Mass Effect 4: Not A ‘Straight Sequel Or Prequel’

David Lynch


Thinking of BioWare’s next Mass Effect game as ‘Mass Effect 4’ doesn’t convey how the series will change, according to BioWare’s Yanick Roy.

Published on Feb 7, 2013

BioWare’s next Mass Effect game might be known as Mass Effect 4, but according to BioWare Montreal studio director, Yanick Roy, thinking of it as a straight sequel doesn’t do it justice.

Roy took to BioWare’s Mass Effect forums recently to explain why, internally at least, thinking of the next game in the series as Mass Effect 4, is actually quite limiting.

“Thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games,” explained Yanick.

“But because we are switching to a new engine and need to rebuild a bunch of game systems, we have an opportunity to rethink how we want these systems to be going forward instead of just inheriting them from the previous games.” 

Roy went onto explain that going forward the next Mass Effect game may be influenced by the choices that you made in the original trilogy, but overall, it will tell an entirely new story.

“Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe,” explained Roy.

“That doesn’t mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won’t get recognized, but they likely won’t be what this new story will focus on. In other words, because the game takes place before or after the first trilogy does not mean it necessarily is a straight prequel or sequel.”

To help Mass Effect fans picture exactly what this means for the series, Roy begrudgingly devised this rather lengthy analogy to help convey just how BioWare currently views the future of the series.

“If you had three games centered around a group of key soldiers in the US army during World War I and then decided to make a game about another group of people during the second World War, the games could have many points in common and feel true to one another, and you likely would have to recognize how the events of the first war influenced the ones of the second, but you would not necessarily think of it as a sequel.”

“What I’m trying to say is that the ME universe is so rich that we are not limited to a single track when coming up with a new story," conculded Roy.

"I hope this helps clarify why we’re not thinking of the next ME game as ME4 internally!”



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