The notion of a Mass Effect multiplayer spin-off has been going around for well over a year and the rumors of this addition to the latest game in the series Mass Effect 3 were renewed when a South African retailer listed Online Multiplayer Pass as a bonus item for gamers who bought the Collector's Edition of the game.
South African games retailer BT Games advertised that the Collector's Edition of ME3 would include an "Online Multiplayer Pass" among other things, and this has renewed talk of the RPG series getting a multiplayer mode. This news follows the recent claim by UK magazine Xbox World, which teases the reveal of a "killer new feature" for Mass Effect 3.
It's certainly possible that the new feature could be something we haven't yet heard about or a poorly worded description of The Cerberus Network that required an online pass for players of Mass Effect 2, but a Mass Effect multiplayer could well be on the cards. The addition of the feature was first speculated when a job opening appeared for a "Multiplayer Programmer to work on the Mass Effect franchise". A possible multiplayer mode for the game could take on many forms, from a cooperative campaign to an extensive multiplayer experience where players level up and unlock weapons and perks.
Mass Effect 3 comes out on PC, 360 and PS3 on March 6th 2012.