It’s not uncommon for a successful franchise to extend beyond original plans and continue to release sequels for years to come. It seems that despite being planned as a trilogy, we may see more of the Mass Effect universe after the release of Mass Effect 3.
It really shouldn’t come as a shock either that BioWare employees are thinking ahead when it comes to a franchise built upon the ability to have a continuing story based on player’s imported save files from one iteration to the next. While BioWare always said Mass Effect would be a trilogy, critical (and commercial) success can easily change things, and the massive scale of Mass Effect‘s universe provides ample opportunity to take advantage of this. In an interview with Forbes, co-founders of BioWare Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk pretty much confirmed this when asked if BioWare would return to the Mass Effect universe after the release of the final part of the trilogy. Greg replied:
Certainly the setting has really resonated with people, the type of aliens in the world, the type of people that inhabit space. Obviously we focus first and foremost on nailing it on this game, and then, you know, the possibilities in the future are very, very broad.
And Ray followed up with:
We want to make sure it’s awesome. [Mass Effect 3] is our first focus. Beyond that, we do have a desire to continue the Mass Effect franchise, and we’re working on the details, figuring out what the fans want, figuring out the right way.
So don’t fret either, they’re clearly not making Mass Effect 4 before ME3 even hits store shelves, but they’re obviously not opposed to making more afterwards. I’m normally one to call out a franchise immediately if it’s seen enough releases that it’s growing stale, but in the case of Mass Effect there’s still plenty of room to grow, in terms of story, characters, abilities, and modes. Rumors of a four player co-op mode have been circulating recently, but even if true, we know that ME3 is primarily focused on the single player experience. However, a co-op focused Mass Effect game sounds great, and perhaps could see the light of day later, or BioWare could have something even more creative in store for us. For now, they’re focusing on what’s really important, the development and release of Mass Effect 3, but we’ll keep our ears perked for more info on Mass Effect, and keep you posted as it arrives.