Trilogies are just about de rigueur for big, blockbuster games, and there haven't been many bigger over the past decade than Mass Effect. So it may surprise you to learn, as creative director Mac Walters told GameSpot, that BioWare does not intend the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda to be the first part of a new trilogy.
That's not to say that there won't be more Mass Effect games set in the Andromeda galaxy, which could possibly add up to a trilogy. But where the original Mass Effect was clearly a first step into a bigger story, Andromeda is meant to be entirely self-contained.
"At the end of this, we want it to feel like a story has completed," Walters said. "Yes, for the universe, there's much more you could explore, and we want to tease that, but it feels like its own story. It's like, 'Great. I had my Ryder sibling becoming-a-hero story. What's next? Is it going to be Ryder? Is it going to be something else? Who knows?"
Producer Michael Gamble also declined to talk about how the game will (or could) end, possibly a sensitive topic given the reception to the conclusion of Mass Effect 3. "We want to leave the ending, and what we're doing with it, as a surprise," he said. "This is a different type of story, so it will be something different than the trilogy. We can't wait to hear what fans think."
It sounds like BioWare wants to give itself freedom to decide what the future of Mass Effect will look like rather than committing to a specific direction upfront. It goes without saying that unless BioWare botches Andromeda in ways that haven't even been invented yet, the series will continue beyond this next game. But I very much like that it's not being built specifically with that in mind. I have nothing against trilogies in principle, but I really do prefer it when sequels emerge organically, rather than as necessitated by cliffhanger endings—especially when it takes years for the followups to arrive.
BioWare revealed a new Mass Effect: Andromeda cinematic yesterday, which we analyzed for you (in remarkable depth, I don't mind saying) right here. Signs point to Andromeda releasing in March 2017.