In 2012, Electronic Arts released BioWare’s third entry in the Mass Effect series on the Wii U. While we’ve not seen Commander Shepard appear on a Nintendo platform since then, there were apparently plans prior to this for a spin-off on the Nintendo DS.
Ex-BioWare producer, Mark Darrah, revealed a lot of juicy information about the project titled Mass Effect: Corsair during a chat with the YouTube channel MinnMax (thanks, IGN). The same team was also responsible for Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood.
“It was going to be a DS game, it was going to be first-person, you’d fly around a ship…We were going to put it out in a part of the galaxy that was more pirate-y and not really fully explored.”
“It was going to kinda be a combination of Privateer and Star Control…You would be independent, you’d be more like a Han Solo character, not a Spectre. And you’d be flying around, picking up cargo, exploring, and sell that information back to the human Alliance.”
The team got as far as the early phases of the flight control system, which it worked on while trying to decide how the game would fit into the universe of Mass Effect:
“Pretty much all we had was the beginnings of the flight controls, we didn’t have the rest of that game put together…We were figuring out how it worked from an IP perspective, still.”
In the end, the main roadblock was the pricing of DS cartridges. For Mass Effect: Corsair, BioWare would have been required to pay around $10.50 for each game card – with DS games retailing at the time for $30.
This would have resulted in very little return for the development and localisation costs, and EA predicted the game was only going to sell about 50,000 copies, according to Darrah.
While this DS release never saw the light of day, part of the team eventually swapped over to mobile development and released Mass Effect Infiltrator.
Would you have been interested in playing a Mass Effect game on the Nintendo DS? How about a Mass Effect game on Switch? Leave your thoughts down below.