BioWare Montreal Takes Over Mass Effect

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BioWare Montreal Takes Over Mass Effect

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BioWare's Montreal studio says it will explore new directions with both story and gameplay in the next Mass Effect game.

It's hardly a surprise that the Mass Effect franchise will carry on despite the end of Commander Shepard's galaxy-saving story arc, but it won't be happening in Edmonton. The next game will instead be developed by BioWare Montreal, which studio director Yanick Roy revealed is already working on the game. The studio had a hand in the development of both Mass Effect 2 and 3, but "always in conjunction with Casey [Hudson], the Mass Effect leads and the developers in Edmonton." This time around, the Montreal team is in the driver's seat.

"To ensure a proper and effective transition, we'll continue to be supported by the Edmonton studio through the game's development, working with and learning from them on some critical initiatives. On top of that, Casey remains the Executive Producer, but he will have a Project Director under him, working in Montreal, leading our development team and making day-to-day decisions for the game," Roy wrote in a BioWare Blog post.

"There is really not much I can tell you about the game right now, except that it will be built with the amazing technology of Frostbite as its foundation, enhanced by many of the systems that the Dragon Age III team has already spent a lot of time building," he continued. "The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games, with the original trilogy now concluded and the switch over to a new engine, we are exploring new directions, both on the gameplay and story fronts. You can still expect the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore, and of course rich, cinematic storytelling."

The core team is already together and Roy said the studio will bulk up at an accelerated pace over the next year in order to support the development of the game. He also admitted that "it's probably going to be quite awhile" before the team has any meaningful details about Mass Effect 4 (or whatever it ends up being called) to share.

Source: BioWare Blog

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"explore new directions with both story and gameplay in the next Mass Effect game."

I hate when developers say things like that
Unless you are making RTS or racing game out of Mass Effect you do not "explore new directions"
You're simply tweaking game mechanics a bit

For example- when everyone is using gasoline generators, building nuclear reactor is "new direction", building ethanol generator isn't

Hopefully, this means that the Bioware Edmonton Mass Effect team, is working on an original IP.

My guess is that it won't be set in the same continuity as the original games.
Like a new Final Fantasy, it will share some core themes and recurring ideas, but will otherwise take place within a different game world.

Unless it *somehow* changes the last game's ending, I probably won't be interested. I've never had a great interest in prequels or midquels (especially not when the main conflict of the universe has already been resolved in another game).

So basically making Gears of War with Mass Effect skins?
That's what ME3 felt like for me at least.
I'm pretty sure innovation is a dead thing for the Mass Effect series,I expect this one to be a stinker.

My prediction: A nostalgia-driven, 2D isometric, "old-school" tactical RPG just like they used to make in the olden days.

Leftnt Sharpe:
Hopefully, this means that the Bioware Edmonton Mass Effect team, is working on an original IP.

Or that they are set to be wound down.

Not like EA has history of such behaviour or anything.

They're using the Frostbite engine?

So...does this mean instead of 3 coloured endings, we'll only have blue?

Oh, you mean like having a new protagonist?

Canadish:
They're using the Frostbite engine?

So...does this mean instead of 3 coloured endings, we'll only have blue?

The sad part is, it'll still bite.

I can see this working.

Mass Effect was a great series, but I don't think it had anything "Special" about it that meant a new dev team can't make a good new one.

Maybe we can get some good animation this time too.

fix-the-spade:

Leftnt Sharpe:
Hopefully, this means that the Bioware Edmonton Mass Effect team, is working on an original IP.

Or that they are set to be wound down.

Not like EA has history of such behaviour or anything.

I try not to dwell on that idea and be positive. But............its EA, so its always on the cards.

Andy Chalk:

"The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games.

This part amused me, because personally I'd argue that the third game wasn't particularly respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first two.

Canadish:
They're using the Frostbite engine?

So...does this mean instead of 3 coloured endings, we'll only have blue?

And brown. Actually, four very slightly different shades of brown and one blue.

Legion:

Andy Chalk:

"The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games.

This part amused me, because personally I'd argue that the third game wasn't particularly respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first two.

No matter how hard they try the developers will get some part of the lore wrong that'll contradict the previous three games and the fans will call foul. It just depends on how important the mistake is.

In terms of a new direction, I'm probably calling prequel. The First Contact War, Skyllian Blitz, The Morning War, Rachni Wars, Krogan Uprising etc.

make it about smugglers getting in way over their heads.

Amethyst Wind:

No matter how hard they try the developers will get some part of the lore wrong that'll contradict the previous three games and the fans will call foul. It just depends on how important the mistake is.

In terms of a new direction, I'm probably calling prequel. The First Contact War, Skyllian Blitz, The Morning War, Rachni Wars, Krogan Uprising etc.

It could go the other way. Set it a few hundred years in the future where you can attempt to hand wave the endings of 3. Create a "new" synthetic race, or maybe a pocket of the universe didn't get affected by the Star child's coloured explosion.

Growing tensions between those that fully support the integration of synthetic life and the purists?

Warring factions of the church of The Shepard?

Epic Solarian sing-offs?

Or maybe, we will finally get to see how a Hanar moves...

If they make Mass Effect: Freelancer, I will buy it, and both of their crappy ME sequels just to say thank you.

