In a studio profile on Polygon, Anthem's executive producer Mike Darrah and general manager Casey Hudson suggest that Bioware still has faith in the Mass Effect series after Andromeda underwhelmed fans in 2017.
“We’re definitely not done with Mass Effect," says Darrah. "There’s a lot of stories to be told. We could pull on the threads we put down with Andromeda; we could pull on threads from Mass Effect 3. There’s a lot of interesting space to be explored.”
“In my mind, it’s very much alive,” says Hudson. “I’m thinking all the time about things that I think will be great. It’s just a matter of getting back to it as soon as we can.”
'As soon as we can' might be a while. In addition to launching Anthem and supporting it as a living game, Bioware also appears to be working on a new Dragon Age game.
The report suggests that the Frostbite engine may have been partly responsible for Bioware's Andromeda struggles. RPG systems had to be constructed from scratch to support the kind of story-driven game Bioware is famous for. The studio has since invested in advanced performance capture technology for Anthem. The Andromeda project was also rebooted multiple times, after failed experiments involving procedurally generated planets. The bulk of the game that we played was apparently developed in an 18-month sprint.
Imagine a new Mass Effect game built with new technology and a less fraught production phase. It's one of our favourite series ever, and it deserves another shot.