One of the most hype-worthy releases this year from EA Games, a remaster of the entire Mass Effect trilogy, isn't likely to be announced at Thursday night's EA Play, but there's good reason to believe that Commander Shepard's adventure will still land on current-gen consoles in 2020.
In early May, VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb casually dropped the news that a Mass Effect remastered trilogy was in the works, based partly on a financial overview from Electronic Arts that noted plans "to launch 14 new titles" this fiscal year (which ends March 2021), including several remasters — one of which was Command & Conquer. "Just don’t expect that to also launch on Switch — at least not at first," he wrote.
In a preview for EA Play 2020 published Wednesday, Grubb doubled-down on these rumors: "The Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster is coming this year, but EA may want to leave that out of its Not E3 presence."
Different teams at developer BioWare are also working on Dragon Age 4 and a reboot of Anthem, respectively. After poor reception and sales for Mass Effect: Andromeda, however, a full-on remaster for the original trilogy is a much safer bet for the company and for the franchise.
Grubb previously teased information about Sony's June 11 PlayStation 5 reveal event, along with info about Star Wars: Squadrons (which was code-named "Project Maverick" previously), so he seems to be a reliable source of information, especially when it comes to EA titles. But he's not the only gaming journalist that claimed a Mass Effect Trilogy remaster was coming.
Game Reactor also referenced the remaster in an early June preview roundup of potential game announcements.
"The rumoured remasters of the Mass Effect Trilogy are real, and the last update I got about it a few weeks ago still had the collection slated for this fall to take the place of the company's usual blockbusters: Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront," Eirik Hyldbakk Furu wrote. "BioWare's social media channels have been teasing it for months by sharing beloved music from the trilogy, so I wouldn't be surprised if we get to see our favourite remasters on the Citadel at EA Play Live."
Circa October 2015, EA's COO said the company preferred to "push forward" with new installments and new IP instead of focusing on high-profile remakes, but that was before the lackluster Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem.
Half-a-decade later, even Activision is focusing on Call of Duty remakes in the form of 2019's Modern Warfare and 2020's rumored Black Ops reboot. There's even a surprising remaster for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning due out in August, and Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of the biggest and best titles of 2020. Like it or not, big-budget game remakes and remasters are totally in vogue right now.
Say what you will about the maligned ending to Mass Effect 3, but this sci-fi trilogy is one of the best action role-playing series of the past 20 years, and a visually stunning remaster sounds like a great way to round out 2020 — especially if we can play it on next-gen consoles.
Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered is rumored for release before the end of 2020.