What does the future hold for the Mass Effect IP?

As Mass Effect 3 is only slightly more than a month away and joy will once again overwhelm ME fans, we already need to start thinking of the future.  What lies ahead for the Mass Effect IP as a franchise?  BioWare has announced several times that ME3 is the end of the story for Commander Shepard.  Just because Shepard’s tale is over does not mean it’s the end of the Mass Effect universe.   

The story of the three Mass Effect games revolve around, Shepard but also humanity.  While I’m sure there will be some openness for more story after ME3, there are tons of other species besides just humans that have a tale to tell in this massive universe.  How will the Krogans, Asaris, and Quarians hold up after the war?  Let’s not forget about room for prequels as well.  What happened before the original Mass Effect?  What about even further back to a time of other Reaper attacks?  Hmm on second thought, I guess those are guaranteed to end tragically, though it did work for Halo Reach

Mass Effect 3's executive producer Michael Gamble spoke to OXM about future projects in this franchise:

Without going down any specific path, you can think of many, many different areas throughout the IP, throughout the history, where there are large wars to be won, battles to be had, and a lot of development to be done around where these races came from, how they came about.

We have so much to draw from. We haven't made a decision about whether we'll do anything in the future, but if we were to do something, we just have a lot of information to choose from.

While Gamble does not confirm a future ME game, this information is interesting to contemplate upon.  The concept of ‘origin stories’ for the various species it pretty awesome and they could make a lot of Mass Effect games out of this concept.  I assume with the new ME3 multiplayer, BioWare already knows how players would control non-human races.  At this point it seems like a snowball effect of information and possibilities. 

The Mass Effect universe is full of lore and possibilities; I’m more than curious what their next move will be.  For now, I guess we’ll just have to deal with the glory that will be Mass Effect 3 –  and speculate until we hear something new. The game will be available March 6th.