Trilogies are today considered to be the de rigueur for big, blockbuster games(or even movie for that matter), and there really have not been many more massive in scale over the past decade than the sci-fi Mass Effect trilogy. So it may come as a shock to you, as creative director Mac Walters told GameSpot, that BioWare doesn’t intend for the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda to be the first installment of a brand new trilogy.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be more Mass Effect games set in the upcoming Andromeda galaxy, which could very possibly add up to make the new game the first part of a trilogy. But where the original Mass Effect was clearly a first step into a much larger story, Andromeda is meant to be completely self-contained. There is, thus, the air of doubt of surrounding the same being a standalone or the first step towards an exceptional experience.
Talking about the same, Walters said:
At the end of this, we want it to feel like a story has completed, Yes, for the universe, there’s much more you could explore, and we want to tease that, but it feels like its own story. It’s like, ‘Great. I had my Ryder sibling becoming-a-hero story. What’s next? Is it going to be Ryder? Is it going to be something else? Who knows?
Mass effect lead Producer Michael Gamble also failed to talk in regards to how the game will (or could) end, understandably a sensitive topic given that the reception to the conclusion of Mass Effect 3 was rather negative.
We want to leave the ending, and what we’re doing with it, as a surprise, this is a different type of story, so it will be something different than the trilogy. We can’t wait to hear what fans think.
It seems like BioWare is trying to give itself some space to decide what exactly the future of Mass Effect will look like rather than confirming to a specific direction right away. However, it goes without saying that unless BioWare completely ditches Andromeda in ways that haven’t really been created yet, the series will continue well beyond this next game.
But I also appreciate the fact that it’s not actually being built specifically with that in mind. I have nothing against trilogies in particular, but I really do prefer it when sequels emerge organically, rather than as necessitated by cliffhanger endings—especially when it takes years for the follow-ups to arrive.