According to new rumors from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, EA and Bioware have put the Mass Effect series “on ice” and scaled back Bioware Montreal, which was responsible for Andromeda. This would effectively cancel, or significantly delay the expected Mass Effect: Andromeda 2, as the new game was originally billed as a relaunch for the series, and the start of a new trilogy.
According to Schreier’s sources, Mass Effect: Andromeda’s divisive and often lukewarm reception may have resulted in EA backing off of their larger plans for the series. “BioWare has put Mass Effect on hiatus and turned Andromeda’s developer, BioWare Montreal, into a support studio,” said Schreier citing four different anonymous sources.
Schreier is quick to point out that this doesn’t kill the entire ME franchise. It is far too large to die off like that. Instead it means that the current plans are being rethought, and it is likely that Mass Effect: Andromeda won’t be representative of the future of the series.
The developers who worked on Mass Effect: Andromeda aren’t being fired, instead a large number of them have been shifted to EA Motive, which is also housed in Montreal. That studio is one of a few that are currently working on Star Wars Battlefront 2. According to the sources, those remaining at Bioware Montreal will shift their focus to supporting the new Bioware’s other projects including the new IP, which was recently delayed and is expected to be unveiled at E3 2017.
In response to Schreier’s questioning, EA replied “With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. 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.”
However, this isn’t the death of Mass Effect: Andromeda, as many developers are expected to continue supporting that game’s multiplayer via patches and DLC. How extensive that DLC will be is still in doubt. Will we get single player story content? Hopefully so, as there were some interesting story threads left hanging at the end of Andromeda. We’ll have to wait and see if these rumors turn out to be true, but Schreier’s track record is exceptionally solid on things like this.