BioWare hits delays on Mass Effect 3, Star Wars

Two of BioWare's biggest titles, single-player RPG Mass Effect 3 and Lucas-approved massively multiplayer RPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, have had their schedules updated with a delay - and may now not appear until 2012.

BioWare has confirmed that Mass Effect 3, originally scheduled to launch in the run up to the Christmas sales, will now not appear until some time early next year. "Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012," BioWare's Casey Hudson admitted to fans, claiming that the team was working hard to ensure that the game "is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone’s expectations."

With the company's previous two entries in the franchise having won a raft of awards, fans will be eager to see the concluding part of the planned trilogy - but if a delay means that some of the bugs present in the original releases, including a nasty save-game corruption issue that could see hours of playtime wiped out, don't make it into the game fans will surely find a way to forgive the company.

The announcement was followed by the disappearance of BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic from publisher Electronic Arts' release schedule. Originally scheduled to launch in spring this year, EA had previously delayed it until September - and the new delay sees no official launch date set for the massively multi-player title.

With EA remaining tight lipped on the reason for the delay, it remains to be seen if the title joins Mass Effect 3 as a 2012 release - something which would come as a major blow to fans, who have been waiting years to see their dream of a Star Wars MMO realised.