BioWare has confirmed that the next Mass Effect game (which we’ll refer to as Mass Effect 5 until its official name is revealed) is presently in development. The scenario of the next RPG appears to be a direct sequel to the plotlines in both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Mass Effect 5 is presumably the next BioWare game, given we know very little about Dragon Age Dreadwolf, but we also don’t know much about the next Mass Effect. We’ve gathered what we do know below.
Mass Effect 5’s release date has yet to be disclosed by BioWare. BioWare GM Gary McKay stated in February 2022 that Mass Effect 5 is currently in the prototype phase, with developers experimenting with “ideas and experiences” for what the game will be, hinting that the game is coming but is not yet done. This view was reiterated in April 2022, when BioWare announced on their blog that Mass Effect 5 is still in “early” development. For N7 Day in November 2022, BioWare unveiled fresh concept art for Mass Effect 5, as well as a statement stating that the game is still in pre-production and that it is “proceeding very well.”
BioWare revealed a short and cryptic preview of the upcoming Mass Effect on N7 day in 2023, leading us to believe the game isn’t quite ready to be exhibited yet. According to Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb, Mass Effect 5 will have a similar production timeframe to Dreadwolf, which means the next Mass Effect may not be released until 2028 or 2029. If you’re wanting to play a new Mass Effect game in 2024, you should keep your hopes low.
What we know about Mass Effect
We know very little about Mass Effect 5, and the majority of our information comes from the game’s introduction film. The trailer shows two separate galaxies, increasing the notion that Mass Effect 5 is a sequel to both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, with a story that spans both realms.
At the very least, the game looks to be a real sequel to Mass Effect 3, since the trailer shows dead Reapers and an elderly Liara T’Soni. Liara is 109 in Mass Effect 3, and her race, the asari, may live for more than a thousand years, therefore Mass Effect 5 might take place up to 900 years after the events of the original trilogy.
BioWare developer Brenon Holmes revealed that Mass Effect 5 would also employ Unreal Engine in a job posting looking for programmers with Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5 experience to work on the upcoming Mass Effect.
Mary DeMarle, who created Deus Ex and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, has joined BioWare as senior narrative director on Mass Effect 5.
The launch platforms for this next Mass Effect have yet to be confirmed, but we believe it will be available for the current generation of consoles, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, as well as PC, as it looks to be a few years away. We suspect it will be launched on the Switch or Microsoft and Sony’s previous generation hardware (Xbox One and PS4), but nothing has been formally ruled out.
Again, this game has yet to be announced on any device, including PC. We don’t know what the minimum and recommended PC specifications for Mass Effect will be, or whether the game will ever be published on PC. It’s 99% probable that it will be, but we won’t know for sure until BioWare or EA confirms it.
BioWare has not revealed if the upcoming Mass Effect will have multiplayer. Hopefully, it does, since Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda had a great online Horde style multiplayer that stressed collaboration and strategy.
BioWare and publisher EA haven’t said if the upcoming Mass Effect would feature DLC or microtransactions. Both Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda have microtransactions in their multiplayer modes, and the original trilogy had paid DLC expansions that brought new squadmates, story-driven side missions, and more weapons and armor. To this day, both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 feature among of the finest post-launch DLCs of any RPG in their Lair of the Shadow Broker and Citadel expansions, so we wouldn’t mind paying for DLC for Mass Effect 5 if BioWare can provide that level of narrative again.