Publisher Electronic Arts revealed during a recent investor call that BioWare’s sci-fi RPG sequel Mass Effect: Andromeda will miss its initially targeted winter 2016 launch date, and is now set to premiere in early 2017.
EA expects Mass Effect: Andromeda to be ready for release during the fourth quarter of its current financial year: a period that spans January through March of 2017, according to Eurogamer.
Announced at E3 in 2014, Mass Effect: Andromeda is the next entry in developer BioWare’s popular spacefaring RPG series, following up on a trilogy of releases for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms. Electronic Arts announced further details regarding the upcoming game at E3 last year, projecting a holiday 2016 launch date.
EA plans to launch a number of major titles and sequels in 2016, including the free-running action game Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, competitive FPS Battlefield 5, and a follow-up to Respawn’s 2014 shooter Titanfall. Currently, it’s unclear whether Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s delay is the result of development issues or release scheduling.
The project may have seen setbacks following the departure of lead writer Chris Schlerf, who left developer BioWare during Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s production. Schlerf afterward joined up with Bungie, the studio behind 2014’s sci-fi first-person shooter Destiny.
While few plot details regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda have been revealed to date, Electronic Arts previously noted that the game will feature settings that are entirely new to the series. The sequel will also introduce a new starring character, replacing the player-molded protagonist Commander Shepard from previous Mass Effect games.
Mass Effect made its debut in 2007 as an Xbox 360 exclusive, with ports later arriving for the PlayStation 3 and PCs. The Mass Effect games blend character-building RPG elements with third-person shooter sequences and planetary exploration segments, resulting in a unique and memorable quest. A sequel, Mass Effect 2, surfaced in 2010, and the franchise’s initial trilogy wrapped up in 2012 with the multiplatform launch of Mass Effect 3.