EA: Mass Effect on PlayStation 3 is a Necessity, Not a Choice
One of the longest running rumors on the Internet (besides Metal Gear Solid 4 on Xbox 360) is the Mass Effect trilogy on PS3.
The rumor all started after EA swooped down and picked up Bioware, the acclaimed studio responsible for the excellent game. However, with the economic situation, Mass Effect going to PS3 may be more of a necessity than a choice.
Mass Effect is one of my all time favorite games out there. I even have my character built up to use on Mass Effect 2. The game was so addictive I suffered from withdrawal symptoms while my Xbox 360 was out getting repaired last Christmas. The game had great gameplay mechanics with the turn-based battle system in place.
The rumor recently resurfaced briefly when EA execs indicated that Mass Effect 2 would be released multiplatform. The word "multiplatform" could mean many things; it could mean PS3/X360/PC or just Xbox 360/PC.
The rumor was spurred even further when Edge reached out to EA and was told that they could not go into further details of what was meant by "multiplatform." It is a bit odd as to why EA would go to such lengths to hide the intended platforms.
Second Story Gamer received some attention when they indicated that a reliable source close to EA has revealed that the announcement will be made at GDC March 23. However, the most telling tail of them all just might be from EA's development cycle and financial portfolio.
Recently, EA revealed that Bioware's highly anticipated Dragon Age for the PC will be delayed till the end of the year. This bit of news was delivered with the megaton that EA would be axing 11 percent of its staff. With the delay, more than likely the PC version will see a simultaneous release alongside the console versions.
This delay could be due to one of two things:
1) EA has laid off staff from its recently acquired studio Bioware, which the company paid over $300 million for.
2) EA has refocused part of Bioware's resources on developing the PS3 version of Mass Effect(1) after the acquisition. (Bioware was completely focused on Dragon Age before the buyout)
Coming from the development side of the house myself, I would have to say that in my professional opinion, the latter seems like the most likely scenario. Rarely will companies layoff resources tied to projects in full development beyond the proof of concept stage.
Also, when in a cash/profit crunch, porting an existing project over and padding the portfolio has always been the safest thing to do. More than likely, Bioware resources have been diverted to other tasks.
I am curious to see if anything interesting really comes out of GDC. Make sure to stay tuned for more information in the coming months.