Dragon Age: Inquisition has been a major success for BioWare, but that doesn't mean the next Mass Effect will draw inspiration from its sister franchise.
Dragon Age: Inquisition was BioWare's most successful launch ever. Since it's also the first game the developer has released on new consoles, or built using DICE's Frostbite engine, it's understandable that fans might wonder whether the next Mass Effect will be developed along similar lines - robbing it of its unique identity.
"I've seen a few thoughts like this recently. I have a good idea where it's coming from," BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn wrote on NeoGAF.
"All of our games are using Frostbite now. We've said the next Mass Effect (and our new IP, but I won't expand on that yet) uses some of the technology from DAI. We've been enjoying building larger areas that you can explore with less friction, so that'll be there as well.
"But after that, the next Mass Effect will be (and should be) drawing on its own rich and successful past more than what DAI would say it should do."
As an example, Flynn cited the Mako, which is making a comeback to build on the "original promise" in the very first Mass Effect - not because of anything in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
"I'd go so far as to say that dropping the older consoles has had more impact on the overall gameplay goals of the next Mass Effect game than what DAI successfully accomplished," he added.
"We're very proud of what DAI has achieved, but that does not set a 'template' for what every other game we make needs to be. Each game franchise needs to innovate and improve their experience based on what's best for it, not just what another game had success with because 'well that was successful'."
We don't know much about the next Mass Effect yet. We're calling it "Mass Effect 4" for convenience's sake, but it will not release under that title. It won't star Commander Shepard. It will be quite different from the first three games, but still recognisably Mass Effect.