Update 2: Kotaku just published a rather shocking report about BioWare Montreal. According to sources, BioWare Montreal has been significantly downsized and the Mass Effect franchise has been put on hold. This could either be due to the fact that the game was poorly received by gamers due to its technical flaws and odd story elements, or that other EA projects need a lot of work. Or both. Either ways, it looks like we won’t be getting Mass Effect: Andromeda 2 anytime soon.
EA shared a lot of details about their company today in an earnings call. While most of it was facts and figures, there were a few interesting pieces of information in there. Let’s begin, shall we? We all know that BioWare is working on a new action-adventure franchise with some role-playing elements. We don’t know anything other than that but it looks like the game has been delayed until 2018 or possibly 2019. The company said that the title has been pushed back to Financial Year 2019 which starts in April 2018 and go on until March 2019. Considering that BioWare’s titles are often delayed and the wait is excruciating, it’s probably safe to assume that we won’t get to play it anytime soon and this is just the start of the delays. At least we have a timeline for BioWare’s next title unlike, let’s say, Kingdom Hearts III. There are rumors that Kingdom Hearts III has been delayed to 2018 but Square Enix hasn’t said a word so we don’t know anything at this point.
Speaking on BioWare, EA expressed their commitment to making Mass Effect: Andromeda better. The developer has plans to roll out a multitude of updates which will eventually fix issues like the poor frame rate. However, this won’t be fixed in the coming weeks and it seems like the title needs months of optimization. EA expects Mass Effect: Andromeda to only get better from here. Unfortunately, it seems as though the damage has already been done. A new update is coming out today too so keep an eye out for that on your devices.
While EA didn’t discuss sports games that much, they did mention that EA Sports UFC 3 will launch in 2018. Many gamers were expecting the title to come out this year, around the holidays, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Luckily, it’s “early 2018” so the wait won’t be too long. Sports games usually come out on time so players shouldn’t be worried about delays in this case.
Now we come to the most interesting part. EA expects 105 million Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles to out in the wild by the time 2017 comes to a close. It’s unclear if this figure includes Project Scorpio because we don’t know how well it’ll be received by gamers in a few months. EA also said that they expect digital game sales to climb to 40% this year (not including add-ons and other items which already outsell physical games). The trend will continue in the future and it seems as though digital sales will keep on growing at a steady rate. The day is almost here when every aspect of digital sales will trounce archaic physical distribution methods. GameStop should maybe start looking at other sources of revenue aside from publishing mediocre games.
That’s about it from EA’s earnings call. This event seems to have been overshadowed by Microsoft’s Build conference so hopefully people will take notice of the interesting information shared during this briefing. We’ll update this post when BioWare reveals the patch notes for the update EA promised today. Before we forgot, EA also said that Star Wars: Battlefront II will feature 3 times as much content as the original game.
Update 1: After the earnings call, BioWare pushed out a new patch to Xbox One owners and those who purchased the game on other platforms. While the update focuses on multiplayer, the frustrating frame rate issues remain. The changelog is as follows:
- Fixed issue that caused single-player difficulty to impact multiplayer.
- Improved performance and stability.
- Various improvements to cinematic scenes.
- Fixed issue where SAM would mistakenly tell Ryder they have new email.
- Conversation options will no longer appear “greyed out” if new content is available.
- Improved legibility of subtitles.
- Maximum Nexus Level increased to 29.
- Single player balance improvements at higher difficulties.
- Fixed issues with player animations getting stuck when jumping or changing direction repeatedly.
- Increased the number of autosaves allowed.
- Special items will not carry over into New Game+.
- Fixed issue where subtitles would not appear while waiting at the dialogue wheel if subtitles were disabled.
- Fixed issue that could cause AVP to reset to zero for all planets except Kadara.
- Vendors now sell fire augmentations.
- Weapon and armor vendors now carry inventory once player reaches Level 61.
- Chest armors now have level restrictions.
- Bonus items–such as Pathfinder Armor–can now be deconstructed.
- Fusion Mod of Resistance no longer continues to apply evade damage once unequipped.
- Improved responsiveness of control sticks.
- Fixed clipping issue on Sara Ryder’s casual jacket.
- Added graphics options to toggle Motion Blur and Depth of Field.
- Fixed issue where Remnant VI would stop attacking.
- Turbocharge will not deplete spare ammo when used on a weapon with the Vintage Heat Sink augmentation.
- Fixed interaction with datapad in the Search for the Remnant Drive Core mission.
- Fixed issue where squadmate could not be revived if killed by a fiend at Site 2.
- Swapping a dead squadmate at a loadout will not cause them to die permanently.
- Nexus tram now operates during Nexus Reunion mission even if player has not completed Prologue.
- Fixed issue where player could romance both Cora and Peebee.
- Fixed issue where player could romance both Vetra and Peebee.
- Taking the left path in the Havarl dungeon will not block progression on Remnant Scanner mission.
- Fixed issue on H-047C where enemies could get stuck inside a rock, making them unkillable.
- Fixed issue where player couldn’t hide Ryder’s helmet after completing Ark Natanus mission.
- Fixed broken Nomad Shield Crafting mission.
- Fixed health issues with Architect’s leg that prevented completion of the fight.
- Frequency mission on Voeld is no longer blocked if player leaves the area after scanning the meteorite.
- Missing Science Crew mission no longer blocked if Ryder kills the Architect before finishing objectives.
- Leaving the Nomad while falling out of bounds no longer results in infinite loading screen.
- Fixed issue where Nomad jump control was not remapping.
- Fixed issue where Cora slowly fell back to the ground after charging an airborne enemy.
- Improved performance on Eos when approaching or fast travelling to Prodromos.
- Loading auto-save will not block progress after kett encounter near Site 1 power relay station.
- Eliminated player fall through on Tempest after loading autosaves in space.
- Reduced the cost of Strike Team equipment and improved its effectiveness.
- A default Ryder name can now carry over to New Game+.