Mass Effect: Andromeda recently went gold, meaning a final version of the game has been pressed onto a disc and will be sent to distributors, so one way or another Bioware’s space epic will make its scheduled release date. However, in today’s online age, that doesn’t necessarily mean development has stopped; Bioware senior staff have announced that work on a day one patch is underway.
What do we make of it so far? Have a read of our hands-on preview of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Lead designer Ian Frazier confirmed on Twitter that “a good portion of the team is still working on the day one patch”.
If you subscribe to Origin access, you’ll get to play ten hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda via an early access launch on March 16. Bioware producer Mike Gamble walked back Frazier’s possibly optimistic promise to have the patch ready by then with the words “that’s the intention. Nothing is 100% yet.”
After a gold disc is pressed, time still has to be left for such things as certification, physical manufacturing and retail distribution. But the developers can use that time to fix the last few bugs, make some balance tweaks, and generally add a last bit of shine. This is why day one patches happen, especially in big triple-A games with lots of scope for polish and lengthy post-development, pre-launch windows.
Mass Effect: Andromeda launches to the public on March 21 in North America, and March 23 in Europe. Now that it’s gold, you can be sure of that – now we just have to hope it launches in good condition.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has gone gold. pic.twitter.com/bNKIKNuErA
— BioWare (@bioware) February 24, 2017