Mass Effect 5 development reportedly won't begin in full until 2023

Mass Effect 5 could be developed in Unreal Engine 5, but development on the game is reportedly not set to start "in full" until 2023.

A new EA job listing (via Venturebeat) says that BioWare is looking for a technical director for Mass Effect 5 who has "experience in Unreal Engine 4+," suggesting that the studio is considering utilizing the new engine for its upcoming project.

The first three Mass Effect games were built in Unreal Engine, but after BioWare's acquisition by EA, the studio moved to the Frostbite engine, which had been built by DICE, and has been used for FIFA, Madden, and Star Wars Battlefront titles. BioWare's Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Anthem were all built with Frostbite, but Venturebeat's Jeff Grubb states that "everything is on the table when it comes to tech for a new Mass Effect."

In a series of tweets, Grubb says that "EA and BioWare are really considering all possibilities for Mass Effect 5," and that the developer "wants to embrace next-gen visual tech." By 2023, when Grubb suggests development on the next Mass Effect game will start "in full," the in-house Frostbite engine won't be able to keep up with those visual demands.

BioWare's next game, Dragon Age 4, is reportedly targeting a 2023 release and will be made in the Frostbite engine. If development on Mass Effect 5 isn't set to begin in earnest until after that game launches, we may not get to see that title until 2025 at the earliest, a date that could be pushed even further if BioWare finds itself changing engines between projects.

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