Mass Effect 5 may ditch Frostbite for Unreal, but don’t expect it until 2025September 4, 2021
Mass Effect 5 is definitely in production, as BioWare confirmed at the Game Awards last year in December, and we haven’t heard much about it since then. Now it’s looking extremely possible that EA may be looking to use the Unreal Engine to run the new Mass Effect, ditching EA’s own Frostbite engine despite it still being used to power Dragon Age 4.
It has long been mandated by EA that all of the publisher’s internal games would utilise DICE’s Frostbite engine – since around 2016, in fact – despite the significant problems brought by the fact that Frostbite didn’t really work well with RPGs. BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem suffered as a result – especially in comparison to Mass Effect 1-3, which used the Unreal engine.
Now it looks like BioWare/EA might be considering a return to the Unreal engine for Mass Effect 5. A new job listing for a technical director on the new Mass Effect specifically requires “experience with Unreal Engine 4+” with no mention of any other engines, least of all Frostbite.