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After writing a few other blog posts about the "ending" of the Mass Effect trilogy, I began to ponder on how BioWare is going to extend the series. No game developer would ever throw out such a popular franchise because it's the end of the story. Weren't we all told that Halo was a trilogy? Now we've seen where that has gone. Mass Effect is a much more difficult situation than Halo though. While Halo is mostly about the combat, Mass Effect is much more than just shooting. Mass Effect is like a long running TV series like Seinfeld, Friends, or The Office. Over time we've become connected to the characters and they have become inseparable from the series. Like Seinfeld wouldn't be Seinfeld without Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, Mass Effect really won't be Mass Effect without the usuals: Tali, Garrus, Liara, Joker, Shepard, of course, and all the other characters we have come to know over the three games. It will be interesting to see what they do with Shepard. Shepard isn't a replaceable character in my opinion. Would many Halo players care if they killed Master Chief and replaced him with someone else? I don't think they would. But, if the option was given at the end of Mass Effect 3 to save Shepard somehow and even partially accomplish the mission, wouldn't nearly everyone take that option? One of the great things about the Shepard character is that Shepard can be different for every player. This may sound weird and corny, but in some ways you feel a connection with your Shepard. Shepard can be anything from an angel to a complete jerk, which is part of what makes Shepard a unique character in gaming. There are many series which keep the same character over time, for example, Uncharted. But, everyone probably feels about the same about Nathan Drake. I think the questions nearly everyone has asked themselves after finishing Mass Effect 3 are: What happens next? What can BioWare do from here? As I said earlier, continuing the series won't be as easy as it was with Halo, which also was supposed to be a trilogy. Prequel with Shepard? I don't think so. A lot of new characters would have to be introduced and I don't think it would make for an interesting story. A new game with Shepard after ME3? It would have to be an interesting save by BioWare. Shepard is dead for most people, the Mass Effect relays are gone, and the Citadel is gone. BioWare definitely boxed themselves in with their ending. Could there be a new "Shepard" character. I think this could be a possibility, even though I don't like it. This would in many ways change the series with the amount of new characters and a new protagonist. If BioWare wanted a fresh start with the series this would be the option. The story would have to be based before the time of Shepard or a long time after it to make it seem plausible because the Mass Effect relays are now gone and would have to be replaced somehow. Or, will BioWare make possibly the dumbest decision in gaming in recent memory and end the series altogether? Mass Effect 3, Next Mass Effect Game