Mass Effect Andromeda, the long-awaited fourth game in BioWare's acclaimed sci-fi RPG series, has been delayed to release in "early 2017," its developer has confirmed.
In a newly published blog post, BioWare said the release date delay was necessary "to make sure we deliver everything the game can be and should be." The studio also revealed that Mass Effect Andromeda would be showcased at the EA Play conference on Sunday June 12, days ahead of E3.
When teased at E3 2015, Mass Effect Andromeda was earmarked to launch in 2016. But a possible delay to the release date was expected ever since March this year, when an EA executive suggested the project was set to ship in fiscal Q4, which runs between January and March 2017.
Writing in the blog post, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn suggested the delay was decided to ensure the Mass Effect projects meets internal quality standards.
"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," he said.
"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."
Flynn also confirmed the game, which now appears to be in its fourth year of development, will be showcased at the EA Play event, set to be held on the Sunday before E3 week.
Elsewhere in BioWare's blog post, the studio enumerated several design pillars and PR angles for its upcoming title. That list, as written by Flynn, can be found below.
More freedom: One of our biggest ambitions is to give players an unprecedented level of freedom for a Mass Effect experience -where you'll go, how you'll get there, and how you'll play. New uncharted worlds: We're leaving the Milky Way behind and headed to Andromeda, where we'll meet new allies, confront new enemies, and explore fascinating new worlds. The next great Mass Effect experience: Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect game for today's consoles and the first built on the Frostbite engine. We're pushing the technology to deliver visuals, story, and gameplay that have never been done in franchise history.
Despite the project's long gestation period, BioWare Montreal has disclosed few details regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda. Trailers have suggested the game takes place after the original trilogy, as the legacy of Shepard is referenced.
Fans of the series may have discovered that the protagonist of Andromeda will be called Rider. A dog-tag in the N7 Day trailer featured the word "RYDER" or "RIDER."
It is also speculated the character could be named after Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. This would fit in with the naming of the original trilogy's protagonist, who was named Shepard after the first American man in space, Alan Shepard.
On February 15, Andromeda's lead writer, Chris Schlerf, left the studio to join Destiny developer Bungie.