Electronic Arts reportedly puts Mass Effect franchise on temporary hiatus

Mass Effect: Andromeda
BioWare

Mass Effect: Andromeda was a sequel nearly five years in the making, and following its mixed critical reception, publisher Electronic Arts has reportedly made the decision to put the science-fiction series on hiatus.

The news comes via Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, who was told by “people familiar with the studio” that the Mass Effect franchise would be put on temporary hold as BioWare Montreal — the primary studio behind Andromeda — would be downsizing. Instead of cutting jobs, EA took the opportunity to relocate some of BioWare Montreal’s staff to EA Motive to assist in work on Star Wars Battlefront II.

“The teams in EA Worldwide Studios are packed with talent, and more than ever, we are driving collaboration between studios on key projects,” said studio director Yanick Roy in a statement to Kotaku. “With our BioWare and Motive teams sharing studio space in Montreal, we have BioWare team members joining Motive projects that are underway. We’re ramping up teams on other BioWare projects in development.”

One of these projects is a new intellectual property, but BioWare will presumably also continue work on the Dragon Age series as well. Dragon Age: Inquisition moved the franchise into a more open-world setting in 2014, much like Andromeda did for Mass Effect, but it did so with much greater success. Inquisition would go on to win game-of-the-year awards from a number of outlets.

Mass Effect: Andromeda, meanwhile, launched with a distinct lack of polish. In addition to notoriously rough facial animations, graphical features like shading on characters’ eyes were not implemented until after launch, and the game’s writing was seen by many as a step down compared to the original trilogy. We weren’t too fond of it, calling it “a retread of an old frontier” in our review.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. You might want to check out the Mass Effect Trilogy set instead, which bundles together all three original games on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.