A recent report from Kotaku states that BioWare has turned Mass Effect: Andromeda’s developer, BioWare Montreal, into a support branch. In turn, the Mass Effect franchise as a whole will also come to a halt until the Montreal branch is back to full functionality. This in no way means that there will never be a Mass Effect game again, only that a healthy break from the franchise may help the company bounce back. Andromeda, released back in March, has been the receiver of a lot of negativity, so this move makes sense.
Andromeda was supposed to be the reboot of the franchise but has only been considered as mediocre since it came out. The issues that players, and critics, have had with the game are detailed in our review. BioWare is instead going to focus on other lead projects, like their new games Dylan or Star Wars Battlefront II, and continued support for Andromeda. But what’s interesting is that BioWare Montreal has shut down any major projects, many of their staff being sent to other branches to assist with upcoming games. They are, as I mentioned above, a support branch. An oddly timed event, especially since Montreal was in charge of developing Mass Effect: Andromeda. I’m sure that BioWare didn’t appreciate the completed product that was Andromeda (or rather the reception it got from players and critics), but there is no evidence to prove that one event led to another.
This being the case, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said that the publisher is “very happy with how BioWare is doing, how BioWare is treating Mass Effect. And our expectations for Mass Effect are still strong for the future and the franchise overall.” This is good to hear. BioWare may be taking a break from any new Mass Effect project they have had planned, but EA is confident in their abilities to still develop the next installment when the time comes. Taking their time to learn what went wrong with their latest installment could prove to be beneficial. Andromeda may have been received badly, but it wasn’t like it was a No Man’s Sky release, where expectations were certainly not met. And, since then, Hello Games, the developer of No Man’s Sky, has released some major patches that have drastically improved the quality of the game.