So, it’s come to this: Bioware and EA shelved Mass Effect. The whole franchise is on hiatus. There will be no “Mass Effect Andromeda: 2”, at least for the foreseeable future. I suppose I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, given the negative press shit-storm surrounding Mass Effect Andromeda (which I will refer to simply as “Andromeda” for the rest of this blog post).
Bioware and EA shelved Mass Effect: Who is really to blame?
Developers and publisher are ultimately responsible for the quality of their products. Many reviewers said Andromeda just seemed unfinished. The game lacked a level of polish that we’ve all come to expect from AAA titles. Perhaps the game wasn’t really ready to ship by the launch deadline and EA just didn’t care.
Others have blamed a lack of quality control. There have been some reports of Bioware out-sourcing some of Andromeda’s animation work to smaller satellite studios. Didn’t anybody think to check their work? While Animations like the now famously laughable “My face is tired” scene got the most attention from
amateur youtubers the media, there were also numerous technical problems with the game.
Discovering exactly who on the development side is ultimately responsible for Andromeda’s many issues is academic at this point because EA shelved Mass Effect. We’ve heard all the stories about development problems. We’ve all seen the videos featuring goofy animations. I’m not going to get into that now. There are plenty of older postings on every gaming site if you really want to dig deeper.
Toxic Internet culture Killed Mass Effect Andromeda
Here’s a crazy idea: Maybe the Internet at large is to blame. The sheer amount of social media backlash killed Andromeda along with the entire Mass Effect franchise. We have become a toxic culture of pointless negativity.
Why do we listen to game reviewers that have nothing but contempt for the products they review? I have seen screen-shots and videos in which reviewers go out of their way to make the ugliest, most outlandish Ryder possible using Andromeda’s character creator; and then blame Andromeda and its developers for the results. That’s not a journalistic review. That’s just juvenile.
Are Game reviews important to you?
I’ll often watch short gameplay videos before I purchase a game, just to preview the graphical style and see the mechanics at work. Generally, I don’t like to read or watch full reviews before I play a game. Even if there are no spoilers, I find that the reviewer commentary can color my own opinion. I don’t want to go into a game with a per-conceived notion that lessens the enjoyment of discovery. Maybe I’ll like what I find, Maybe I won’t. At least I will have formed my own opinion… but hey, that’s just me.
I understand that games are expensive. Maybe you look for a trusted opinion before you drop $50 or even as much as $70 on a game. I get it. But Don’t you think you have to differentiate between trusted opinions and trolls? There is a clear difference between a genuine critical review and some troll looking for problems where none exist.
There are a few youtube reviewers I do like and will recommend. If you’re looking for a fair review before you buy, I suggest Gameranx “Before you Buy” videos.
If I were an EA executive I’d have a hard time allocating money to the development of another Mass Effect game. The negative press would slaughter the game before it even reached beta. Don’t feign shock and disbelief at that financial reality. EA Executives have to consider sales, That’s what marketing executives do. Internet culture crucified Andromeda. In this environment, building positive anticipation for the next game would be impossible — Say what you will about game pre-orders, but It is an excellent way to gauge your market.
I had a lot of fun with Andromeda. Yes, it absolutely had problems. The animation quality was really disappointing and the glitches were frustrating. But …I had a lot of fun. I waited five years for another Mass Effect. How long will I have to wait for the next chapter? Will there ever be another?