BioWare’s Aaryn Flynn has just asked fans and critics to stop attacking a “misidentified” Mass Effect: Andromeda employee, posting the following image on Twitter:
The image reads:
“Recently, a former EA employee was misidentified as a lead member of the Mass Effect: Andromeda development team. These reports are false.
We respect the opinions of our players and our community, and welcome feedback on our games. But attacking individuals, regardless of their involvement in the project, is never acceptable.
-Aaryn Flynn, BioWare GM
Whist the individual and the situation are not named in the image, it’s fairly safe to assume that this “hate” revolves around the facial animations in Mass Effect: Andromeda, which many fans and reviewers have been criticising as stiff, clunky or just downright odd-looking.
The fact that BioWare/EA have had to specifically come forward to ask people to not target their staff/former staff, is (unfortunately) not surprising, as is often the way when People of the Internet don’t like the way a game has done something. Unfortunately, with high-budget titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda, there’s never one person to “blame” for things (as the games are the product of many, many hours of input by many, many different people) but fans and critics tend to forget this in their criticisms of individuals, not that these “attacks” are in any way a legitimate criticism as much as they are bitter keyboard smashing.
I’m in agreement that the facial animations for Mass Effect: Andromeda do look a little off (at least from what I’ve seen in preview gameplay) , but there’s no point sending out hate to someone who may have had nothing to do with their creation anyway. It’s not motivational, or helpful, and it just serves to create a more toxic relationship between studio and gamer. The more sensible thing to do would be to constructively criticise the game’s flaws in a calmer and less vitriolic fashion, but hey, I’m biased–that’s what I do for fun.