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Why Mass Effect: Andromeda won't acknowledge your ME3 ending choice

And why we saw so little again at E3.

BioWare has decided to leave behind Mass Effect 3's controversial ending choices, rather than let them impact the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Andromeda has been in development since late 2012, and this year's EA E3 press conference marked the third year in a row the game has been teased.

This year, many fans were hoping for a big reveal. Instead, BioWare's brief trailer showed little we didn't know already. Big questions remain around Andromeda's setting and characters - and how much the game will be influenced by the original Mass Effect trilogy.

For answers, Eurogamer caught up with BioWare studio boss Aaryon Flynn and Mass Effect creative Mac Walters, who confirmed Andromeda would not acknowledge your personal trilogy ending decision - in order to ensure the new game works as a fresh chapter for the franchise.

"We acknowledged it in the endings of Mass Effect 3 and I think that's where we want to leave it for now," Flynn said.

"We want this to be a new story and it would be very hard to say it's a new story but also that you need to understand how [the past trilogy] ended."

Andromeda's setting, naturally places it beyond the Milky Way-changing consequences of Mass Effect 3's explosive finale.

Each of the options available to players were spread across our galaxy via the Mass Relays - but no further. By moving geographically beyond the reaches of this choice, BioWare has also negated the need for a canon ending.

But there was still an expectation among many fans that Andromeda would make mention of the endings in some way as it is set chronologically afterwards.

However, that time difference goes away when you consider "how long it takes to travel between galaxies", Walters suggested.

Mass Effect Andromeda's main character, Ryder, is shown waking up from cryo-sleep at the end of the E3 trailer.

"We've done it in such a way that allows all of those decisions you made to remain intact in the canon of the universe, but also allows a new story to begin," Flynn added.

There has long been a theory among fans that while Andromeda is set after ME3, the ark ships carrying Milky Way races left our galaxy before ME3's ending.

And while BioWare isn't specifying this just yet, Flynn did go on to say we wouldn't be seeing any Milky Way inhabitants affected by ME3's Synthesis ending.

"There are no green-skinned people," he said. "To be clear."

All of which isn't to say that Andromeda will ditch Mass Effect's lore completely.

"It's important for us to have elements from the Trilogy for fans to have in the background," Walters explained. "Ultimately this is intended to be a fresh story, but we want to have things for people to find and go 'oh, I remember that character'.

"There's a coalition [of Milky Way races]," he added. "We needed to find a way to make sure certain species you're familiar with come along with you on your journey to meet new ones. As in the tradition of Mass Effect, there will be certain people working together happily, and certain people working together less happily."

As for why BioWare and EA chose not to show more of Mass Effect: Andromeda, both Walters and Flynn were upbeat.

Right after the EA press conference, Mass Effect 1 and 2 lead artist Johnathan Cooper raised eyebrows by suggesting the lack of gameplay footage meant Andromeda was having a troubled development.

EA's press conference was dominated by Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 - but both of these will launch this autumn, before Andromeda next spring.

"There's definitely more stuff we could have shown or talked about," Flynn replied. "But now we're shipping next spring, the time to really blast all that out there is after the other games come out. We'll be there then to have a great big reveal and release all the details."

BioWare has since confirmed that we won't see more of Andromeda now until next November, and the franchise's annual N7 Day celebrations.

"[Development] is healthy," Flynn concluded. "Dragon Age: Origins was six years. Star Wars: The Old Republic was six years. The original Mass Effect was four. Maybe we're just not the fastest at this!"

Want to know more? Here's everything we know about Mass Effect Andromeda.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda

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Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon. Tom joined Eurogamer in 2010 following a stint running a Nintendo fansite, and still owns two GameCubes. He also still plays Pokémon Go every day.