BioWare has played down suggestions that fantasy role-player Dragon Age: Inquisition will share a "template" with the upcoming Mass Effect 4.
Responding via a post on NeoGAF, BioWare exec Aaryn Flynn explained that while there were similarities in development between the two games, the next Mass Effect would feel like its own unique experience.
"I've seen a few thoughts like this recently, and thought I'd weigh in as much as I can right now," Flynn wrote. "I have a good idea where it's coming from.
"All of our games are using Frostbite now. We've said the next Mass Effect (and our new IP, but I won't expand on that yet) uses some of the technology from DAI. We've been enjoying building larger areas that you can explore with less friction, so that'll be there as well.
"But after that, the next Mass Effect will be (and should be) drawing on its own rich and successful past more than what DAI would say it should do."
Inquisition features large open maps to explore - something that will also be present in the next Mass Effect, which will see the return of ME1's hulking Mako vehicle.
"Take the Mako, something we've already shown in prototype form," Flynn continued. "We had that in ME1, and bringing it back is more related to a feeling that we can do it much better than we did before and fulfill the original promise of that gameplay. That has nothing to do with DAI.
"In fact, I'd go so far as to say that dropping the older consoles has had more impact on the overall gameplay goals of the next Mass Effect game than what DAI successfully accomplished."
Dragon Age: Inquisition was a critical success, but it wasn't without its detractors. Common complaints centre around the number of collectible-style quests in the game, for example.
"We're very proud of what DAI has achieved, but that does not set a 'template' for what every other game we make needs to be," Flynn concluded.
"Each game franchise needs to innovate and improve their experience based on what's best for it, not just what another game had success with because 'well that was successful'."
BioWare has yet to formally announce any key details of its next Mass Effect game, which currently lacks an official title or release date.
But the company has been quietly busying itself with the project over the past couple of years and has offered up a few clues in the process. At least two new alien races will feature, while the gameplay will include a greater focus on exploration.
For a detailed run-down, here's everything we know about Mass Effect 4 so far.