We've officially known that BioWare is working on another Mass Effect game since studio co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced their departure, but so far details have been few and far between. Details are still pretty scarce, but we're finding out today that the game will ship in late-2014 at the earliest but possibly as late as mid-2015. That news comes from a GamerSyndrome interview with a BioWare employee, who remained anonymous until Eurogamer was told by EA that it was Mass Effect 3 producer Mike Gamble doing the talking.
When asked for a "rough idea on a release window," Gamble replied with, "Late 2014 to Mid 2015. I honestly can’t tell you an exact [date] because full development on the game started a month or two ago." So, it would seem that Mass Effect fans will have to wait quite some time before Mass Effect 4 (or whatever it will be called) launches. Gamble didn't comment on the story or gameplay at all, just reiterated things we already knew - Casey Hudson is involved, it's being built on Frostbite 2, and that we'll hear more about the game once we're into 2013.
Gamble did, however, talk about some of the Mass Effect 3 ideas that were left on the cutting room floor. He said BioWare had originally planned for players to visit the home planet of the Turians, Palaven, in the game, and that at one point there was an alternative ending in place. In this ending, players would have fought a Reaper-transformed Illusive Man in an end-game boss battle. Since a lot of games end with a boss battle, Gamble said BioWare decided to ditch that idea, giving us the very controversial conversation with the God-child instead.
Now we go back to waiting for more details on this next Mass Effect game. Considering its far off launch window, perhaps BioWare is developing the game for next-generation consoles? It seems like we'll have a next-gen console from either Microsoft or Sony on shelves by the time late 2014 rolls around, but that ultimately remains to be seen. Stay tuned.
Update: Unfortunately folks, it looks like this interview was fake - all of it. GamerSyndrome has since taken the interview down and Kotaku has spoken to the author, who admits that he made the whole thing up. Here's what the author, who asked to remain anonymous in talking to Kotaku, had to say:
The entire article was fake, I didn't talk to anyone for it. No one had ever hired me to write for a gaming website before, so I was trying so hard to impress them. I wanted them to see the interview and be impressed by what I wrote. When BioWare didn't respond with the answers to my questions I decided to finish the post myself. I took quotes from past BioWare interviews and inserted them into my post, as well as quotes from The Art of Mass Effect and The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3. I didn't expect the article to go anywhere so I thought nothing of it. However, I'm sorry for the article. There's nothing right with what I did and I apologize to anyone who was misled by this article.
Even though the author didn't think the interview was going to go anywhere, a number of major gaming outlets picked it up quickly, so it ended up deceiving a lot of people. Of course, considering that he took BioWare quotes and information from other sources, the information on the alternate endings and missions for Mass Effect 3 may not be fake, but the launch window for the Mass Effect title most certainly is. We apologize for the mix up everyone.