Back to Unreal
It looks like developer Bioware might be moving away from EA’s Frostbite engine and use the Unreal Engine for Mass Effect 5. This would probably be a good move as EA’s Frostbite engine is a bit notorious to work with.
EA recently posted a listing on their website looking for a technical director to work on Mass Effect. The most noticeable requirement is that it calls on experience with Unreal Engine 4.
Of course, this isn’t confirmation that Mass Effect will move away from the Frostbite engine, just that it is a possibility. Bioware already has a lot of experience with Unreal Engine, the first three Mass Effect games were created in Unreal, and Bioware hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to EA’s Frostbite engine.
Obviously, EA wants to use their own engine whenever possible. They put the time and money into making it, and they don’t have to pay any licensing fees to use it. So it will save money, but only if the games are good. Just compare the original Mass Effect trilogy to Anthem and Andromeda. The Frostbite engine isn’t completely to blame for these titles being underwhelming, but I doubt it helped.
It is also possible EA is considering using Unreal because their own engine could be out of date by the time work really starts on Mass Effect 5. It is still years away from full-on development, with Bioware working hard on Dragon Age 4. Dragon Age 4 is set to come out in 2023, so we are looking at least 2-3 years after that before we see Mass Effect 5.
I just hope they go with whatever makes the best game. Frostbite just might not be up to the task for a game like Mass Effect. It is nice to see EA is at least willing to consider using new engines instead of just using their own engine for every game.