Mass Effect 3 Release Date Delayed & New Images Released

by on May 5, 2011

In a move that is bound to disappoint many RPG fans, Bioware Executive producer Casey Hudson revealed on the official Mass Effect 3 Facebook page that the game’s release date will now be delayed until Quarter 1 2012. The game was originally scheduled for release this winter, sometime before the Christmas holidays. “Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012,” said the statement. “The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations.” Bioware had released a set of new screenshots for the game only yesterday.

However, BioWare’s other big project that is currently in development, the long-awaited massively multiplayer online title, Stars Wars: The Old Republic, is going strong and still on target to meet their scheduled winter release date of Quarter four of 2011.

In further Mass Effect 3 news, Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has announced the controversial plan that the game is being developed with a broader target audience in mind. Riccitiello is quoted as saying that Mass Effect 3 will be engineered to appeal to the mass market more than the first two games. “One of the things that Ray Muzyuka and the team up in Edmonton have done is essentially step-by-step adjust the gameplay mechanics and some of the features that you’ll see at E3 to put this in a genre equivalent to shooter-meets-RPG… and essentially address a much larger market opportunity than Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 began to approach.” He went on to say that “We’re huge believers in the IP and are purposefully shifting it to address a larger market opportunity.” This is bound to sound like bad news to long-time fans of the series, but only time will tell how these changes effect the title overall.

Bioware must be feeling guilty over the delay, as they have released another two new screenshots today. The first is a piece of concept art for an unknown new location. The second shows Commander Shepherd, along with two of his team-mates from the first Mass Effect title; Liara T’Soni, who we already knew was making a return after the screenshots we saw yesterday, but also Biotic officer Kaidan Alenko – who was only briefly seen in Mass Effect 2, prompting thughts that he might not be involved in the third game.

View the new images below:

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Mass Effect 3 is now due out in Q1 2012. It will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & Windows PC.