While Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t quite a failure, it was definitely a major disappointment critically and commercially. Since then, the franchise has been in a state of suspended animation following the dissolution of Bioware Montreal, the studio that developed the polarizing sequel.
Of course, Mass Effect fans are still a passionate legion, which Bioware knows – that’s why it continues to celebrate November 7 as “N7 Day” – the May the Fourth of devotees to the series. Fans come out of hiding to cosplay, post stories and express their love overall for the Mass Effect franchise. And this year, it seems like Casey Hudson, general studio manager at Bioware, left a crack in the door open for Mass Effect.
Bioware posted a short video on Twitter, YouTube and all its other social media platforms. In it, people from both the studio and the fan community to talk about what Mass Effect means to them. The video also comes attached with an announcement that a free update has been made to Andromeda to enhance it for Xbox One X. But it’s Hudson’s message at the end that’s most interesting.
Hudson says that N7 means, "coming into the studio every day, dreaming about what the next great Mass Effect game will be." Then he stares into the camera for a long moment as he sips from a Mass Effect mug with the famous Commander Shepard line, "I Should Go," stenciled on it.
Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. After all, neither Bioware nor parent publisher EA said that Mass Effect was officially cancelled. But despite some clear setups for more stories, single-player DLC for Mass Effect Andromeda never materialized, probably due to the game’s rough reception from fans and critics. Meanwhile, all hands are currently on deck for Anthem, the studio’s sci-fi shared world action RPG, which is set for release next February.
Still, the look Hudson gives the camera seems to let fans know that Mass Effect hasn’t been taken to the gallows to be executed. At E3 earlier this year, Hudson reminded Game Informer that he helped start Mass Effect from the beginning. “[It’s] my baby […] Of course we intend to get back to it at some point.”
And in a blog post in August, Hudson noted that the studio has people working on “secret projects,” but wouldn’t say what they might be. Still, one has to wonder where the next Mass Effect might go, following Andromeda. Would Bioware maintain the course, setting more adventures in a whole new galaxy, or take the prequel route that some fans have suggested
Whatever future Hudson might have in mind, it’ll be a long time before we hear anything about it, thanks to Anthem. In the meantime, we’ll just have to keep watching Bioware’s social media for more hints and messages.