BioWare has released a response to recent feedback regarding Mass Effect: Andromeda, with plans to further discuss the criticism and how the studio plans to address it on April 4. Posted via BioWare’s social media channels, the prepared statement is intentionally short and ambiguous, but the point of the message is clear. It serves as a polite announcement of the April 4 event where BioWare will address the Mass Effect community’s concerns in specific.
Here’s the most relevant paragraph from BioWare’s prepared statement:
“We’ve received quite a bit of feedback, some of it positive and some of it critical. That feedback is an important part of our ongoing support of the game, and we can’t wait to share more of our immediate plans with you on Tuesday, April 4.”
While BioWare doesn’t say what issues it plans to address in this message, the writing’s on the wall. Mass Effect: Andromeda players know that the game’s animations and modelling will be a focal point. Andromeda‘s facial animations, particularly regarding characters’ eye and mouth movements, seem to be of paramount concern, but most players understand the issues are much broader than that.
Other issues which BioWare may or may not discuss include ongoing multiplayer matchmaking issues, PC compatibility issues that have left many people unable to play since launch, controversy over Andromeda‘s romance options, and others. There’s also lots of feedback regarding design decisions like scanning and traveling between planets, which BioWare could choose to address.
— BioWare (@bioware) March 30, 2017
An important thing to take away from BioWare’s message here is how careful the devs are being in their communication. That’s not necessarily due to BioWare being defensive regarding the game’s issues, but rather how dangerous said community can quickly become when angered.
BioWare has already had to release a statement after certain people online launched a harassment campaign against a woman loosely, and incorrectly, associated with Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s animations. BioWare’s communications take on a new dimension when employee safety becomes a concern.
In a perfect world, BioWare will be able to host their April 4 event on Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s issues and explain how the team is solving them without controversy. But that is very unlikely given the scope of issues and the feedback from fans.
The animation issues within Mass Effect: Andromeda can’t be solved in a matter of weeks, if they can be addressed at all. And it’s likely that the game’s frustrated community will react negatively no matter what BioWare says on April 4. If there’s a positive takeaway, it’s that BioWare has grown quite good at improving its games post-launch in recent years.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.