Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has said that BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 realigns the franchise in order to appeal to a larger market.

Speaking in an investor Q&A, Riccitiello said, “One of the things that Ray Muzyuka and the team up in Edmonton have done is essentially step-by-step adjust the gameplay mechanics and some of the features that you'll see at E3 to put this in a genre equivalent to shooter-meets-RPG and essentially address a much larger market opportunity than Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 began to approach.”

“We're huge believers in the IP and are purposefully shifting it to address a larger market opportunity.”

Riccitiello’s comments follow the news that Mass Effect 3 has now slipped into 2012. The game’s executive producer said, “Mass Effect 3 will be released in the first three months of 2012.

“The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations.”