Prepare to be disappointed, at least if you’re a fan of the Mass Effect series of games. Sources have informed the media that Bioware Montreal has been downsized by its parent company Electronic Arts. After the launch of Mass Effect Andromeda, which was an attempt at a reboot of the series following the successful but terribly ended Mass Effect 3, fans of the series have been wondering what next for the series itself. As good as some aspects of Andromeda is, fans of the series – including this ardant writer – were disappointed with aspects of the game.
The reason for the possible downsizing of Bioware Montreal – the studio that took the lead on Mass Effect Andromeda – isn’t clear. But it is a blow to the chances of EA approving a sequel in the short term. Mass Effect Andromeda is still getting support of course, with a large new patch released just yesterday to fix multiplayer balancing and squish more bugs. Fans are also hoping that some of the strings Bioware Montreal left hanging at the conclusion of Andromeda’s storyline can be tied up, with scope for more to come in the future. Most of us are hoping the Quarian ark brought Blasto the first Hanar SPECTRE to the Andromeda galaxy too, am I right?
But with sources saying that the lead studio for Mass Effect Andromeda has had a staff reduction could mean a bit of a hiatus before the next title in the series. Of course, earlier this week, EA announced that a new series Bioware has been working on has met a delay, and would be released some time in EA’s 2019 financial year. Bioware Montreal’s staff may have been reduced to give this new, as yet unnamed title, a bit of a push and support. There’s also the question of when the next Dragon Age title will be released, given Inquisition was released in 2014 to critical acclaim.
Whatever the reason behind this news, and whether it’s good or bad for the Mass Effect series, there’s no way that EA would let it lie without giving it another go. People forget that the original Mass Effect had quite a few flaws too, not least the combat system, which felt awkward and stodgy in comparison to its descendents. Like the original, Andromeda gives the series somewhere to go, something to build upon. Sure, the Reapers aren’t a threat this time around, but the level of superiority they possessed forced the writers into a wall for the ending of Mass Effect 3. At least the bad guy (or guys in the Andromeda galaxy) isn’t a nearly invincible machine god thing.
Hopefully, the reported changes to Bioware Montreal aren’t permanent, and that the Mass Effect series will once again stand tall as one of the pinnacles of gaming. Say what you will about Andromeda, but the combat is amazingly fun, and is one reason among many to play it. Hopefully, DLC is still coming, and I get an option to kick Liam off the ship, Javik style. Am I right, fellow primitives?