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BioWare teases its next major project, prompting mass speculation

Submitted by on Wednesday, 17 November 20108 Comments

BioWare, the team behind the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, has released a teaser for their next major project. It’s an image of a roughed-up male soldier, at a smashed window, aiming a rifle.

To make things more cryptic, BioWare has also tweeted two bardcodes. This has prompted everyone to get out their smart-phones (equipped with barcode scanning apps and Google search) in an attempt to decipher the code. What could it be?

Exhibit 1: the screenshot

Who is he?

The soldier in the window, who could he be? It’s clearly not fantasy; that rules out Dragon Age and Balder’s Gate. The graphical polish reminds us of Mass Effect – it could be the first footage of the third game in the trilogy – but it doesn’t feel sci-fi enough. The speculation continues…

Exhibit 2: the first barcode

When we put this through our barcode scanner we picked up the binary number 001101010011010100101110001110000011010000110101, which, according to a binary conversion tool, means 55.845. It’s the atomic mass of Iron, apparently. Yes, we knew that without looking up Google…

Exhibit 3: the second barcode

This binary reads 0010110100110001001100100011100000101110001101011011000001000110, and it translates into -128.5°F. We don’t know what this temperature is referring to, but it sounds pretty damn cold, I’m sure you agree.

Exhibit 4: the trailer

This is the trailer from which the screenshot is taken. It’s a trailer for the Video Game Awards, where BioWare plan to unveil their new game. The said game is shown at the end of the trailer after Mass Effect and Dragon Age. It doesn’t reveal much, other than it looks a very grey.


The truth is: we don’t know. We went through the above process ourselves, but we weren’t the first to do so. The internet is awash with speculation. The website Rock, Paper, Shotgun believe they have an idea of what it is.

Because Iron makes steel, they think that the first barcode points towards a reboot of BioWare’s Shattered Steel (a mech-war game, last released in 1996). They also speculate as to whether a temperature of -128.5°F would shatter steel, but that sounds more like clutching at straws to us.

They may be on to something with their other guesswork. They state that -128.5 Fahrenheit is the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, in Vostok, Antarctica, 21st July 1983. Vostok is also the name of a planet in Mass Effect 1. Considering the first clue dealt with atomic “mass” it could be pointing towards Mass Effect 3.

The other possibility is that it could be a new IP. Nevertheless, we’ll find out soon enough. The VGAs are on 11 December; all will be revealed during the show. Let’s hope it’ll appear on the PlayStation 3, no matter what it is, because BioWare are one of the best developers around. We’d be gutted to miss out.