The Mass Effect series is reportedly going on hiatus due to the poor response to Mass Effect: Andromeda. However, the game’s lead designer confirms that the Mass Effect: Andromeda patch schedule will not be affected by this.
The BioWare sci-fi RPG proved to be incredibly divisive when it was released on PC and consoles in March, with LGBTQ gamers in particular upset about Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s gay romances.
Where Does the Mass Effect Series Go From Here?
According to four sources that spoke to Kotaku, BioWare has put the Mass Effect franchise “on ice” for the time being. Although it’s unlikely that the developer will “kill” the series, the report says that “BioWare is letting Mass Effect sit for a while rather than putting staff on Andromeda’s follow-up right away.”
Additionally, “a number” of employees from BioWare Montreal (the lead development team on Mass Effect: Andromeda) have been moved to other EA studios such as EA Motive, where they will contribute to Star Wars Battlefront 2. BioWare Montreal itself is being turned into a “support” team and will help out with other games such as the secretive BioWare IP that’s codenamed Dylan.
But despite the series going on hiatus for now and although it looks unlikely that the game will receive any major DLC, Mass Effect: Andromeda patches will still be released. The game’s lead designer Ian Frazier confirmed in a tweet that the team will “still be delivering things [it] committed to.”
— Ian S. Frazier (@tibermoon) May 10, 2017
Some of the promises BioWare Montreal made include improving gay romances, with fans hoping that the developer opts to make squadmate Jaal bisexual, as popularised with the #MakeJaalBi campaign. The developer also plans to change a controversial scene with a transgender NPC. Fixes for both of those concerns are expected in the next few months.
Unfortunately, patches won’t fix the other problems that players had with Mass Effect: Andromeda, including a failure to provide a good enough reason to explore its futuristic world. Many fans complained about the game’s colonialism and how BioWare Montreal failed to offer a compelling driving factor. Instead, things boiled down to a human trying to take over places that they had no right to.
Hopefully though, with the franchise taken a proper break, BioWare will be able to reevaluate and ensure that next time, it will have a more thoughtful approach to its story and its inclusion of LGBTQ characters.