthLod Yup, dismissing any game for MP is dumb.  Many games excel at MP even though the single player mode is not good.

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

It's kind of hard to miss "good" games with multiplayer when every fucking game that has been released this gen has had an MP mode of some kind. 

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

@Mariner32 @DarthLod MP clearly did detract from the vanilla unpatched version of ME 3, seeing as how you needed to play the multiplayer to get the "best" ending.  This was of course, before they got called out the bullshit and Bioware changed it.  So much for that argument of yours huh?

wolfedya
wolfedya

@Fo_Fai Games are meant to be a fun time killer, aren't they after all? Competitiveness is not fun, it's an ego gamble. Some people don't like that. I for one, I work my ass off and feel good cause I was better than most at work.
A video game that requires me to do that very same thing for no actual prize to look forward to is not appealing to me. I like to take my time and relax, not rush my ass off just for the sake of pissing that 13 year old swear machine online.

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

@LatinproX @Shango4 @DarthLod It's not a matter of dismissing a game merely for its MP.  It's about not being a sheep who accepts Developers shoehorning in a tacked on mode to appeal to FPS fans.