'Mass Effect: Andromeda' release date, gameplay and Initiative discussed in new interview

Electronic Arts

Mass Effect: Andromeda's release date is still unknown, but we're eagerly gobbling up any information on the new game while we wait to return to the Bioware's beloved science fiction universe. The latest batch of tidbits comes from Mass Effect: Andromeda's creative director, Mac Walters, and producer, Fabrice Condominas, who discussed the game's plot, details and release date in an interview with Eurogamer.

Before we dive in, check out this awesome gameplay trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda if you haven't already.

Source: Mass Effect /YouTube

Mass Effect: Andromeda release date is still on track

When asked if the game would still ship in spring 2017 as previously promised, Condominas confirmed the planned release date wasn't in danger. Even so, the company still isn't ready to announce an exact day for the launch.

There's absolutely no reason to be worried. BioWare is all about quality, and believe me, the team is extremely aware of how fast that is coming [laughs]. But we're focusing on that — that's our objective. Maybe we'll need two extra days? When we're 100% confident we can go to certification on a certain date, then we'll give a very specific date. In the meantime, we're focusing on quality, and every day counts. We don't want to pressure that.

Mass Effect: Andromeda release date details: The Andromeda Initiative is how things were supposed to go

BioWare is currently running a pre-release web-based marketing campaign for Mass Effect: Andromeda called the Andromeda Initiative. Players can sign up for email alerts about Mass Effect: Andromeda, and view videos which explain the fiction around the newest Mass Effect game.

The latest Andromeda Initiative video focuses on how the Council races in the Milky Way galaxy built a giant space station called the Nexus, along with a handful of Arks carrying citizens from the major Council races, to colonize the Andromeda galaxy.

The idea was that all the races would use the Nexus as a central point for resources and diplomacy. According to Condominas, as reported by Eurogamer, that video may represent the best intention of the mission, but not its result.

"What you see in the trailer is a tease of what happens to the different Arks ... obviously this is central to the story of how things didn't go as planned [on arrival in Andromeda]," Condominas said. "People got spread out."

Source: Mass Effect/YouTube

Mass Effect: Andromeda release date details: Cultural exploration will be very important

Eurogamer also shook loose an interesting observation about what looked to many observers like a diplomatic section of the Nexus shown off in the latest Andromeda Initiative video. It appears to be a long corridor lit with holograms of the major races from the original Mass Effect series — humans, asari, salarians, turians and krogan — and thus suggested diplomacy, or a place for races to come together.

According to Walters, those observers were incorrect. "That area is more for — if you meet a race in Andromeda which is not hostile — introducing them to the cultures of the Milky Way," Walters said. "So I would say it would represent the species that are in the game and then, down the road, if other species are added, it will expand."

The idea of introducing other species to Mass Effect: Andromeda via downloadable expansions certainly sounds interesting, as does the other nugget provided to Eurogamer by Condominas about this cultural center in the Nexus.

"The exploration aspect of the game is not only about geography — cultural exploration is key to the game," Condominas said. "That notion of exploring the anthropologies and cultural and linguist sides — that's why that area is there."

The Eurogamer interview also provided a swath of information about the upcoming Mass Effect novels. The game is expected to launch in early 2017, but we'll have plenty more coverage as the Mass Effect: Andromeda release date draws closer.