The mysterious next Mass Effect game, whatever it may be, won't be a character who's essentially a "Shepard 2," BioWare has said. No, whoever takes those next steps in the franchise will be a different type of character in a different context, not another mere space-soldier. Beyond that small nugget of information, though, there's still everything to speculate and pontificate upon.
"There is one thing we are absolutely sure of--there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over," BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas told VG247. "This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don't even know what kind of time frame we're going to be in. All we're doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things."
Expect a long wait before you hear anything from the next big Mass Effect game, then. Given how wide a universe it's set in, it could theoretically be any genre. But not starring a space-soldier.
"We don't want to make 'Shepard 2', or Mass Effect 4 with like, 'oh there's no more Shepard but you're a soldier in the universe'. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest."