Cancelled Mass Effect spinoff was inspired by Han Solo and Star Control

Mass Effect
(Image credit: BioWare)

BioWare once considered a Mass Effect spinoff inspired by Star Control and starring a Han Solo-type mercenary who would explore the series' universe in a more nitty-gritty way.

In a new interview with The Gamer (opens in new tab), BioWare's Dorian Kieken, who worked as a development director on the Mass Effect series and oversaw Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, discussed the studio's axed ideas for a spinoff. "We explored a game concept back in 2008, a bit after the shipping of [the first Mass Effect], where you were playing a Han Solo type of character in a Star Control-inspired game in the Mass Effect universe," he explains. "The game was intended to expand the Mass Effect universe and be done in parallel [with] the trilogy."

Obviously, this project never got off the ground, but Kieken himself remains interested in the idea of using a morally gray character – not evil, but less righteous than a savior of the galaxy – as a vehicle to explore never-before-seen sides of the Mass Effect universe. He points to modern successes like The Mandalorian and Firefly, which use similar mercenary types to great effect. 

"We all needed to focus on Mass Effect 2, which was the right call at the time," Kieken says of BioWare's decision to shelve the spinoff. "I think the concept was really strong, though, and I would definitely like to see a game like that one day." 

For more from Commander Shepherd and Co, the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition release date has been confirmed.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.