Developer BioWare has reportedly put the “Mass Effect” franchise on hiatus and has reorganized the “Mass Effect: Andromeda” studio, BioWare Montreal, into a support studio.
BioWare, a subsidiary of EA, won’t be killing the “Mass Effect” franchise, but will instead be taking a break from it. This also means that the latest installment, “Andromeda,” won’t likely have a follow-up anytime soon, sources told Kotaku.
Some BioWare Montreal employees were transferred last month to EA Motive to work on “Star Wars: Battlefront II.” Those that remained in the studio will help provide support for BioWare’s other games including the upcoming new IP from EA that’s codenamed “Dylan,” which is expected to be revealed at E3 2017 this June.
BioWare Montreal will continue to support for “Mass Effect: Andromeda.” Just yesterday, IBT reported that the studio released a massive update with its 1.06 patch for the game which included improvements and fixes to issues that’s been plaguing its single-player campaign and online multiplayer modes.
“Our teams at BioWare and across EA put in tremendous effort bringing ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ to players around the world. Even as BioWare continues to focus on the ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ community and live service, we are constantly looking at how we’re prepared for the next experiences we will create,” BioWare Montreal studio director Yanick Roy said in a statement sent by EA. “We’re also ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development. There will be much more to come from BioWare in the years ahead.”
“Mass Effect: Andromeda” was released just this past March. The game garnered lukewarm reception from fans and critics alike due to its writing and animation. Sources have said that “Andromeda” went through a brutal development process because of technical challenges and major changes that were implemented late into its development.
“Mass Effect: Andromeda” is also the very first game in the franchise to be primarily developed by BioWare Montreal. The studio was founded in 2009 and was tasked to make DLC content for “Mass Effect 2” and “Mass Effect 3.” The first three entries in the franchise were developed by BioWare’s main studio in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
“And while overall the aggregate review scores were lower than we would have liked, we did have over 100 reviewers score the game at 80 or higher. So it represents a fanbase that’s very passionate, that’s looking for very particular things, and many players found exactly what they’re looking for, and some players did not.” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said about the mixed reaction to “Mass Effect: Andromeda.”
“We’re very happy with how BioWare is doing, how BioWare is treating Mass Effect, and our expectations for Mass Effect are still strong for the future and the franchise overall,” Wilson added. However, the CEO also says that BioWare is now focusing on EA’s new IP “Dylan” that has already been delayed to a fiscal year 2019 release date, which is between April 2018 and March 2019. The company says that it had to delay the upcoming game so that BioWare can further develop its live service component.
BioWare will be putting the “Mass Effect” series on ice as its Montreal studio works on other projects.