Countering the news that founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are retiring, BioWare has released a torrent of information on new projects and releases, almost certainly as a method to ease the minds of investors. While Dragon Age 3 and a “new IP” were mentioned amongst the announcements, the majority of the news concerns Mass Effect.
The biggest, though not surprising, news is that BioWare has another Mass Effect game in the works already. BioWare has yet to release any details at all about the new game or what it is going to be called. Whether or not it is Mass Effect 4 or a spin-off title. We certainly do not have the information as to whether it follows the events of Mass Effect 3, is a prequel, or is the start of a whole new trilogy. All we know now is that BioWare is working on more Mass Effect games, which the sales numbers for Mass Effect 3 should have indicated long ago.
BioWare finally officially confirmed that the next DLC for Mass Effect 3 will be Omega and that it will release sometime this fall, something they have been hinting at as far back as Comic Con. Their official forums have been abuzz with speculation about everything from the possibility of the Collectors and Harbinger returning, Aria as a squadmate and potential love interest, a batarian squadmate, and even the possibility that Omega itself is some kind of lost weapon from a previous cycle. However, all of this remains speculation for the time being as BioWare has not yet released any details.
BioWare also announced the Mass Effect Trilogy Collection will be coming to Xbox 360 and PC on Nov. 6 and PS3 on a later date. The entire bundle costs $59.99 and contains all three games, so it provides a good starting point for anyone completely new to the series. The PC version will contain Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station for Mass Effect 1 an the Cerberus Network DLC, Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, Firewalker, the Arc Projector, the Cerberus Assault Armor, and the Normandy Crash mission for Mass Effect 2. The Xbox 360 version does not include Pinnacle Station and Bring Down the Sky. Both versions have the online pass for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, but no other DLC. The PS3 versions contents remain to be seen. For PS3 owners, this collection provides the first opportunity they have had to own the first game. The relative lack of DLC included in the collection seems like quite a downer, and make the collection far less enticing to anyone that already owns part of the series.As for the new intellectual property, BioWare has kept quiet about any of the details. They have expressed interest in hearing player ideas on what they would like to see from BioWare next, so presumably the project remains in an early stage of development. We do know that the project lies in BioWare Edmonton/Montreal hands. BioWare started out with their Edmonton office, and Montreal is one of the additional studios they launched after EA acquired BioWare.