EA now considering remasters, including the Mass Effect series

Via Mike Futter for Game Informer:

Right now, EA is the last big publisher to be staying away from that [remaster] arms race. When I spoke with Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president for EA Studios at E3 2015, he emphasized that the company was looking ahead to new projects instead of dipping into the back catalog for remasters.

In our conversation at EA’s Gamescom welcome event, Soderlund stopped short of confirming the remasters are coming, but he strongly hinted that they might be in the offing when we asked about BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy specifically. Here’s that segment of my interview:

Game Informer: One of the things I asked you last year when we sat down at E3 was about Mass Effect. At the time, there were two publishers that hadn’t really dipped into the remaster world: you and Activision. Activision has since released a number of remasters or ports, and now they are working on a full-on remaster for MW. Revisiting this as the last man standing on remasters, has anything changed? Like a Mass Effect trilogy remaster?

Soderlund: What’s changed is that there is proof in the market that people want it, maybe more than there was when we spoke. 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.

I’ve always found it strange that EA didn’t explore this avenue at all, what with almost every other game company tossing recycled versions of their games onto store shelves. It seems to run completely counter to the previous “business first, fun second” model EA followed only a handful of years ago, given the cost in updating many older titles is lower, compared to developing an entirely new game, and can offer a pretty large return.

That said, it’s nice to see them really take their time on this and not exploit the fans in any way. I’ve always insisted that this pattern of just rereleasing games isn’t particularly healthy for the industry… but if you hand me a remastered copy of the Mass Effect Trilogy on PS4, i’ll hand you whatever amount of money you want, just please make it happen.