# BioWare Teases Mass Effect 5 Amidst Company Challenges on N7 Day
Each year, Mass Effect enthusiasts eagerly anticipate November 7th, recognized among the community as N7 Day, when BioWare often celebrates with thrilling updates about future games. The tradition continued this year despite a tumultuous period for the company, marked by layoffs, a lawsuit, and protests.
## A Glimpse into the Next Mass Effect?
BioWare sparked excitement by releasing what appears to be the initial teaser for Mass Effect 5, potentially bearing the title ‘Epilson.’ A countdown with the caption “Access Code: Epilson” appeared on EA’s website, followed by a brief five-second video on the Mass Effect YouTube channel, exuding mystery with simply a glimpse of someone’s boots adorned in the iconic N7 colors.
The updated countdown description intensified the anticipation, hinting at Andromeda’s distress signal and an encrypted audio transcript:
/////SECONDARY ENCRYPTION DETECTED
/////ANDROMEDA’S DISTRESS SIGNAL DETECTED
/////YEAR SENT: [CENSORED]
/////AUDIO TRANSCRIPT: EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD ALREADY KNOW THAT THE HUMAN BEING SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED [CENSORED]
This transcript echoes last year’s N7 Day teaser featuring a message from Liara T’Soni: “The Council will be furious! Although they should know by now not to underestimate the human challenge.”
Fans eager to piece together the clues can view the full video [here](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ).
### Reflections on Loyalty
Amid the new reveal, developers who have faced layoffs call on the N7 Day celebration to serve as a reminder of “the importance of loyalty to your crew,” emphasizing the community’s unity and dedication.
## Turmoil in BioWare
Earlier in August, BioWare’s decision to lay off 50 employees led to a lawsuit with seven former developers seeking fair compensation. According to a statement by [Ethan Gach of Kotaku](https://twitter.com/ethangach/status/1721676040878117278), BioWare’s response to their attempt at an out-of-court settlement was dismissive.
The affected developers accuse BioWare of adopting intimidating and delaying strategies with the hopes of pressuring the plaintiffs to drop their lawsuit. This strain has forced some, especially those with greater financial responsibilities, to concede due to the prolonged nature of legal proceedings.
The crux of the lawsuit demands that former employees be entitled to 1.7 months of severance pay for each year spent at the company, opposing the current stipulation of just two weeks per year, a clause deemed unenforceable by their attorney.
## Protests and Labor Disputes
The challenges extend beyond in-house affairs as QA testers at Keywords Studios who were fired while contributing to Dragon Age: Dreadwolf arranged a picket outside BioWare’s headquarters. BioWare had terminated its contract with Keywords in October, leading the union to argue the move could be an anti-union tactic.
Despite BioWare and EA’s efforts to prevent the demonstration, the Alberta Labor Relations Board granted the union the right to protest, signaling support for the workers’ cause.
## Looking Forward
This year’s N7 Day has been uniquely complex for the Mass Effect fanbase, as well as for BioWare. Despite the buzz surrounding the next installment, these underlying issues persist within the community. Nonetheless, fans and industry observers alike remain vigilant for more updates on the beloved franchise and the future of BioWare.