Mass Effect is among the most well-known RPG franchises in the AAA industry. The franchise debuted in 2007 for Xbox 360, while the latest installment was released in 2017.
Following the first two games, Mass Effect 3 sold over 7 million copies and became the most successful tile in the franchise. BioWare hoped to continue this momentum with Mass Effect Andromeda in 2017.
However, Mass Effect: Andromeda flopped and marked the downfall of the franchise. In Edge Magazine, the BioWare ex-GM reflected on the last Mass Effect title, claiming that it would have been better off with a focus on multiplayer elements.
Why it matters: The former BioWare developer believed this would have been the best decision since EA was transitioning at the time and adjusting to the decisions made by the publisher’s new leadership.
Aaryn Flynn, the former General Manager of BioWare, recently shared a retrospective analysis in EDGE Magazine, looking back at nearly two decades of work with the popular game studio.
He discussed key aspects of BioWare franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, addressing the last entries in these IPs and their current position in the gaming industry.
Flynn shared that BioWare ended up being overly ambitious with Mass Effect: Andromeda. The studio had big goals, leading to a lack of focus and refinement of any particular part of the game.
He believes this led to the downfall of Mass Effect: Andromeda and a multiplayer focus would have been the best option for the game. This would have allowed the team to experiment with new ideas and create a smaller game.
Aaryn Flynn then pointed to the reception of Mass Effect 3 and said:
“Players really liked the multiplayer mode of Mass Effect 3, and it really resonated with a subset of the community.”
He elaborated that BioWare could have used this as a base for Mass Effect: Andromeda, introducing new elements and expanding on the popular title.
Moreover, Aaryn Flynn described that BioWare was stretched thin between simultaneous work on Mass Effect and Dragon Age, leading to the compromised development of Dragon Age Inquisition.
Nonetheless, the latter became the studio’s most recent success, while BioWare struggled to find success with Mass Effect: Andromeda and games like Anthem, which followed the disappointing RPG.
BioWare is currently working on new titles for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age IPs. The latter is expected to be released in the summer of 2024 at the earliest, with a delay also likely.
While the development of multiple titles is underway, the studio recently laid off 50 developers, but it claimed that this would not significantly impact any of the upcoming releases.
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Bawal is an MBBS student by day and a gaming journalist by night. He has been gaming since childhood, growing fond of the creativity and innovation of the industry. His career as a gaming journalist started one year ago, and his journey has allowed him to write reviews, previews, and features for various sites. Bawal has also been cited in reputed websites such as Screenrant, PCGamesN, WCCFTech, GamesRadar, and more.