EA may have avoided venturing into the popular game-remastering trend thus far, but the company could be shifting its stance on the idea, going forward. In an interview with Game Informer at the ongoing Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund said that although he could not make an official announcement, the team is "absolutely actively" looking to remaster some of its older titles, including the Mass Effect trilogy.
"What's changed is that there is proof in the market that people want it, maybe more than there was when we spoke," Soderlund said. "There were some that did it before, but I think there is even more clear evidence that this is something that people really want."
"The honest answer is that we are absolutely actively looking at it. I can't announce anything today, but you can expect us most likely to follow our fellow partners in Activision and other companies that have done this successfully."
However, Soderlund did note that there are multiple factors that the team will consider before remastering its classic titles to avoid any slip-ups, saying they have to "be careful in choosing the right brands for the right reasons at the right time".
"A remaster is something that you can just do or do it really well," he said. "I want to make sure that if we were to do it, we would do it really well and that people feel that it's the same game but it feels so much better in this new shape and form.
"There have been titles that have come out that have done it really well, and there have been others that maybe haven't done it so well. We just want to make sure that we stay in the 'done it really well' camp."
Although Soderlund did not officially confirm whether EA was working on a Mass Effect remaster or any other game, his comment did mark a significant change in the publisher's approach to re-releasing old games.
In 2014, BioWare released a survey asking fans about their personal preferences for a Mass Effect remake, suggesting that it could potentially be looking at developing a remastered version of the beloved trilogy. However, Soderlund in 2015 stated that a remaster was not a major priority for them at the time.
In October 2015, EA COO Peter Moore also spoke out against the practice of remastering older titles and said that as a company that "just likes to push forward", re-releasing old games "feels like pushing stuff out because you've run out of ideas".
Announced at EA's E3 press conference in 2015, Mass Effect: Andromeda – its next addition to the franchise – is slated for release in 2017.
Soderlund also offered an update about their upcoming, highly-anticipated sci-fi sim, given its absence from both E3 and Gamescom this year, saying fans will soon get their first glimpse of how the game plays.
"You'll get [your first look at gameplay] in the not too distant future," Soderlund said. "I get people want to see gameplay and I just came back from a short vacation and I played through the first three hours of the game. It's very playable, and there is no alarm about, 'Why aren't they showing it?'"
"It's strictly that the game will get the right type of exposure at the right time and that we can the right voice for it. Right now we're focused on our big titles for [October through December], and when that's done, we'll shift to Mass Effect. You'll see a lot more very shortly."