After a few conference panels of scant information regarding the future of the Mass Effect franchise (I’ll avoid discussion of Dragon Age: Inquisition as it’s well on its way), BioWare surprised us last week with a pair of videos that assure us that “[WE’VE] BEEN CHOSEN.” We can’t know exactly toward what these teasers are leading us, but the first one, “Nightmare,” suggests that it shouldn’t be less than a harrowing experience:
The second, called “Spark,” seems less terrifying than its predecessor in that all of the characters have traditional heads, and the seeming presence of powers might suggest that the transhuman themes that made the Mass Effect franchise so engaging have a place in this new imaginative world:
Along with a handful of viral sites–most notably www.seekinghenna.com–interest in this new project from BioWare should steadily increase, as it is likely the oft-mentioned new IP that has been referred to around the web as Shadow Realms thanks to scuttlebutt out of ComicCon. The Edmonton, Alberta studio hasn’t done much with live-action marketing in the past, but their Shepard/FemShep ad campaign was one of the most empowering aspects of the hype leading up to the launch of Mass Effect 3.
It would seem that the date of 8.13.14, assigned to the second video and corresponding to Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany, bears significance. I’ll decline to speculate about an announcement or a release date after this summer’s dearth of information from the studio at E3 and ComicCon regarding new projects, but this unexpected chance to get involved with something brand new from BioWare is something in which players long familiar with the studio have not had the chance to participate in over a half-decade.
The interactivity of this new IP’s first viral content seems another step forward for the developer, whose mid-November release of Dragon Age: Inquisition will end a 32-month publishing hiatus, the longest such interval for BioWare. We know they are watching, but thanks to such an intriguing viral marketing schema, so are we.