BioWare's previously confirmed new franchise will be out in the next 14 months, launching by April 2018, EA said today.
During a call with investors, EA CEO Andrew Wilson indicated the new game will be out by the end of the upcoming fiscal year, which runs through March 31, 2018. He only spoke of it at a high level, saying it features "new concepts" and could disrupt the action game space.
"At the end of the fiscal year, our BioWare studio will be delivering an all-new IP, a clean-sheet design with new concepts, new gameplay mechanics, and new stories set in a unique new universe," Wilson said. "This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in an exhilarating new way. We're very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large, global audience."
When pressed for further details during the Q&A portion of the call, Wilson described it as an action-adventure game, rather than an RPG, and suggest it will blend genres.
"What we're seeing more and more is genre-melding, which is great components of a number of different genres really kind of coming together into single games," he said. "And so when you think about this game, you should be thinking about the great RPG character development and storyline progression that BioWare is known for, but in a world of greater action and greater adventure, which is growing to be one of the larger categories in games."
He also confirmed it will be a wholly owned IP, meaning it isn't based on another company's franchise (as with, say, Star Wars Battlefront).
BioWare manager Aaryn Flynn previously spoke about an unannounced new IP from the studio, indicating it would be a while before any specifics were shared.
"We're not going to talk about it until we're confident about what it's going to be and everything," he said in November. "We've been doing reviews with [Wilson], and I think he likes it. So, knock on wood, we'll keep working on it and we'll keep doing it. Hopefully you'll hear more about that once [Mass Effect] Andromeda's done and we've satisfied fans with that game."
He continued, "You have to ask yourself, 'Do you want to do something that fiercly different or do you want to do something that's very recognizable?' 'Do you want to take something that you've done and put a spin on it, or do you want to wipe the slate clean and say what would we do in this.' And for us, what we said was we're BioWare, so we have a certain kind of game that we love making and we know our fans would love, so we started with that and that's a game that has as its heart stories and storytelling. So we decided we're going to stick with that. We're not just going to walk away from that. Once we agreed on that, everything started to fall into place."
Following EA's announcement today, BioWare's Aaryn Flynn has shared a bit more about the studio's upcoming game.
"There's much more to say in the coming months, but for now, I wanted to offer this additional background," he said on BioWare's blog. "In 2012, we began crafting a new universe full of new characters, stories, and gameplay. Our ambition is simple: Draw upon 20-plus years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends. There's nothing quite as exciting as building a new IP from scratch, and it will be even more thrilling for us to share more with you in the future."
Further specifics--including a name, settings, or platforms--remain unknown. As Flynn alluded to, don't expect to hear much more until after Andromeda's launch in March.