Mass Effect Andromeda’s dangling plot thread surrounding the quarian ark will be resolved in an upcoming novel, due next summer.
Mass Effect: Annihilation will launch in the UK and North America on 26th June 2018, and then on 28th August 2018 in Australia.
Plot descriptions for Annihilation floating around the internet had previously pointed to it being the book to detail the quarian ark plotline – but now BioWare has made it official:
“Discover the danger aboard the quarian ark in Mass Effect: Annihilation, an upcoming novel from Hugo Award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente,” the book’s description reads.
“This official tie-in novel chronicles the journey of the Keelah Si’yah as it carries 20,000 drell, elcor, batarian, and quarian colonists to Andromeda.
“A pathogen is discovered aboard the ark after many drell are found dead in their cryo pods. As the pathogen jumps species, the ship’s systems begin to fail, making it clear this is no accident.”
And yet Andromeda was planned as the start of a new era for Mass Effect. Despite its rough edges, it set up many intriguing plot threads for future games and expansions to continue – future games which, sadly, will likely never see release.
Fans campaigned for BioWare to continue the game’s story – and specifically detail the plight of Mass Effect’s quarian race in DLC. BioWare eventually admitted there would be no single-player DLC coming.
Andromeda left the fan-favourite quarians out of the game to focus on Mass Effect’s more prominent races. The quarians, Andromeda explained, were lagging behind on another ark ship – the Keelah Si’yah – with many of Mass Effect’s other, more minor species: the drell, elcor, hanar and volus.
Annihilation’s new plot description is, to my knowledge, the first time its been stated that batarians were also on board.
My guess for what’s causing the quarian ark’s issues? I bet those sneaky geth had stowed away onboard…
Discover the danger lurking aboard the quarian ark in the upcoming novel Mass Effect: Annihilation https://t.co/aQYi3gOBbH
— BioWare (@bioware) October 26, 2017
When BioWare admitted it would not be making Andromeda single-player DLC the studio attempted to placate fans by promising more spin-off material such as graphic novels and books, which would continue its story.
Before Annihilation, the next book to launch will be the Cora-centric prequel story Initiation, due for launch in November this year.
Annihilation was originally also set to arrive this year. Perhaps, with the series on ice, its release was pushed back to include story material originally intended for a future game?