Frostbite is a game engine developed by DICE that’s been used for many popular EA games that include the Battlefield series, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and Star Wars Battlefront II. The engine has gone through a few iterations, with the latest, Frostbite 3, having debuted on October 29, 2013 with the release of Battlefield 4.
Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem were both built using Frostbite, so it was presumed that BioWare would be developing its next Mass Effect game using that same engine. This may not be the case.
According to a new EA job listing for a technical director for Mass Effect 5, BioWare may actually be developing the fifth installment of Mass Effect using Epic Games’ hugely popular Unreal Engine. This is hinted by one of the job listing’s bullet points.
- Experience developing, debugging and optimizing AAA multiplayer games on PC or console.
- Hands-on experience with multiple game domains (e.g. AI, Rendering, Tools, Online, Animation…)
- 5+ years of professional multi-platform C++ experience and a solid understanding of software design principles.
- Bachelor degree in Computer Science, or equivalent training and professional experience.
- Experience with UnrealEngine4+ is an asset.
Mass Effect 5 being developed on Unreal Engine wouldn’t be too shocking, as all three of the original games were built on Epic Games’ engine. One of EA’s most recent and popular games, Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, was also built using Unreal.
The fifth installment of Mass Effect is still years away, but BioWare did release a teaser trailer in December 2020 that gave long-time fans an idea of where the franchise might be going. The trailer included an appearance by Liara T’Soni and hinted that Shepard could be making a return.
[…] Mass Effect — and BioWare’s followup Anthem — lost something in the transition from Unreal to Frostbite, and that was apparent in elements like ambient world animation. Where a nightclub in the original Mass Effect would have dozens of dancing characters, Anthem’s characters would remain motionless and still until you approached them.