When Mass Effect: Andromeda released back in 2017, it didn’t catch on with some fans for a number of reasons. Not only did the game notably ship with quite a few bugs and errors, but some found the game’s characters to be less interesting compared to previous entries in the series. Well, according to new information that has now emerged, Andromeda at one point was set to feature far more characters, although the content was eventually cut during development.
In a new report from The Gamer, it was said that BioWare at one point had designs outlined for roughly ten new alien species within Mass Effect: Andromeda. These new creatures were meant to be native to the Andromeda galaxy and would help explore this new location that much more. However, many of these aliens were cut for a number of different reasons.
One of the primary reasons was seemingly that of a limited budget. Neil Pollner, who worked on Mass Effect: Andromeda as a writer, said that the studio could only include a number of these designs that it had planned out. “But we were only given the budget for two new species, plus the Remnant,” Pollner explained. “Not to mention that we couldn't even include all the Milky Way species. And we weren't going to be able to let you travel throughout the galaxy. This meant that we had to develop the story around some pretty glaring inorganic limitations.”
In one of the stranger instances of why BioWare had to be more limited with these aliens that it brought to Mass Effect: Andromeda, it was said that fan cosplay ended up being a determining factor. According to previous BioWare employee Dorian Kieken, the studio had to take into account which characters could be cosplayed by fans later on. “The intention in Mass Effect: Andromeda was to introduce new races that would still be in the realm of cosplay, which is probably why more crazy concepts were abandoned,” Kieken explained. It’s definitely a weird way for content to hit the cutting room floor, but considering that BioWare didn't have an expansive budget to add all of these characters anyway, this surely wasn't the determining factor.
It remains to be seen moving forward how much Mass Effect: Andromeda will be utilized in the future of the series. At the moment, BioWare is already hard at work on the next chapter in the saga. And while what has been teased seems like it might serve more as a sequel to the original games, perhaps the events of Andromeda will somehow tie in.
In the more near term, however, Mass Effect Legendary Edition is slated to release in just a few short months on May 14th, 2021. It will be playable on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.