Touchy subject time folks! As many of my regular readers know, after the debacle that was the Mass Effect 3 ending and the day one DLC outrage. Which I wrote about here. Not to mention the terrible hamfisted pick your rainbow color ending we got, undoing the amazing work that was done in the franchise. So it is no real surprise that I am not a fan of Bioware and the new game in the franchise Mass Effect Andromeda. The first issue I raised about Andromeda was the fact that it was created in part to avoid the entire trilogy and avoid the train smash of an ending. I also highlighted some of my concerns before the release of the game, and they seem to have been validated. Which included terrible animation work, buggy gameplay and a dull and sanitized story. Not to mention the employment of a racist who proudly announced his racism on Twitter.
All this has culminated into the game becoming an internet meme and the butt of the joke, because of it’s poor animation. And a game that ended up looking worse than the last one in the franchise even though it has been released 10 years after the last game. Which inevitably culminated in another #GamerGate style media shit storm surrounding the game’s release. Where a vocal minority decided to take it upon themselves to attack and miss identify a random woman on the internet as being the lead developer of Mass Effect Andromeda. And for the record, I strongly disagree with such actions and I think these douchebags need to be brought to task. But having said that, it seems to be a deflection on the fact that the game is badly animated and not up to the franchise’s standards. Which is more than 10 years old already.
Basically, they knew the product was not up to standards, I mean considering some of the bad animations on display it would be impossible to miss considering they were working on this game for more than 4 years already with a million dollar budget with the backing of one of the biggest western role-playing game developers and publishers in the world. And they gave us this? So how do they and the media deflect these valid criticisms? Deliver a subpar product, wait for the vocal minority or some neckbeard to insult someone or send a death threat (a woman is preferred). Then they start screaming harassment/misogyny and launching the game press on a shitstorm, blaming gamers and #Gamergate for the harassment basically dismissing every and all legitimate criticism as being just harassment/misogyny.
Which is rather ironic in itself when you consider they employed Manveer Heir a designer and blatant racist for the entire duration and development of the game while still making his racist statements on Twitter. And am I the only one who thinks the developer from the team or the publisher themselves should have stepped up and told him to shut-up and sit down. By not doing so they are showing that his behavior is supported and acceptable for them. So it seems like a bit of a double standard on Bioware and the video game media’s part, who almost never reported on the man’s racist rants. Time to put on your tinfoil hat folks. In the wake of Mass Effect Andromeda awful animations, spotty character models, glitchy game world, and cringy dialogue, the timing of this harassment “controversy” is very fortunate. Don’t you think?
While I have said it before and I will say it again, the unnecessary abuse this woman has been receiving is absolutely ridiculous and completely out of line. But on the flip side of the coin, it is frustrating that these so called video game journalists will focus specifically on the sexism angle but not the ridiculous lack of polish and low-quality presentation of Mass Effect Andromeda. Bioware should make a public statement on why the game was released in the state it was. But they won’t because it will hurt their sales. Easier to pull a No Man’s Sky and just say nothing. As you watch the money roll in for those preorders. Bioware and EA are the culpable ones here, and you cannot blame a single person for what happened with Mass Effect Andromeda. And yes if you are going to call me an entitled gamer, I will gladly admit to being one.
I don’t think that it is unreasonable for fans of the Mass Effect franchise and Bioware, who have invested their time and money into their franchise to ask for a game that holds the same standards as the rest of the franchise. I don’t expect my hamburger to look exactly like the one pictured on the menu, but dammit if it says “comes with two slices of cheese” there better be two slices of cheese on the damn thing! And if harshly criticizing and calling out a company for their obvious lack of polish in the final product makes me a whiny self-entitled gamer then I don’t know what to say. The gaming press and media and Mass Effect fanboys are acting like people should not be angry for being given a product that does not even reach the quality of games created more than 10 years ago. If I am going to pay for a product, I at least expect it to hold the same level of quality as their other products…
[Editorial Note:] It might seem like a form of over-entitlement, and pettiness, to complain about these things when we’ve got real world issues like world hunger, and war, but the sad indictment facing the gaming community today is that developers are creating these problems and gamers are supporting them by buying their products.