Star Wars: The Old Republic
A promotional image for Star Wars: The Old Republic, developed by Bioware Austin, published by Electronic ArtsElectronic Arts

An otherwise innocuous advert for a job vacancy at BioWare's Austin branch has stealthily revealed that the Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer is hard at work on an "exciting" new IP heavily designed around online play.

While this recruitment drive could be to bolster online support for a new project at any of BioWare's studios in Canada and the US, BioWare Austin's forays into the massively multiplayer online (MMO) space with the now free-to-play Star Wars: The Old Republic point naturally towards the next title its office in Texas.

The blurb on the Electronic Arts careers page reads: "This role will direct a team of software engineers to create the backend systems that will drive online play for this exciting new game... The successful candidate will have expert knowledge of and experience in the design, implementation, and continuing support of large scale real-time client/server applications."

At present BioWare's only official upcoming game is Mass Effect: Andromeda set to come to Xbox One, PS4 and PC this year, a reboot/sequel to its sci-fi opus. However, this is the first official confirmation we have heard of any new IP from the RPG specialists.

"Experience developing PC or console games" could point towards a multiplatform release for the mystery new game in development, a notable change in direction from BioWare Austin's work on Star Wars: The Old Republic, a once bold, but now beaten challenger to the MMORPG (role-playing game) crown held by Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

You never know, this could be a retooled version of BioWare Austin's unceremoniously cancelled project Shadow Realms, an ill-fated episodic online 4v1 story driven action RPG that was teased in 2014 via a quintet of enigmatic trailers before being officially terminated in early 2015.

A series of weird teasers set the tone for what could have been for BioWare Austin's cancelled project Shadow RealmsYouTube / You've Been Chosen

Whatever the new IP actually turns out to be, with the lead writer for Mass Effect: Andromeda confirming earlier today that he has left work on the game to join the Destiny team at Bungie (an indication that at least the writing stage is nearing completion), it seems that BioWare are looking to expand their library in the next few years.