BioWare games have long been about diversity, often featuring large casts of characters of different races, species, genders, sexual preferences, and more. BioWare’s latest game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, features a transgender character named Hainly Abrams that players can interact with, but Hainly’s portrayal has been criticized for being insensitive to the transgender community. BioWare has now issued an apology for anyone offended by Hainly’s portrayal in the game, and promises to address the matter in a future update.
For those unaware of why people are upset about Hainly Abrams’ portrayal in Mass Effect: Andromeda, it boils down to a couple of key points. For one, some fans have noted that Hainly tells Commander Ryder the masculine name she was given at birth in a very casual manner that some felt was unrealistic.
The second reason why some Mass Effect: Andromeda players were upset about the conversation that takes place between Hainly Abrams and Commander Ryder is Abrams ‘ reason for joining the Andromeda initiative. According to Hainly, she decided to leave the Milky Way Galaxy because transgender people still aren’t accepted by society in the 22nd century.
This combined with Hainly’s willingness to divulge such personal information to Commander Ryder without hesitation are the two major reasons why some fans have criticized BioWare for the character’s portrayal.
Regarding Hainly Abrams: pic.twitter.com/nFpUKihqOj
— BioWare (@bioware) April 5, 2017
Some have argued that Hainly was pushed to reveal her status as a transgender person as quickly as possible just to get the point across so BioWare could mark off another box on its diversity checklist. By BioWare’s own admission, it could do a much better job with the character, hence its plans to improve her portrayal with an update.
The update that will make Hainly Abrams a more accurate representation of a transgender individual should come to Mass Effect: Andromeda at some point over the next couple of months. However, the mishandling of Hainly Abrams is far from BioWare’s only problem with the game. Since launch, Mass Effect: Andromeda has been criticized for a number of other issues, perhaps the most prominent being the game’s wonky animations.
Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s odd animations are also expected to be addressed in a future update for the game. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if BioWare is able to bounce back from the numerous controversies plaguing Mass Effect: Andromeda, and make its next game resonate more with its fans.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.