Commander Shepard is gone, but not forgotten. BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas confirmed to VG247 that Shepard's story is finished, and the captain will not be featured in Mass Effect 4, or whatever the next entry in the series is titled.
"There is one thing we are absolutely sure of--there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over," Condominas said. "This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don't even know what kind of time frame we're going to be in. All we're doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things."
As for who may replace Shepard as the franchise's leading character, Condominas made clear that BioWare is not simply going to iterate on Shepard.
"So first, we don't want to make 'Shepard 2', or Mass Effect 4 with like, 'oh there's no more Shepard but you're a soldier in the universe'. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest," he said.
Last month alongside the departure of BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the company announced that a new Mass Effect game was forming at the studio. Details are non-existent on the project, but it has been confirmed that Mass Effect 3 producer Casey Hudson is attached to the game, said to be a "full" Mass Effect title.