In an interview with GamerSyndrome, Bioware spoke about many details including the expected release window for the next Mass Effect. “Late 2014 to Mid 2015. I honestly can’t tell you an exact because full development on the game started a month or two ago. You’ll hear more about the new Mass Effect game [next year] in 2013.” It’s also been confirmed that Casey Hudson, executive producer for the series, “is very much involved in the new Mass Effect game” and that “the game isn’t far along in development”.
They also spoke about the inspiration for multiplayer in Mass Effect 3, which began while working on Mass Effect 2. “We had actually wanted to do multiplayer in Mass Effect 2. We started working on it and found out that it was just going to be too much, so we had to take it out of Mass Effect 2 and put it into [Mass Effect]3. As far as the style it had, like I said we wanted it to be different from other games.
“It needed to have something that drew people into playing multiplayer over and over again. It had to be something that looked and felt like playing a mission in Mass Effect, except you had 3 other players from around the world with you. This style of multiplayer was something we wanted to do since Mass Effect 2.”
It’s a given that multiplayer wouldn’t have quite fit into the second game. After all, Bioware were just beginning to find their legs in terms of action gaming, and it lacked several of the rolls and evasive maneuvers so critical to the ME3’s multiplayer.
As for Mass Effect 3, the original “ending” was going to be very different (and cliched) from what we actually got. “Commander Shepard would go up and fight The Illusive Man who has been transformed by The Reapers. We scrapped that idea because way too many [games] have that as their ending, some final boss fight. Ultimately, we are proud of the finished products in the Mass Effect series and stand by them.”
Other ideas that didn’t make it into the finished product included being able to traverse the Turian home world.