Next Mass Effect not number 4
BioWare says Shepard’s adventures are over, so the next Mass Effect isn’t going to be number 4…
Although virtually nothing is known about the next game in the Mass Effect series, save its existence, what is known is that Commander Shepard’s journey is over. Done. Finished. Complete. And that’s just what BioWare wishes to confirm.
In a post on the BioWare community forums, the community manager, Chris Priestly, has stated quite clearly that the next game in the series isn’t really going to be Mass Effect 4.
“To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here. We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying "well, they'll have to pick a canon ending". No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know.” He said.
He then went on to say “I do not call the game ME4 when I talk about it ever, because that makes people think of it more as "what happens after Mass Effect 3" rather than "what game happens next set in the Mass Effect Universe", which is far more accurate at this point.”
So, regardless of the wild speculation on how the next game will tie into the existing releases, it would appear as though, save for the setting, the new Mass Effect will have little to do with Shepard’s trilogy, whether it takes place before, during or after the previous games. I suspect it’s not going to stop fans debating such matters though…