BioWare is going back to the basics: Mass Effect could return with more authentic technology.
We should explain it right away: BioWare created the first three Mass Effect games using Unreal Engine 3. After that, Mass Effect: Andromeda made the jump to the almost ubiquitous engine at the time, Frostbite. (And then, for completeness, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, the re-release of the first three instalments, stayed on UE3.) BioWare was seriously affected by the change (Dragon Age 2’s Exalted March had to be cancelled, as the first two episodes ran on the studio’s Eclipse Engine, and Mass Effect: Andromeda was not outstanding in part because of it).
However, the studio is looking for an assistant technical director, and in the job posting, and Brenon Holmes, the Mass Effect producer who linked to it, openly stated: “BioWare is hiring talented programmers with UE4/5 experience! Come, join our team and work with us on the next Mass Effect game!”
There was (yes, past tense!) another job advertisement for a franchise director position, where it was mentioned that it was for a senior engineering manager position responsible for the next instalment of the Mass Effect franchise, and here again, it was explicitly stated that at least Unreal Engine 4 knowledge was required. It was countered by the sentence at the beginning of the job offer that “Our teams drive innovation using cutting-edge tech and tools such as the Frostbite engine.”
Jeff Grubb, writing for VentureBeat, added on Twitter that the new Mass Effect uses Unreal Engine 5, “and this was a choice made by the team putting the game together, which is how it should work.” So BioWare is going back to basics on that front, but we don’t have much hope for Dragon Age 4: according to Jason Schreier of Bloomberg, the studio is still using the Frostbite engine. At least it’s a single-player-centric game.