Mass Effect is an incredibly important franchise to me. Why, just last year I wrote a piece about what does N7 day mean anymore with the game series seemingly left for dead after Andromeda. Shortly after, however, Bioware seems to have activated its trolling protocols, going strong even while you read this.
Join me as we take a look at what the hell is happening with Mass Effect franchise and what can we expect in the future. This is a recap of the events of the last year, so if you keep up to date with Mass Effect news via Reddit or other means, you likely already know most of the info below.
Following Casey Hudson’s hint at Mass Effect certainly not being done, Jason Schreier published an article over at Kotaku revealing that a new Mass Effect title is in “very early development at the Edmonton office under director Mike Gamble, a longtime BioWare producer.”
If you are someone who doesn’t like to believe rumors, in the very same article Jason Schreier revealed that Bioware’s looter-shooter Anthem will be going through a massive revamp which has since turned out to be true.
This is the first and pretty much the only time there has been any information about a brand new title in the franchise. As it stands, there is nothing at all known about the game in development. We have, however, played the guessing game as to what it could possibly be!
The most interesting development since last November is the persistent rumor that Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster is in the works and could be just around the corner!
Following Electronic Arts’ quarterly financial report in May, Venture Beat’s Jeff Grubb dropped the bomb on the Mass Effect community, revealing that one of the games arriving between then and March 2021 is Mass Effect Trilogy HD remaster.
So what’s going on with THAT? Well, if you are someone who believes only the official word, nothing. It doesn’t exist. Electronic Arts and/or Bioware have not acknowledged the rumors in any way, shape or form. A number of online EA conferences have gone by with not a word on the matter. However, there is enough writing on the wall to make the Trilogy Remaster a sort of the worst kept secret in the gaming industry:
- Jeff Grubb’s initial reveal that was not disputed by the developer/publisher
- Bioware’s account making cryptic Mass Effect-themed tweets out of nowhere
- The Art of the Mass Effect Trilogy: Expanded Edition artbook aiming for release next year
- Mass Effect: The Complete Comics collection dropping very soon
- Bioware Gear Store reigniting itself with new and returning Mass Effect-themed merch
- Several unofficial listings/pre-orders for the remaster arriving (and getting removed) at a number of retailers: GAME, GamingReplay, GameWare and others.
- Other insiders such as Shinobi referencing the supposed remaster and revealing that it isn’t a “last ditch effort”.
- Jeff Grubb participating in podcast and revealing that the remaster will be coming in early 2021
Expanding a bit on the last point, Jeff Grubb participated in a podcast where he mentioned something called Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. Ladies and gentlemen, we got ‘em, we now have a (possible) name!
In particular, the journalist revealed that “the primary factor holding up development, beyond the pandemic, is the original Mass Effect game. It currently does not live up to the quality of the rest of the package. It would make a poor first impression for new players, and it might disappoint fans who then won’t go on to play and experience the impressive upgrades for Mass Effect 2 and ME 3.”
While the 2021 release date – I cannot call it a delay as the title has not been officially announced yet – might disappoint some fans, the passage above has me thrilled. Mass Effect 1 “not living up to the quality of the rest of the package” can imply that the supposed Legendary Edition is more just an upscaled version of the trilogy with 4k textures which for PC players would amount to having ALOT and ALOV fan mods installed.
The sad news in the very same article, however, is the mention of no multiplayer in the package. Hopefully, EA changes its plans and adds multiplayer at launch or as a separate package post-release.
All of the above still leaves us pretty much in the same place as the initial reveal of ME Trilogy remaster being in the works: nowhere. The only thing to do is to patiently wait until Bioware and Electronic Arts are ready to reveal the title.
With the N7 Day 2020 approaching, it is possible we will hear something then but I won’t hold my breath. The Game Awards 2020 should be happening some time after that, providing fans with another opportunity to learn something about the mysterious remaster. So grab your popcorn, launch Andromeda and stay safe as we wait for news.
Stay tuned to find out more once Bioware is done calibrating.