BioWare Montreal Working on Mass Effect 4
Around the time Mass Effect 3 was coming out, BioWare said that while the game would be the end of Shepard’s story but not the end of the Mass Effect franchise. We would still be getting games set within the same universe as the originally, just with new characters and a new story. And with that new story comes a new team, as a different BioWare studio will be making Mass Effect 4.
It was announced earlier this week on the BioWare Blog that BioWare Montreal would be taking over the Mass Effect series from BioWare Edmonton and are currently working on the next installment in the franchise. BioWare Montreal does have quite a bit of experience making ME stuff, though, as they have worked pretty extensively on the latter two games of the trilogy. They made half of the cinematics for ME2 as well as most of the N7 missions and post-release content. For ME3 they worked on parts of the single player campaign and made the multiplayer. Their latest contribution to the franchise, called Omega, will be released on November 27th.
The blog post went on to say that, on top of the studio switch, there will also be an engine switch. While the original trilogy ran on Unreal Engine 3, this new game will be running on Frostbite 2. The Dragon Age III team has been building their game on this engine, and some of the systems they developed will be used in ME4.
Casey Hudson, the project director for the entire Mass Effect franchise, will still have an active role in the development of this new game. He will be serving as executive producer for the game in Edmonton, while a different project director will be handling the day-to-day stuff over in Montreal.
This could be a good thing for the franchise. Playing through ME3 right now I am finding it to be pretty inferior to its predecessor. By switching up the dev team and giving them a new engine to play with, I am hopeful that they will be able to turn out a good game that holds up to the first three games.