Electronic Arts has one of the most crowded production slates when it comes to AAA game development - Especially considering that the publisher has several Star Wars games currently in development including the recently announced new game from Titanfall's developers. Star Wars licensed titles are not the only space operas EA has on the way as fans eagerly anticipate Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Along with the relaunch of the Mass Effect series with an all-new setting and characters, EA is taking care of its usual set of sports and racing sims, like the return of Need for Speed which arrived last year. Separate official blog posts on the Need For Speed and Mass Effect microsites today by key members of the developers, confirm that Andromeda has been delayed until early next year and a new Need for Speed title is also coming in 2017. No new game in either series this year as the developers take time to ensure quality releases.
The next Mass Effect in the series will be the first to not feature Commander Shepard as the protagonist. Instead, players will control someone currently known only as the Pathfinder. In the latest update on the official Mass Effect website, Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare, states the game will offer more freedom, a brand new galaxy to explore, and will be the first made on the DICE's Frostbite engine used in the Battlefield series. This, Flynn hopes, will push both visuals and gameplay capabilities. He goes on to promise to fans that he and the development team will be delivering the most ambitious Mass Effect experience to date.
“As we’ve been playing the game at the studio recently, it’s showing us that we’re taking the game in the right direction. But we also know we need the right amount of time to make sure we deliver everything the game can be and should be – that’s our commitment from all of us to all of you. Because of that, Mass Effect: Andromeda will now ship in early 2017. We can’t wait to show you how far we’re all going to go. We’ll see you at the EA PLAY press conference on June 12, with an update.”
Fans have already been sitting on their thumbs, pretending to be patient for Andromeda when previous reports of EA CFO Blake Jorgensen saying during an investor call that the title would not release until the fourth quarter of the financial year but this is the first official word confirming the game's delay. He was also quoted as saying that the third quarter, or rather late 2016, would be occupied by a certain first-person shooter that we now know is Battlefield 1.
Meanwhile, developer Ghost Games delivered their own update on Need For Speed since the franchise’s return last November. Free content updates have been made available since initial release, taking in mind community feedback, including features such as Manual Transmission, Wrap Sharing, SnapShot Pro, Customization items and a bigger garage. The next free content will be the last. SpeedLists builds on the game’s competitive multiplayer by offering five pre-selected events against online opponents. Points are earned after each event until the final standings are given.
After that update rolls out, Ghost Games say that it will be concentrating on the next installment in the series which thankfully will not be rushed for a release this holiday.
“We are now building upon the foundations that have been laid with Need for Speed and delivering our next game in 2017. That’s not to say that we’re going quiet between now and then... far from it. We'll be working with our community and there will be multiple opportunities to bring many of you into the studio in the coming months to get your feedback on where we're headed.”
The timing of the two announcements from EA-owned studios coincides with the company's EA Play event in Los Angeles and London this June. EA is skipping the E3 trade show this year to instead compete with their own event that includes fans as well, letting them get hands-on with the games instead of observing from the sidelines. With multiple Star Wars games in development under the veil of secrecy, followups to Mass Effect, Need For Speed and other key franchises, bolstered by other key properties (PvZ, EA Sports titles, Titanfall, Mirror's Edge, etc.) it's easy to see why EA wanted their own exclusive showcase.
Mass Effect: Andromeda and the next Need for Speed will both be released in 2017.