The publisher views the game's delay as a marketing opportunity.
Mass Effect 3 was slated for release this Fall, but it has been pushed back into early 2012 and EA CEO John Riccitiello wants to use the extra time to make a game that will appeal to a "larger market." During a recent conference call with investors, Riccitiello said that the third game in the Mass Effect trilogy is being reworked into a “shooter-meets-RPG.”
Uh, what? Isn’t that exactly what the first two games were?
Redundancy aside, Riccitiello said the publisher is a huge believer in the IP and wants as many people to play Mass Effect 3 as possible. That's led some fans to worry that EA is going to pressure developer BioWare to try and make the game more marketable for the FPS/Call of Duty audience by removing even more of the RPG elements, but that’s all just speculation at this point.