It will feature the Mass Effect elements.
he next Mass Effect game won’t be called Mass Effect 4 simply because it would mean it’s a sequel to Mass Effect 3 and may feature Commander Shephard.
Bioware community manager Chris Priestly has said that Mass Effect 3 was the last game that featured Commander Shephard and the next game shouldn’t be called Mass Effect 4.
“To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here,” wrote on the Bioware forums.
“We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying ‘well, they’ll have to pick a canon ending’. No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda.”
Yanick Roy also clarified Chris’ comments and said that he agrees with them. He also posted some new information on the forums.
“What Chris is saying is that thinking of the next Mass Effect game as Mass Effect 4 would imply a certain linearity, a straight evolution of the gameplay and story of the first three games,” he wrote.
“But because we are switching to a new engine and need to rebuild a bunch of game systems, we have an opportunity to rethink how we want these systems to be going forward instead of just inheriting them from the previous games. Story-wise, the arc of the first trilogy has also been concluded, and what we will do is tell a new story set in the Mass Effect universe.
“That doesn’t mean that events of the first three games and the choices you made won’t get recognized, but they likely won’t be what this new story will focus on.”
The next Mass Effect game is already confirmed to be in development at Bioware and you can read more on that over here.