[mass effect game]Mass Effect Nearly Got a First-Person Nintendo DS Spin-Off
BioWare was once working on a first-person, space-faring Mass Effect game for Nintendo DS, but the project was eventually disbanded.
Talking to MinnMax, ex-BioWare producer, Mark Darrah, spoke about the game – called Mass Effect: Corsair – and revealed what the project was intended to be. “It was going to be a DS game, it was going to be first-person, you’d fly around a ship,” he said. “We were going to put it out in a part of the galaxy that was more pirate-y and not really fully explored.”
“It was going to kinda be a combination of Privateer and Star Control,” he continued. “You would be independent, you’d be more like a Han Solo character, not a Spectre. And you’d be flying around, picking up cargo, exploring, and sell that information back to the human Alliance.”
By that description, it sounds as if Corsair was planned to take place in Mass Effect’s Terminus Systems; a sector of lawless space beyond the reach of the Council and the Earth Systems Alliance. Players would have had control of their ship, and been able to engage in space combat.
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Not much had been put together when BioWare hit a stumbling block, though. “Pretty much all we had was the beginnings of the flight controls, we didn’t have the rest of that game put together,” said Darrah. “We were figuring out how it worked from an IP perspective, still.”
That stumbling block was the DS itself; more specifically its cartridges. “The problem is that the economics of the Nintendo DS are just terrible,” said Darrah, explaining that the cartridges needed for Mass Effect: Corsair cost $10.50 each. And with DS games retailing at $30, it meant very little money for development costs after the cartridge has been purchased and localisation paid for.
“That was the problem, ultimately,” he said. “We know how to make big games, not games that had control of their cogs. It didn’t make sense. EA was predicting we’d only sell 50,000 copies.”
Darrah said that the team on Mass Effect: Corsair eventually transitioned to mobile, and the creation of Mass Effect Infiltrator, a third-person shooter made for iOS, Android, and Blackberry.
For more from BioWare’s sci-fi galaxy, check out our Legendary Edition reviews of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. BioWare also recently revealed the fate of the planned Mass Effect movie.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.
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