Titan Books has officially announced its plan for a series of Mass Effect: Andromeda novels, and it's a little bit different from what we heard back in June. The publisher said there will be three novels coming rather than four, beginning with Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising, written by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander, which will hit the shelves on March 28, 2017.
Following Nexus Uprising will be Mass Effect: Annihilation by Catherynne M. Valente, coming in the summer, and then Mass Effect: Initiation by N.K. Jemesin—initially expected to be the first novel—which will arrive in the fall. Details about the story "can't yet be disclosed because they are so tightly tied to the Mass Effect: Andromeda game adventure," Titan said.
The fourth novel planned for the Douglas Adams-style trilogy, intended to be written by Mass Effect creative director Mac Walters, is off the table for now, although it could still be released at some point down the road. It sounds like he has his hands full, to be honest.
"When we first announced our partnership with Titan the idea was I'd do a fourth book which would be a bridge to the movie—which is still something that's out there and we're still talking about. But when I became creative director [on Andromeda] that became priority, I guess. And with the state of where the movie was—it just didn't feel like a priority," Walters told Eurogamer. "So what we said was, look, we'll deliver a fourth book but we'll see how these three do tied to Andromeda first. They're great, I expect people will want to see more of Andromeda before they want more of a bridge to a possible future movie, so that's the only reason they changed. Mass Effect Andromeda became a much higher focus—certainly my main focus."
The Mass Effect movie, in case you're worried that you've missed some important bit of news, was announced in 2010 but has made little progress since, and all three BioWare-based executive producers—Greg Zeschuk, Ray Muzyka, and Casey Hudson—have long since left the studio. That makes the possibility of a fourth, Walters-penned novel remote—but also a good signal for progress on the film if and when it appears.