Update: Turns out Mass Effect 5’s merchandise wasn’t teasing a return for Commander Shepard after all.
Taking to Twitter (opens in new tab) yesterday on May 10, BioWare product director Michael Gamble called the original store description for a lithograph a “mistake.” The BioWare staffer added that the “original thing was written by the people who run the store and aren’t familiar with the game.” Well, that’s put all that speculation to bed, then.
Original: New Mass Effect merchandise might’ve let slip the return of Commander Shepard for the next game in the series.
As first spotted by YouTuber MrHulthen, and reported by VGC (opens in new tab), a new N7 Lithograph on the BioWare store (opens in new tab) might’ve revealed more than intended. “While Shepard and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces, fans are left wondering what’s next,” the product description originally read.
Now though, this has actually been edited to read “Mass Effect will continue… And with the sneak peek poster we got from the BioWare team as part of the N7 Day 2021, there is a lot to unpack.” What’s interesting is that the N7 Lithograph is the poster used to tease Mass Effect 5 earlier this year.
Right now, barely anything has been revealed for Mass Effect 5, outside of BioWare merely confirming the game is in development. We don’t know if any characters from the original trilogy, or Mass Effect Andromeda, will be returning for the new game, so it’s understandably a surprise and a big deal that a lithograph might’ve let slip Shepard’s return.
However, it’s worth noting that Commander Shepard actors Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer said they want to see the protagonist return for Mass Effect 5. Speaking to GamesRadar+ for N7 day last year in 2021, both actors said they’d be more than happy to see the character return for a brand new adventure in the expansive Mass Effect universe. The sequel reportedly won’t begin development until next year in 2023, so we’ll be waiting a while to see if Commander Shepard truly will return, or if this was a simple mistake from BioWare.