May
10
2017

Bioware giveth, and Bioware taketh away:

Giveth: “The latest patch for Mass Effect: Andromeda is out now, and BioWare says it will address many of the game’s shortcoming, including tweaks to multiplayer and the game’s opening cinematics.”

Taketh Away: “Mass Effect Andromeda developer BioWare Montreal has put the series on hiatus, according to a report.” I think that what this means is that they’re still supporting Mass Effect: Andromeda, including DLC; but BioWare Montreal is apparently not in good odor with the parent company right now, and they’re not going forward with a sequel until the situation is resolved..  Which is, honestly, something that BioWare Montreal kind of deserves. Just because I had fun playing the game doesn’t mean I didn’t notice its developmental flaws. Maybe they need to shake up that office a little.

7 Comments

  • Aruges says:

    It’s a bit of a shame, really. The Montreal studio handled the multiplayer of 3 and that was well regarded, so after Bioware’s main studio started to falter (DA2 was poorly recieved, ME3 ended on a sour note, and DA:3 didn’t perform as hoped) it seemed not the worst idea to let them handle the next proper ME game… but the production was kind of a train wreck. Bad art choices, bad animation, and story telling that, while not the worst, wasn’t up to BioWare standards (excluding 3’s ending). I think the studio was just over their heads.

    Sadly, if EA holds to pattern the Montreal studio will get hit hard, possibly closed and the best talent redistributed. Best case, they are demoted to helper status and work on multiplayer modes for EA’s other games.

    • RangerSG says:

      Where did you see Inquisition didn’t perform as expected? Normally you don’t do 3 content related DLC for something that underperformed. Especially since EA limits its digital sales by insisting on Origin instead of Steam.
      ***
      Perhaps in retrospect it’s not standing up as well, because W3 has basically taken the expectations for RPGs and ramped them to 11. Honestly, I always thought that DA:I had very low expectations, after the debacle of DA2, and exceeded them.
      ***
      And IMHO, what Andromeda did wrong was not look at how the audience reacted to W3 and see that expectations were higher for immersion and side quests that matter than before. Ironically, these were things I always thought the ME franchise did pretty well…until now.

      • Aruges says:

        Ah, you’re right. Inquisition did just about as well as Origins, just shy of 5 million copies over all skus. I assumed it did less well because of reviews, friends impressions, and a lack of “Inquisition sales are great! DA is saved” news posts. (DA2 sold just over 2 million, so it’s clear inquisition did bring the fans back)

      • Aetius451AD says:

        I agree on Witcher 3 from the story perspective. The story had major league passion. The room definitely got very, very dusty when Geralt found Ciri on the island, for instance. When I first played that I even said out loud- “Ooh, they are playing me with the music and the drama.” They still got me.

        Witcher understood how all of the characters had to have depth. You had to like the characters, but they also had to have flaws. Where Witcher often went wrong before W3 is that they used to emphasize the flaws to the point that you hated the characters and were hence uninterested. Bioware used to be the king of being able to balance that line. Andromeda shows what happens when you just try to make the characters likable without being interesting. Liam, anyone?

        The one thing W3 pissed me off on however, was the open world game trick of having around three million small checkmarks for every little spot on the world that did NOT affect the story.

        • RangerSG says:

          I agree by and large, with the caveat that some of those small checkmarks on the W3 map had *very* cool ideas behind them. The number of true ‘throw aways’ in W3 was small. Unlike say, shard hunting in DA:I. Ughhhhh.

  • Aetius451AD says:

    I did like the game a lot, but the most striking thing was playing Mass Effect 2 again afterwards. The differences were definitely there and telling.

    The story idea is gold. The more I think about it, the more ideas I have for what you could do with it. The choices they made were odd to say the least.

    • RangerSG says:

      And ME2 in particular was what I was thinking of. If they could’ve done a game with ME1 style exploration and ME2 character development, that would have been a veritable gold mine.

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