BioWare, Electronic Arts’ role-playing game mill, has its nose to the grindstone with the next round of sequels to its most recent series. Mass Effect 4 is on the way (only it won’t really be Mass Effect 4). Dragon Age 3: Inquisition has been in a variety of production stages over the past two years, and all that’s clear is that EA and BioWare want to tailor it to whatever customers say they want. What consoles will these games be on, though? Maybe PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, maybe the PlayStation 4 and Next Xbox, definitely PCs? Definitely the latter three based on word from BioWare.
The next Mass Effect game and Dragon Age 3: Inquisition will both run on DICE’s shiny new Frostbite 3 engine. Those games didn’t put in an appearance at GDC 2013 when DICE debuted Battlefield 4, but the studio’s new general manager Aaryn Flynn confirmed on Twitter that those sequels will use the same tech.
“For everyone who’s been asking after the BF4 reveal, DA3 and the next Mass Effect are also using Frostbite 3,” said Flynn, “It’s awesome.”
Prior to Flynn’s announcement, all that was known was that these sequels would use a new engine. Dragon Age 3 at least started out using Frostbite 2, though. “We are working on a new engine which we believe will allow us to deliver a more expansive world, better visuals, more reactivity to player choices, and more customization,” said producer Mark Darrah in December, “We’ve started with Frostbite 2 from DICE as a foundation to accomplish this.”
If the engine technology has changed yet again, it’s questionable whether or not these games will make it out to current consoles after all. One thing, at least, seems like a guarantee. Mass Effect 3 on Wii U won’t be followed by the next Mass Effect game. DICE confirmed for Eurogamer during a GDC interview that the Frostbite 3 engine does not support Nintendo’s new console. “The biggest problem we have right now is we don’t want to back down from what we see as our low spec machines,” said DICE’s Patrick Bach, “We right now don’t have support for the Wii U in the Frostbite engine. The reason for that is it takes development time.” That’s bad news for the Wii U’s future prospects, as Epic Games also confirmed to us that the Wii U would not run Unreal 4 either.