Mark Darrah has revealed that BioWare previously worked on a Nintendo DS Mass Effect spin-off. While Mass Effect has mostly missed appearing on Nintendo consoles - 3: Special Edition being an unusual exception on Wii U - Darrah confirmed they wanted to create an original adventure.
Called Mass Effect: Corsair, this cancelled project was detailed in a recent interview with MinnMax. Darrah advised this would've been a first-person space-travelling game, where players fly their ship towards the Galaxy's more lawless and lesser travelled regions, completing assignments like selling intel to Alliance, or gathering materials.
BioWare Veteran Confirms They Prototyped Mass Effect DS Spin-Off
While we wouldn't have gone bounty hunting, Darrah revealed combat had been considered. As for the protagonist, this would've been a more independent character, advising they wouldn't have been a Spectre. You can watch the full interview below.
As to why this project was cancelled, Darrah said it's because the economics of the Nintendo DS platform were "terrible". Advising it'd cost $10.50 for each printed cartridge, they abandoned the project after projecting they'd only sell around 50k copies. Instead, Corsair's team went onto mobile entry Mass Effect: Infiltrator.