Deathlyphil:
[quote="Amethyst Wind" post="7.393645.15917132"]Epic Solarian sing-offs?

Singstar: Mass Effect, it'd be the most popular Singstar within a week.

Does it matter? They're still part of EA. The best they could produce is a game that looks great on the outside but really got no depth.

Look at ME2 and ME3, the gameplay is just basically a rail shooter.

INeedAName:
Unless it *somehow* changes the last game's ending, I probably won't be interested. I've never had a great interest in prequels or midquels (especially not when the main conflict of the universe has already been resolved in another game).

Well personally I don't imagine it'll be a prequel. There's still plenty of issues to solve in the ME universe and besides it'll be refreshing if this BioWare studio actually decides NOT to focus their game on saving mankind from some potential extinction event. Oh and does learning about anything that happened after or before the real life Cold War make something less interesting for you because the stakes weren't as high as they could possibly of been for humanity? There are more stories (and more interesting stories) to tell then simply what happened in Mass Effect trilogy.

I think it has alot of potential especially considering what a void Star Wars has left in Scifi fandom after the critical failure of the prequels. I mean they went through so much trouble in the Mass Effect series to establish the politics, governments, and relations between the ME races for this reason I think. I never assumed they did all that just to build the world for just three games, it always felt like they were trying to establish a longer term franchise with an indepth world like Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Star Wars. They wanted a universe from the beginning with which they could tell a bunch more stories from. So I don't really see it as them cashing in on some surprise hit they didn't see coming. For Bioware and the ME franchise, it's all going according to plan. ^_^

EA's really pushing the frostbite engine these days. I guess they're trying to keep from liscensing Unreal Engine anymore.

As far as Mass Effect, three turned out too be too many for them to handle. I doubt 4 will be worth looking at.

Oh no! Now we'll have to play as Capitaine de frégate Berger!

Could not give two shits about the gameplay, as long as they hire people who can actually WRITE a damn COHERENT story.

blackrave:
"explore new directions with both story and gameplay in the next Mass Effect game."

I hate when developers say things like that
Unless you are making RTS or racing game out of Mass Effect you do not "explore new directions"
You're simply tweaking game mechanics a bit

For example- when everyone is using gasoline generators, building nuclear reactor is "new direction", building ethanol generator isn't

After mass effect 2 and 3 hopefully this "new direction" will lead them back to mass effect 1, you know when lore and the things you did mattered.

Duffeknol:
Could not give two shits about the gameplay, as long as they hire people who can actually WRITE a damn COHERENT story.

Preachin to the quire here man

As long as Casey Hudson is involved in any way, even if he is just making the tea, I am not interested. Even if they kick his arse out the door for being a 5th rate hack of a writer it would still take alot for me to trust Bioware again.

Leftnt Sharpe:
Hopefully, this means that the Bioware Edmonton Mass Effect team, is working on an original IP.

Since Bioware Montreal developed ME3 MP, it only means that ME4 will be transformed in to a competitive Third Person Shooter... all for the happiness of EA. The last sembances of RP will be removed from the game. In a couple of years Bioware will became an empty shell.

Frostbite? Finally, one thing i always hated about Mass Effect was the unreal engine. It just made it look dated and all the characters looked ugly as hell, even all the female ones.

It will have colour..... I hope. Mass Effect 2 had colour, i like to think the lack of colour in Mass Effect 3 was a purposeful atheistic choice, rather than pandering to the modern gamer....

wait, i think i may be giving bioware too much credit here.

Considering ME2 and 3's gameplay bored me to tears, I support the new direction.

I'll wait a bit before making a judgement on the story. ME2/3's wasn't all that great (most of it, not just the ending), so I hope they take it somewhere good. I hope they include using gameplay mechanics to re-enforce the story, and vice-versa rather than have story bits separated by shooter bits.

I also hope there's more times where I walk around, just talking to people and aliens and taking it all in. None of it leading to combat, just building characters and personalities and all that.

Also, more Hanar/Elcor/Volus please they got steadily less involved in Mass Effect as the series went on, and that's a damn shame.

Also also, more color and contrast, please. ME3 was pretty de-saturated and void of anything truly popping. Damn-near all their set-piece moments just blended with the backgrounds and made it all look bland. So yeah, more color. And contrast. Though you can make visually interesting scenes without much color, Spec-Ops the line did that pretty well.

Still waiting to command one of those star ships and actually shoot something with it. Come on, that's a much more interesting way to gather loot to a degree then scrubbing the planet with a virtual feather duster.

That and hope the side quest fetch quest marathon that ME3 had does not repeat.

Will keep and eye on that one cause it's made in Montreal and we Quebeckers are awesome in everything we do.

GenGenners:
My guess is that it won't be set in the same continuity as the original games.

Hah we should be so lucky ... no MacCasey didn't grind the setting into the mud just to let it be rescued again.

We will get prequels and not like it and that's that.

same bullshit, different developer. At least utilizing their skill from the very worst of the previous game should work out well, right? RIGHT?

Eh, it worked out okay for Halo 4.

Honestly, we don't expect much from Bioware these days, so why not let another studio take a fresh crack at it? Could be a pleasant surprise. And if not, oh well, we weren't expecting much.

Loved all of them, probably will love this one too. God people are bitchy over here.

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