BioWare has fully confirmed that Mass Effect: Andromeda is coming in 2017. It was expected for quite some time but now we have full confirmation from the studio themselves. The reason for the delay? Well, they wanted to make it the best possible game they could.
Gamespot picked up the story from a blog post that was made over on the official Mass Effect website by BioWare's general manager, Aaryn Flynn, who wrote...
“As we've been playing the game at the studio recently, it’s showing us that we’re taking the game in the right direction. But we also know we need the right amount of time to make sure we deliver everything the game can be and should be – that’s our commitment from all of us to all of you. Because of that, Mass Effect: Andromeda will now ship in early 2017”
The comment section on the Gamespot article is practically saying “thank you!”. This comes after it was announced at E3 2015 that the newest Mass Effect was supposed to launch in 2016.
It might seem odd to outside observers looking in that gamers would be happy that Mass Effect: Andromeda is pushed back into early 2017, but most people adopt the Shigeru Miyamoto worldview when it comes to delays: that a game that gets delayed will eventually turn out good, but a game that gets rushed is “forever bad”.
Mass Effect fans are still reeling from the rush job that contributed to the less than stellar feedback from the audience regarding the ending of Mass Effect 3, where many hardcore fans realized that many of the choices they had made throughout the three-game saga didn't really resolve the way they thought it would in the third game. In fact, the biggest complaint was little the choices mattered and how few of them players actually had in the final showdown.
There were a lot of comparisons to games like Chrono Trigger, which is 20 years old but still managed to include very distinct endings based on the choices made throughout the game. Quite naturally the question became: if a 20 year old JRPG could make distinct endings based on player choices, why couldn't Mass Effect 3?
Many of the fans who were disappointed with the way the third game ended felt as if it needed more time in the oven to bake. BioWare did oblige the disgruntled fans by annexing the ending with a few more options and a bit more lore to help flesh out what really happened. However, a lot of the damage was done and many gamers embittered with the experience have become skeptical of Mass Effect: Andromeda. Many of the top talent parting ways from BioWare over the past couple of months hasn't helped either.
Nevertheless, with a March, 2017 window setup for the space adventure, there is a bit more confidence being put into BioWare from the gaming community. The title has been in the works for the past four years, so one extra year means more polish.
This is the first game running on the Frostbite 3, where-as the previous games were running on the Unreal Engine, so we'll get to see how that plays out. And they're also expanding the gameplay for a more open-world feel. We'll likely get to see more of the game when it re-debuts at EA Play this June.