Mass Effect developer BioWare is pulling back from Andromeda's open-world approach and plans to streamline its world for Mass Effect 4.
The news comes via Window Central's Jez Corden, who's heard rumours that BioWare plans to "ditch open world and go back to [the franchise's] classic format".
Corden made the claim in the latest edition of his podcast, The Xbox Two Podcast, in a broader conversation about the pros of established studios sticking to the development blueprint that made their games so special versus the cons of taking risks and innovating, only for it to instantly crash and burn.
Reflecting on Bethesda's success with Starfield and its recycling of so many of the things we've come to expect from the team's internal development studios, Corden's thoughts turned to Mass Effect, which had phenomenal success with its first three games (Mass Effect 3's controversial ending aside), but struggled to make a similar impact with follow-up Andromeda. And that's when he made the revelation.
"I've heard that Mass Effect is ditching open world," Corden said, "and going back to its classic format. I don't know if that's accurate, 100 per cent, but it's an industry rumour."
Is it much to go on? Probably not. And if true, it's probably not even that much of a surprise, either. But it's enough to make some Mass Effect fans very, very happy nonetheless. We'll keep you posted should we hear more – rumour or otherwise.
"I wonder sometimes whether BioWare will ever do another trilogy of games again, because the more time that passes, the more I appreciate what an ambitious idea that was, with Mass Effect," Bertie writes in his fantastic feature, Making Mass Effect, from the birth of a trilogy to Andromeda and beyond, in which he interviews Mass Effect writer, Mac Walters.
"Three games that would tell one story and that you could carry one hero all the way through - that's not just bold, that's borderline outrageous, especially when you consider all the choices and consequences typically in one of the studio's games. And it's only now, really, when I see no one else attempting to do the same thing - not to that degree, anyway - I realise how special it was."