Fans of BioWare's sprawling space drama, Mass Effect, are probably giddy with excitement after news broke about a tie-in art book potentially hinting a the release date for the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda.
According to some sleuthing done by the folks over at Black Girl Nerds, and reported by Destructoid, they spotted a new book on Amazon being published by BioWare and Dark Horse. The book clocks in at $39.99 and is due for release on March 21st, 2017. Now typically this news isn't all that special because we know that there are going to be art books, posters, novels and more surrounding the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda. However, if you check the Amazon page for the book entitled The Art of Mass Effect Andromeda, you can pull down the description tab and see that it clearly states, "Dark Horse will release The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda simultaneously with the game!"
This is the line that has a lot of people questioning the veracity of the release date for Mass Effect: Andromeda. If the art book releases the same day as the game and the art book releases on March 21st, 2017, then does it mean then that the game will release on March 21st?
The date takes on less of a nebulous guise after you realize that March 21st falls on Tuesday, which is traditionally when major AAA titles release. Sometimes major games release on a Friday, depending on the company and if they're operating out of the U.K. However, Electronic Arts often tries to get their games out on a Friday.
If we rewind the time machine a bit, Mass Effect 2 launched on January 26th, 2010 on a Tuesday, and Mass Effect 3 launched on March 6th, 2012, also a Tuesday. The Mass Effect games traditionally release just before the end of EA's fiscal year. They have the games drop in the fourth quarter to give the company one good, final boost to round out the year while giving a strong start to the first quarter of the following year.
The month of March is typically the last month of the fourth quarter of EA's fiscal year, so that would explain why they've been positioning Mass Effect games within that window for release.
Previous to the art book being discovered on Amazon, EA had already announced that they would be delaying Mass Effect: Andromeda out of the original fall, 2016 release window and moving it into the first half of 2017... March of 2017. This was an expected maneuver given that EA's fall line-up is absolutely jam-packed with content, including Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, not to mention they've just come off the release of Madden 17 and FIFA 17 just a few months ago.
According to Destructoid, they reached out to BioWare and Electronic Arts to see if they could get a clarification on the matter, but at the time of publishing the article they didn't receive a response. So the big question is: will Amazon change the description of the book's release date or will BioWare and EA acknowledge the March 21st release for Mass Effect: Andromeda?