Despite Mass Effect: Andromeda being roundly criticized at launch for a laundry list of technical and creative shortcomings, EA was all smiles about the game at their recent financial briefing. In fact, in the words of Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson, the publisher was “very happy with how BioWare is treating Mass Effect." Well, it seems EA may have been sugarcoating things just a bit. Shocking, I know.
According to an inside report from Kotaku, the Mass Effect franchise has been chucked in the deep freeze for the time being, with no new game currently in development, which is not how big franchises like this usually work. Typically, you finish one game, then move right on to the next, because today’s triple-A games take years to make. The fact that BioWare isn’t jumping on things right away means Mass Effect fans could be waiting quite a while for a new entry.
In related news, Mass Effect: Andromeda studio BioWare Montreal may be paying the price for their game’s controversial launch. Word is, a significant portion of the studio’s employees have been transferred to EA Motive, the team behind the Star Wars Battlefront II single-player campaign. With much of its staff gone, BioWare Montreal has been demoted to “support studio” status. It will focus on continuing to update Andromeda while helping with BioWare’s recently-delayed new IP, which is code-named “Dylan.”
EA responded to Kotaku’s report, confirming the behind-the-scenes changes at BioWare Montreal in a roundabout way:
“The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects. 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.”
The fate of Mass Effect and BioWare Montreal is unfortunate, but at least this shows EA and BioWare realize something went wrong with Andromeda and are taking appropriate steps to fix the issues. I’m actually less worried about the long-term health of the Mass Effect franchise now than I was after reading EA’s “very happy” statement. EA and BioWare shouldn’t have been very happy about Mass Effect: Andromeda’s launch. The fact that they actually weren’t is a positive.
You can catch up on all WWG’s past Mass Effect: Andromeda coverage, right here.