BioWare has announced that Mass Effect 3, planned for March of next year, will be the first game in the series to include co-operative multiplayer. In a post on their forums, they provided details about the new mode of play: "Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign, giving players an alternative method of achieving ultimate victory ... In multiplayer, players will create custom characters to fight on different and unique fronts in the war. This will include the ability to play as favorites like Turians, Krogans, Asari and more each with their own unique set of abilities." They also took pains to point out that while the co-op missions could affect the outcome of the main story, multiplayer is entirely optional.