While we might have been given
two new pieces of art to get us all hot and bothered for Mass Effect 3's eventual arrival, it turns out the wait will be longer than the previously announced release date of November this year, with EA putting a very loose "Q1 2012" down as the game's new launch window.
Obviously any game of this caliber spending more time in development can only be for the good in the long-run, and let's face it, this year is a mammoth one anyway with some massive titles set to arrive, and Mass Effect 3 would have been going up against the likes of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Battlefield 3, to name but two, but it's still sad news, nonetheless.
Interestingly, in an earnings call, EA CEO John Riccitiello cited the game's release date change as a necessity based on changes to the game's gameplay mechanics, which could be taken as alarming based on the language he used.
One of the things the team up at Edmonton has done is... essentially adjust some of the gameplay mechanics and some of the features, which you'll see at E3, that can... essentially address a far larger market opportunity.
Take from that what you will, and obviously we'll know more come E3, but we're mildly concerned now that the game might be dumbed down even further to cater to this "larger market" (though we are talking about BioWare here, so we do have a little faith).
When we know more about ME3's 2012 release date, we'll let you know.