The long-rumored Mass Effect remaster has resurfaced today. It sounds like the collection won't be making it within the calendar year, but the reasons why are pretty understandable.
VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb, who's been reporting on the rumored remaster for a while, wrote today that while Electronic Arts originally planned for an October 2020 announcement and release for the Mass Effect remaster, plans have shifted. Sources tell Grubb that EA and BioWare are now looking at early 2021 for what's reportedly called Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
The collection of Mass Effect 1 through 3's delay sounds like it's due to a few reasons. Grubb's report says that beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been an obvious cause for delays, one issue is the first Mass Effect game. The first game is not only the oldest of the trio, but played very differently from Mass Effect 2 and 3. Mass Effect 1 reportedly does not currently live up to the quality of the rest of the package, and Grubb says the people working on the game "understand the issues, and they want to do right by the franchise's fans."
It's a fairly reassuring sentiment, though Grubb's report also notes what will, and notably won't, be included in the Legendary Edition. All DLC for all three Mass Effect games will be a part of the package, but according to VentureBeat's report, EA does not plan to include Mass Effect 3's multiplayer.
That part is a bit of a bummer, as Mass Effect 3's wave-based multiplayer was fairly beloved by fans of the series. A re-launch of the multiplayer would entail live services though, so it's a little understandable why it wouldn't be included.
The Mass Effect remaster, which has popped up a few times over the last year in retailer listings and rumors, is a pretty big chance to garner some goodwill for Mass Effect moving forward. And, as I wrote for Nov. 7 last year ("N7 Day" is an unofficial-official Mass Effect holiday), carrying these games forward is about preserving a trilogy that had a notable impact on games as a whole.
To that end, it's good to hear that EA and BioWare are putting some time and care into the Mass Effect remaster. The work done earlier this year on the Command & Conquer collection was absolutely stellar, and while I'm not expecting an overhaul as holistic as that, the Mass Effect series deserves a proper collection to carry it forward. Sounds like we'll be waiting until the new year to see how it turns out.