This year’s Mass Effect: Andromeda wasn’t a hit in the same way that its predecessors were, and its commercial performance has resulted in changes to both its developer BioWare Montreal and the series itself. Plans for new games have reportedly been put on hold, but that doesn’t mean the entire franchise is on hiatus.
BioWare today shared some new details about the next Mass Effect novel. As previously announced, it’s called Mass Effect: Annihilation, and it “chronicles the journey of the Keelah Si’yah as it carries 20,000 drell, elcor, batarian, and quarian colonists to Andromeda.” The status of the Keelah Si’yah is an important matter in Andromeda; it did not leave at the same time as the other arks, which explains the absence of the species aboard.
The description of the book continues, “A pathogen is discovered aboard the ark after many drell are found dead in their cryo pods. As the pathogen jumps species, the ship’s systems begin to fail, making it clear this is no accident.”
Annihilation is the first Mass Effect book to be written by Catherynne M. Valente, whose previous work includes The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Orphan’s Tales series. Annihilation was previously scheduled to launch this summer and was to be followed by a third book, Mass Effect: Initiation. It’s now instead slated for release in the US, UK, and Canada on June 26, 2018 (August 28, 2018 in Australia).
EA boss Patrick Soderlund spoke this summer about Andromeda and how he felt it received too much criticism. He also suggested the series will return in the future, but only if it feels “relevant” and “fresh.” If you haven’t played the game yourself, you can do so for free, as Andromeda was recently added to the EA and Origin Access Vault.