Yesterday we saw information that hinted at a release date for the next chapter of the Mass Effect series. Now we have confirmation of a launch date, that's a bit sooner than that. An Xbox website promoting several first quarter releases gave Mass Effect: Andromeda a March 31 date, which made sense, as it was at the tail end of the first calendar quarter of 2017. However, we now have confirmation that the game will hit a full 10 days earlier than that, on March 21, 2017.

The official Mass Effect twitter account announced the details of the release date this morning. The March 21 date is specifically for North America. Europe will have to wait a bit longer as the game will launch there on March 23.

The announcement comes just ahead of the unveiling of new footage for the title. We know that Nvidia will be showing off some of Mass Effect: Andromeda during their keynote this evening at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

There was an expectation that BioWare and EA were shooting for the March release. While it's the end of the first calendar quarter, it's also the end of the fiscal year for Electronic Arts. Releasing a high profile title like Mass Effect: Andromeda at the end will likely give the bottom line a boost right at the end, which will look good to stockholders.

Still, considering that we only got our first look at gameplay for Mass Effect: Andromeda a month ago at the Game Awards, we wouldn't have been shocked to see the game pushed back to later in the year. Instead, it would seem that the game was just as far along as they wanted us to believe. They simply decided to wait longer than usual to really show us anything about it.

It seems that the release date may have only been settled on in the last few days. According to the post that accompanied the announcement on the Mass Effect website, several members of the studio took the current build of Mass Effect: Andromeda home with them over the holidays in order to get a real feel for the game as it currently stands. it was the endorsement by everybody that the game is ready, or close to it, that lead to the date being set.

Now, Mass Effect fans have less than three months to wait for the newest entry in the science fiction RPG franchise. As somebody who loved the original trilogy, and didn't even hate how it ended as much as others, I'm certainly excited. How about you? Let us know in the comments below.

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