Developer Bioware is reportedly considering a switch back to Unreal Engine for its next installment of the Mass Effect series, leaving EA’s Frostbite engine behind.
As reported by GamesBeat, series publisher EA recently published a listing on its website for a technical director to work on the Mass Effect franchise. In among a wealth of other requirements, the listing cites that experience with Unreal Engine 4 [and beyond] would be seen as an asset for potential candidates.
While this alone doesn’t confirm that the developer is definitely moving away from EA’s Frostbite engine – which was used to create Mass Effect: Andromeda – GamesBeat reports that multiple sources have said that this is because “everything is on the table when it comes to tech for a new Mass Effect”.
Mass Effect’s first three entries were all built using Unreal Engine 3. The studio made the switch away from Unreal Engine, which is owned and licensed out by Epic Games, to EA’s own Frostbite Engine for the 2017 launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda – its last standalone entry into the series.
The game launched to mixed reviews and many felt it lacked the brilliance of its predecessors – not to mention came with some awkward animations and visual bugs that fans weren’t used to. Whether a change in engine would provide the series with the lift that many fans will hope for remains to be seen. However, with Bioware reportedly considering its options carefully for Mass Effect 5, fans will feel optimistic about the series’ future.
Mass Effect 5 was originally announced in December during The Games Awards. The reveal provided little information about what can be expected from the game although Bioware had previously said that a veteran team was working on the series next chapter. Make sure to check out the title’s announcement trailer below.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.