In a recent blog post by Yanick Roy, Studio Director at Bioware Montreal, confirmed a Mass Effect sequel with this statement "the next Mass Effect game is already in development, driven by the team here in Montreal".
A very interesting fact also came out that the new Mass Effect will be powered by the impressive Frostbite engine that has powered games like Battlefield 3 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted:
"There is really not much I can tell you about the game right now, except that it will be built with the amazing technology of Frostbite as its foundation, enhanced by many of the systems that the Dragon Age III team has already spent a lot of time building."
This certainly means that the new Mass Effect 4 is probably going be exquisite to look at with the alien worlds and creatures coming to life in beautifully rendered graphics. I wonder if it will even include a destructible environment like Battlefield 3?
Further statements from Roy did confirm that the development team would respect the heritage of the first three games but with a switch to the Frostbite engine, they "are exploring new directions, both on the game play and story fronts". Don't expect too many radical changes though as Roy further added " You can still expect the pillars the franchise is known for to be fully intact though, including diverse alien races, a huge galaxy to explore, and of course rich, cinematic storytelling".
From this quote "Now that the core of our team is in place, the next step for us is to have the BioWare Montreal studio grow at an accelerated pace over the next year as we build a team large enough to support the production of what we know is going to be an amazing game in the franchise," it does seem that we will not be seeing the game out of production in 2013.
Mass Effect 3 did attract a lot of criticism, but I for one, enjoyed playing the game and will certainly be playing Mass Effect 4 when it comes out. I really cannot wait to see what the game looks like on the Frostbite engine!