In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Mass Effect: Andromeda's creative director, Mac Walters, openly expressed his desire for a sequel to the game. A somewhat controversial decision by BioWare and EA not to produce a follow-up to Andromeda has left many fans feeling dissatisfied, believing that the potential for a refined and improved continuation has gone untapped.
Walters joined the development of Andromeda late, at a time when the game was undergoing a significant pivot, shifting from a procedurally generated galaxy to a more bespoke narrative focus. This transition proved to be a challenging process for the team, as they had to relearn various aspects of game creation while adapting to the Frostbite engine. Walters pointed out that the team might have benefited from a reduced scope, focusing on delivering quality content instead of chasing inflated quantity, which was the industry's trend at the time.
Regrettably, the combination of procedural generation aspirations and the pressure to provide expansive open-world content led to a less polished and sprawling game than the Mass Effect trilogy. Despite Andromeda's shortcomings, Walters insists that the team garnered valuable lessons that could have been applied to a sequel, as seen in the transition from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2.
Unfortunately, BioWare Montreal, the team responsible for Andromeda, was not given a chance to showcase this growth by developing a sequel. Instead, the studio was reduced to a support role and subsequently merged with EA Motive. The next Mass Effect game will be made by BioWare Edmonton, using the Unreal engine – a notable departure from the Frostbite engine employed in Andromeda.
In conclusion, the lack of a sequel to Mass Effect: Andromeda has left many fans and the creative director, Mac Walters, longing for the potential growth and refinement that a follow-up could have brought. While the decision not to produce a sequel remains controversial, the upcoming Mass Effect game, developed by BioWare Edmonton, offers hope for a fresh and exciting continuation of the beloved series. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it remains crucial for developers to balance the desire for expansive, open-world content with the need for polished and engaging narratives that keep players invested in the story.