What you need to know
- November 7 is known as N7 in the Mass Effect player community, fittingly named in honor of the N7 designation in-game.
- For N7 Day 2023, development studio BioWare shared a quick teaser showing an unknown character walking down a hallway while wearing an N7 jacket.
- Binary code was hidden in a blog message from BioWare discussing the franchise, with the code spelling out the word "Epsilon," which could be the name of the next game.
- The next Mass Effect is still years away from being released.
Role-playing development studio BioWare had a few interesting teasers for this N7 Day.
November 7, also known as N7 Day by the Mass Effect player community, always brings some new merchandise reveals (there are some fun statues this year) and there's sometimes even a small teaser for the future of the franchise. This year was no exception, with BioWare revealing a new character for the next Mass Effect game. You can check out the teaser below:
All we see is a quick character design, which BioWare also posted in full detail. The unknown character is likely the main protagonist of the next game, or at least a major supporting character.
That design isn't all however, as there's also a hidden message. Buried in-between parts of BioWare's message are 1s and 0s of Binary code. Put together, it spells out a single word: Epsilon.
Epsilon is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet, and the next Mass Effect game will be the fifth mainline entry in the franchise, so the implication here is fairly obvious. While not technically confirmed, the next game is almost certainly titled Mass Effect: Epsilon.
N7 day through the years
N7 Day has played an important part for the Mass Effect fanbase, and BioWare smartly used it from time to time to drop reveals big and small. N7 Day 2020 was a particularly memorable event, as BioWare revealed the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition trilogy remaster pack and confirmed that development was beginning on the next Mass Effect game.
How far off is the next Mass Effect?
Unfortunately for players, the next Mass Effect game is a long ways off. BioWare is primarily focused on delivering Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, sequel to the nine year-old Dragon Age: Inquisition. On top of that, publisher Electronic Arts recently laid off around 50 staff from BioWare in a shift to try and make the studio more "agile," a shift that has caused multiple team members to be pulled off of Mass Effect and help finish the next entry in the Dragon Age franchise.
Former Dragon Age quality assurance testers who were laid off after unionizing also chose N7 Day 2023 to picket BioWare and protest the layoffs.
Back in 2020, even before the effects of the pandemic on game development were well-understood, sources told me that the next Mass Effect wouldn't be here before 2024, and that's certainly shifted even further now. I wouldn't expect to see this game before 2026 at the absolute earliest.
Analysis: A fun teaser for something years away
The Mass Effect games mean a lot to me, so yes, I'm happy to see this teaser. It's a great character design, and my mind races with possibilities at what's in store based on what little we've seen and the things I've heard from sources.
At the same time, this day is bittersweet. It comes months after some of BioWare's veteran team members were laid off, and this game isn't even remotely close to being ready. I still hope to see BioWare succeed, and I hope these events serve to help galvanize the gaming industry to unionize, as everyone who works on games deserves the ability to join a union.
In the meantime, if you haven't played them yet, grab all the Mass Effect games right now at a discounted price on Xbox and Windows PC, where you'll have fun defending our galaxy and exploring a new one.
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