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BioWare Responds to Rumors of Shepard's Return

There's still no definitive answer as to whether Shepard will appear in the next Mass Effect game.
There's still no definitive answer as to whether Shepard will appear in the next Mass Effect game. / BioWare

BioWare has responded to rumors that Commander Shepard would return in the next Mass Effect game, shooting down the latest bit of evidence pointing toward an appearance by the series' longtime protagonist.

The rumors sprang up earlier this week when a poster version of the teaser art for the next Mass Effect game was listed on the BioWare Gear Store. The description for the item read, "Shepard's final quest may have ended the threat of the Reapers but at great cost including Earth itself. While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what's next." (H/T Eurogamer)

Mass Effect fans took this to mean Shepard might return in the next game, to "pick up the pieces," as it were. But BioWare Project Director Michael Gamble shut down those rumors Wednesday via Twitter.

"Yeah, that was a mistake," he said of the listing. "Fixed."

In another tweet, he explained that, "The original thing was written by the people who run the store and aren't familiar with the game."

Indeed, the product description has had Shepard's name scrubbed from its text. But Gamble didn't specifically shoot down the thrust of the rumor; he never confirmed or denied that Shepard would return, saying only that the description was made in error.

BioWare has yet to announce a release date for the next Mass Effect game, saying the game is still in "early" development as of April. It was revealed in December 2020.