Report: BioWare moving back to Unreal for new Mass Effect

Report: BioWare moving back to Unreal for new Mass Effect

Electronic Arts' BioWare studio is apparently looking to use Unreal Engine for the next entry in its Mass Effect series.

As reported by VentureBeat, EA is hiring for a technical director for the sci-fi RPG franchise which requires that candidates have experience with Unreal Engine 4+ – presumably the plus means they might used the new Unreal Engine 5, too. The outlet also reports that "everything is n the table when it comes to tech" for the project.

The first three entries in the Mass Effect franchise were all developed using Epic's Unreal Engine, with development shifting to DICE's Frostbite for 2017's Mass Effect Andromeda. It's reported that this switch in tech caused a number of problems for the project, as well as for BioWare's subsequent title, Anthem.

Frostbite was created by DICE to power 2008's Battlefield: Bad Company and has since been used to power almost every mainstream title the developer has worked on since, with the exception of Mirror's Edge, which used Unreal 3.

EA acquired DICE in 2006 and used the proprietary engine to power a number of its franchises, including FIFA.

Word that BioWare was working on a new Mass Effect title broke at The Game Awards 2020, where a short teaser trailer was shown. The project has seemingly attracted a number of veterans from the studio.

The yin to that yang is the fact that a number of high-profile members of staff have departed BioWare in recent years, something that EA CEO Andrew Wilson told investors he is not concerned about.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.