The development team at BioWare believes that its own Mass Effect 3 could become a viable eSports experience, but currently has no clear plans on the changes that might be needed in order to make the entire experience more competitive.
Preston Watamaniuk, who is in charge of the multiplayer modes for Mass Effect 3 at BioWare, tells games.on.net that, “We’re very interested in enabling the community to do better and more interesting things with the game, such as running tournaments or even e-sports, but we’re still investigating the best way to do this.”
Traditionally, eSports rely on direct competition between individuals or teams and the most successful titles are MOBAs like League of Legends, quick strategy titles like Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty and shooters like Halo 4.
In order for Mass Effect 3 to break into the eSports scene, BioWare would need to introduce some sort of competitive element to the game, perhaps designing an entirely new game mode that pits two teams of gamers one against the other.
This would significantly increase the workload on the BioWare team working on multiplayer modes, who already has a lot of responsibility because it needs to deliver the same experience on the PC, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.
Preston adds, “Actually, we have a really great set of systems for making sure things are consistent across all of our platforms. We have weekly balance meetings that determine what types of issues we need to address. Changes are pushed out to all of the platforms at once through a single process.”
Mass Effect 3 was launched in the early months of 2012 and nobody expected the multiplayer mode to have longevity.
BioWare is offering new content for it, including more enemies and character options, and there are weekly challenges for the community.