While Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release date has never been officially set, it seems Dark Horse Comics may have inadvertently revealed when the game will hit store shelves. Dark Horse has published and produced many Mass Effect comics in the past and is contracted to publish an officially licensed book titled The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda. Destructoid noticed that Dark Horse recently put its upcoming book on Amazon for pre-sale and listed it as being available on March 21, 2017.
Normally this would be no big deal, but it was also noticed that the description of the book states, “Dark Horse will release The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda simultaneously with the game.”
Since the book is due out March 21, it follows that so is the game. However, since the date is not directly from Bioware or EA, it is anything but official. Despite its unofficial nature, one would expect that Dark Horse would be “in the know” on this issue, especially if they were planning a simultaneous release. So this release date could be considered reliable, at least at this point.
Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release date was initially set for late 2016, but according to PC Gamer, EA announced in March of this year that the game would be coming out sometime in the fourth quarter of the company’s fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2017. So that put Andromeda’s release date sometime between January and March of next year. Since Dark Horse’s book release date falls right into the last part of EA’s fiscal year, it is a good indication that this is a reasonable launch time for the game.
Bioware and EA have deliberately been keeping a precise Andromeda release date under wraps since they have already seen fit to delay the game once. Developers and producers have seen what happens when too many release date promises are broken.
While neither Bioware nor EA has commented on the Amazon listing, Destructoid noted that the listing for the book on Bioware’s store just states that the book will be available “Early 2017.”
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the fourth ME game released in the franchise. The title will depart from its predecessors in that it will be set in an entirely new galaxy, Andromeda. The Milky Way galaxy had been the setting for the previous adventures. Placing Bioware’s epic deep-space RPG into an entirely new galaxy opens up the opportunity to encounter alien life forms that are vastly different than those previously experienced.
According to what is known so far, a vessel was sent to the Andromeda galaxy with the crew aboard in suspended animation, or whatever the developers have decided to call it. The first trailer only showed one human character, which was presumed to be the player’s controllable character. However, the ship is quite large, and so logically there should be other members of the crew who will likely be of familiar races.
Indeed, in the most recent trailer, which was released around the time the PlayStation Pro was announced, we see an Asari character. So we know at least one other race made the voyage. However, once exploration begins, players may encounter beings totally different from any other game, which is a somewhat exciting prospect in itself.
Fans only have to quell their excitement for a while longer. As long as the release date for Dark Horse’s book is accurate, and as long as production does not suffer another delay, players will be able to get their hands on Mass Effect: Andromeda on March 21, 2017. However, we may be getting official word sooner than that. November 7 is N7 Day, which is an annual Mass Effect celebration day for Bioware.
According to the gameplay trailer that the developers released to show off the PlayStation Pro’s 4K capabilities, the company will “officially open the doors to the next chapter of the Mass Effect universe” on November 7.
Does that mean an official release date? We will see.
[Featured Image by Bioware]