Even with four games and numerous DLC under its belt, Bioware’s Mass Effect series has mostly stuck to telling its story from the same kind of perspective. A new report from The Gamer reveals that Bioware once considered a spin-off game with a smuggler-type character, though it was later canned to focus efforts on Mass Effect 2. Here’s all we know about the ill-fated game.
The concept was revealed by former Bioware development director Dorian Kieken in an interview. “We explored a game concept back in 2008, a bit after the shipping of [the first] Mass Effect, where you were playing a Han Solo type of character in a Star Control-inspired game in the Mass Effect universe,” he explained of the game, which was intended to run “in parallel” with the trilogy.
“I like the idea of exploring a ‘grayer’ character, akin to a smuggler/pirate type in the Mass Effect universe,” he continued. “It also allows you to see the world from a different point of view than the one of the chosen super- soldier. It’s a bit like exploring the Star Wars universe without being a Jedi, or the Warhammer 40k universe without being a Space Marine.”
Of course, Disney’s live action Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian has since proved the potential of this formula, though it sounds like Bioware made the right decision to shelve this idea back in 2008. “We all needed to focus on Mass Effect 2, which was the right call at the time,” Kieken said. “I think the concept was really strong, though, and I would definitely like to see a game like that one day.”
Bioware has just announced the impending release of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, an upgraded collection of the three main trilogy games to be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 14. A new Mass Effect game was also teased at the 2020 Game Awards, though few details about the game are currently available. It’s still possible the team at Bioware might one day return to the idea of following a morally-grey character around the unseen parts of the Mass Effect universe.