Bioware has released an official statement from their Montreal studio where studio director Yanick Roy reveals that he and his team will be heading up the drive on the next Mass Effect title just days after the series' creator asked fans what they'd like to see in the title.
In the post, Yanick reveals that he joined the first title in the series early in production as Senior Development Director and then became the Studio Director at Montreal partway through Mass Effect 2's development. He then goes on to outline why the studio should be able to handle the next title almost alone - they've worked deeply on previous titles.
"We started by building about half the cinematics for ME2, then most of its N7 missions, and finally we played an important role in the development of much of its post-release content," he explains in the blog post.
"Then on ME3, we took charge of the multiplayer portion as well as making significant contributions to the single-player campaign. Most recently, we built a large piece of DLC that will be released on November 27 and that you know under the name of Omega. With each new portion of work, we took on deeper and broader responsibilities, but we always worked in conjunction with Casey, the Mass Effect leads, and the developers in Edmonton."
"That evolution now takes its next step, with the news that the next Mass Effect game is already in development, driven by the team here in Montreal. This is the goal we have been working toward for years now, and every member of our team is proud, excited, and humbled to take on the responsibility for the next game."
He goes on to reiterate that the team will continue to liase with the original Mass Effect team including series creator Casey Hudson in Edmonton, and reveals that the game will run on DICE's Frostbite 3 engine, known for powering Battlefield 3 and also powering the upcoming Dragon Age III. DICE also helped out on Mass Effect 3 - providing some of the weapon sounds.
"The other thing I can tell you is that, while it will be very respectful of the heritage built over the course of the first three games, with the original trilogy now concluded and the switch over to a new engine, we are exploring new directions, both on the gameplay and story fronts," he added. "You can still expect the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore, and of course rich, cinematic storytelling."
You can find the full blog post on Bioware's site.