Mass Effect 4 will be developed using the Unreal Engine, a recent job listing confirms, marking a shift away from Electronic Arts' own Frostbite Engine.
Producer Brenon Holmes confirmed that developer BioWare is looking for programmers experienced in both Unreal Engine 4 and 5, which could suggest that the next Mass Effect game will be developed using the latest version of Epic's set of tools.
The job listing highlighted by GamesBeat's Jeff Grubb, via GameRant, mentions "full cycle AAA game development" and experience with the Unreal Engine as its top requirement.
Grubb added, in a follow-up tweet that Mass Effect 4 is being developed using Unreal Engine 5. Although there hasn't been official confirmation regarding the engine's version from BioWare or Electronic Arts, this sounds plausible.
In late 2020, when the developer confirmed a new Mass Effect game was in the works, the project was still in its early stages.
This means that its release date is likely several years away. Harnessing the technological improvements of the Unreal Engine 5 would be one way to ensure that the RPG stays competitive with other titles releasing in the same time frame, given how the list of games skipping Unreal Engine 4 is steadily increasing.
While the Frostbite Engine – used in the ill-fated Mass Effect: Andromeda – was perfect for crafting gorgeous worlds, reports came out indicating that developers had a hard time adapting it to the genre and series' requirements.
Electronic Arts' engine was initially built with first-person shooters like Battlefield in mind, the shift away from it likely coming as a result of Andromeda's disappointing launch.
Mass Effect returning to Unreal Engine sounds like good news – the original trilogy was developed using the engine's third version – but it will likely be a good while before we get to see if this is, indeed, the comeback that fans of the series are expecting.
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