Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Jun 2017 19:11 UTC
Games

Almost immediately, fans asked how this happened. Why was Andromeda so much worse than its predecessors? How could the revered RPG studio release such an underwhelming game? And, even if the problems were a little exaggerated by the internet's strange passion for hating BioWare, how could Andromeda ship with so many animation issues?

I've spent the past three months investigating the answers to those questions. From conversations with nearly a dozen people who worked on Mass Effect: Andromeda, all of whom spoke under condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk about the game, a consistent picture has emerged. The development of Andromeda was turbulent and troubled, marred by a director change, multiple major re-scopes, an understaffed animation team, technological challenges, communication issues, politics, a compressed timeline, and brutal crunch.

Many games share some of these problems, but to those who worked on it, Andromeda felt unusually difficult. This was a game with ambitious goals but limited resources, and in some ways, it's miraculous that BioWare shipped it at all. (EA and BioWare declined to comment for this article.)

Mass Effect: Andromeda was in development for five years, but by most accounts, BioWare built the bulk of the game in less than 18 months. This is the story of what happened.

This is a great read, even if you don't care much about games in general or Mass Effect in particular. It's a cautionary tale.

BioWare is one the greatest game studios of all time, boasting a long list of genre-defining games that people will continue to enjoy for decades to come. I never bought into the whole "EA ruined BioWare" nonsense, but with a story like this under my belt - which I almost found a little emotional to read - it becomes harder and harder to discard the negative influence EA has over this great studio.

I enjoyed Mass Effect: Andromeda, and 100%-ed the game despite its uneven quality, and it sports some great moments and by far the best combat system of the entire series, but you'd have to be blind to not see the disjointed state of the game, with some aspects - like the aforementioned combat system - feeling fully realised and polished, while other aspects were subpar not just for BioWare standards, but for gaming standards in general - such as the story, some of the characters, and, of course, the animations. I am grateful to each and every writer, animator, designer, and programmer who, according to the reports in the article, were driven far, far beyond breaking point, for Andromeda.

BioWare and its people deserve a better master - or better yet, no master at all - and above all, the freedom to make their own choices. Most likely in vain, I hope EA learns from Andromeda.

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Sigh...
by SitrucKram on Wed 7th Jun 2017 19:56 UTC
SitrucKram
Member since:
2013-12-02

EA has proven time and time again that they just do not know how to manage projects on this scale. It hardly matters, as people will continue to buy the yearly Battlefield and/or Battlefront. As long as they create a yearly cash-grab through re-skinning the same game, their vision will continue to be about as narrow as the quality control in Andromeda. With that said, I deeply miss playing through the ME trilogy for the 1st time. That was quite the experience.

Reply Score: 4

secondary studio
by feamatar on Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:27 UTC
feamatar
Member since:
2014-02-25

Bioware Montreal is not Bioware Edmonton

Reply Score: 2

v Comment by grandmasterphp
by grandmasterphp on Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:29 UTC
RE: Comment by grandmasterphp
by SitrucKram on Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by grandmasterphp"
SitrucKram Member since:
2013-12-02

EA owns Bioware. If they can't be held accountable for the performance of one of their studios, then they are not in the right business. If Bioware or a studio of Bioware f*cks up, EA does.

Reply Score: 1

grandmasterphp Member since:
2017-05-15

If you are asked to do something and screw it up, is it your bosses fault?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by grandmasterphp
by Kochise on Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by grandmasterphp"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Depend on the orders given and the supervision, or lack thereof.

Reply Score: 3

grandmasterphp Member since:
2017-05-15

The point is that these studios while owned by EA work by themselves with someone popping down every so often to check if it is good enough.

Reply Score: 1

nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

It may be or not be the boss fault, but definitely is his responsibility.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by grandmasterphp
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by grandmasterphp"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The lead game designer is a racist:

http://imgur.com/gallery/vKfZ8


Nothing about those tweets is racist. Be very careful with publicly accusing people of serious crimes, or your account will be banned faster than you can say "Actually, it's about...".

This particular thread ends here.

Edited 2017-06-07 20:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

DavidCollins Member since:
2010-03-22

In fairness, those tweets did have an effect on the launch of the game, however exactly how big an effect I have no idea.

I do know they led to some people having a political agenda against the game and taking every opportunity to yell out its flaws and celebrate its failings. It's possible this helped amplified the "this is going to suck" feeling that build up in advance of the game's launch, though hard to quantify since many of the people slamming the game would have agreed politically with the developer and not been a part of this group.

I'm not defending or supporting anyone here, but as politics and video games get more and more intertwined it becomes more valuable to study the effects each have on the other.

Edited 2017-06-08 14:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by grandmasterphp
by sbenitezb on Thu 8th Jun 2017 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by grandmasterphp"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22



Edited 2017-06-08 16:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by grandmasterphp
by Megol on Thu 8th Jun 2017 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by grandmasterphp"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

"The lead game designer is a racist:

http://imgur.com/gallery/vKfZ8


Nothing about those tweets is racist. Be very careful with publicly accusing people of serious crimes, or your account will be banned faster than you can say "Actually, it's about...".

This particular thread ends here.
"

Not even close to racist but still bigoted. I guess he responds to idiots claiming white people* are oppressed etc. but he is crossing the line from merely being ironic to being a bigot.

(* the definition of which have varied a lot, it wasn't long ago Germans, Swedes and Irish was seen as kind of non-white sub-human in the US)

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Racial bigotry is the very definition of racism. Racism is first and foremost a matter of racial prejudices expressed in interpersonal relations. And yes, "white" people are oppressed as well. Not all of them, and not everywhere, but it does happen. Skintone, social position and cultural identity are irrelevant to whether you are oppressed or not. Privilege philosophy is essentially false, failing to grasp the difference between an arbitrarily defined collective and the individual.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by grandmasterphp
by SitrucKram on Thu 8th Jun 2017 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by grandmasterphp"
SitrucKram Member since:
2013-12-02

Thom, explain.

Reply Score: 1

Gaming Industry norms
by Alfman on Thu 8th Jun 2017 02:43 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Not to dismiss EA's corporate problems, but everything I hear about the game development industry as a whole gives me a similar vibe. I suspect these conditions could be the norm for the video gaming industry.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Thu 8th Jun 2017 09:24 UTC
Sidux
Member since:
2015-03-10

Most of the critics are for the multiplayer which is flawed up to the point that their intention was clear to attend to the younger audience.
I'm glad that this did not turn into another MMO with in game currency and stripped down content that other producers went for (Bethesda.. ), or outsource it to smaller companies that never had any experience with computers outside their console audience.
As a whole I'm very glad they released it in this state. We have fewer and fewer titles these days that actually deserve to be mentioned as worth considering and investing time on.

Reply Score: 1