BioWare has decided to cancel the planned multiplayer tech test for its upcoming sci-fi epic Mass Effect: Andromeda. Announced in blog post detailing the studio's plans for PAX East this month in Boston, BioWare said Andromeda's multiplayer will be playable at the gaming expo, but will not be available for players at home to try out ahead of release.
"Join us at the BioWare Base (room 2AB) and be one of the first to join APEX and defend our new home in Andromeda," BioWare wrote. "Featuring different character kits each day, this is your chance to try out Mass Effect's fast-paced cooperative multiplayer on PC.
"While we will have live multiplayer at PAX East, there will no longer be a multiplayer tech test for players at home. Thank you to everyone who signed up. We look forward to seeing you in Andromeda."
In November last year, producer Fabrice Condominas revealed that Andromeda will have a multiplayer beta ahead of its March release. However, the studio has decided to forgo the tech test saying they came to the conclusion that it was not necessary.
In a statement to PCGamer, BioWare said: "Our team worked extremely hard building, testing, and balancing multiplayer, and we ultimately determined that a tech test would not be necessary."
BioWare producer Fernando Melo also took to Twitter to apologise to fans and offer an explanation for the beta's cancellation..
"Sorry we won't have MPTT [multiplayer tech test]," Melo wrote in a series of tweets. "I know many were looking forward to it (as were we). Long story but right decision for how close we are to [going] live.
He said there was a closed alpha for Andromeda earlier this year that was held on retail consoles, adding that upcoming game's multiplayer "has had the most [extensive] user testing we've ever done."
Melo noted that Andromeda's multiplayer is "very alive... and awesome" and said the developer will release more information about it soon. He also tweeted an image of the multiplayer mode's character selection screen confirming that players will be able to play as non-human races including Salarian, Asari, Turian and Krogan.
BioWare previously revealed that Andromeda's multiplayer will tie in closely to its solo campaign and have a direct impact on the RPG's main story.
In an interview with Game Informer, the developer said they noticed players in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer often sticking to a fixed location to defend. To keep players moving, some enemies in Andromeda are designed to force players and their teammates out of hiding.
"The first thing everyone will notice is how dynamic it is," Condominas said. "Everything is more fluid, fast-paced, there's a lot of action going on. The controls are also more responsive. All of that is on purpose; we really wanted to increase the dynamism and how accessible it is while retaining the depth and going more into layers."
Meanwhile, EA Access subscribers on Xbox One and Origin Access subscribers on PC will still be able to explore Andromeda and try out multiplayer in a 10-hour trial scheduled to go live on 16 March, a week ahead of the game's release.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to release on 21 March in North America and 23 March in Europe for PS4, Xbox One and PC.