BioWare Edmonton has said fans who refer to its next game as 'Mass Effect 4' are doing it "a disservice", because they're suggesting it will be a sequel to the original sci-fi trilogy.
So far all we know about the next game in the EA RPG series is that it will not star series protagonist Commander Shepard.
Speaking to fans via the official BioWare forums, community manager Chris Priestly said that any details beyond the above won't be revealed until "years down the road".
"To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here. We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her," he posted.
"That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending'. No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it."
Priestly claimed that even he doesn't refer to the project as 'Mass Effect 4' internally, because "that makes people think of it more as 'what happens after Mass Effect 3' rather than 'what game happens next set in the Mass Effect Universe', which is far more accurate at this point."
He continued: "Obviously fans are going to speculate content, character and story until we actually reveal details in the years or months to come as you have almost no actual details, just don't get bogged down in 'well how are they going to continue ME3...'."
In November BioWare revealed Mass Effect 4 will be powered by EA's Frostbite engine, enhanced by systems built for Dragon Age 3. Casey Hudson, executive producer of BioWare's Mass Effect series, also asked fans if Mass Effect 4 should be a prequel or a sequel.