The latest rumor surrounding BioWare's upcoming Mass Effect 3 is that it will include an online-enabled, 4-player co-op mode. The news follows an announcement made by EA during E3 2011 that the game's release date had been pushed back from its original late 2011 launch to March 9, 2012. Mass Effect 3 was originally announced back in December 2010 during the Spike TV Videogame Awards.
According to the rumor, the 4-player co-op mode will be a separate component so that it doesn't compromise the single-player portion of the game. It also won't mimic the campaign experience, but will instead be similar to Horde in which players must face wave after wave of rushing enemies. So far BioWare has refused to comment on the rumor directly.
"We haven't talked at all about multiplayer in the Mass Effect franchise, but we're exploring multiplayer in all of our games and all of our franchises," BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka told Eurogamer. "It's always an idea we're interested in. The short answer is we have no comment on that. But we're interested in the idea of multiplayer."
The latest rumor probably has nothing to do with previous reports of a possible Mass Effect MMOG. BioWare's executive producer for the Mass Effect franchise Casey Hudson hinted to the idea back in April after revealing that multiplayer definitely has a future in the Mass Effect franchise. He also acknowledged the fans who have requested an MMOG over the last few years.
"A lot of people say that they want to see an MMO, I think that kind of makes sense for this universe," he said. "I think Mass Effect has that quality to it. If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn't it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense."