Ex-BioWare Emloyee: Mass Effect Andromeda Went Through Development Hell, Extremely Poor Working Conditions
Mass Effect Andromeda review embargo ended yesterday and the verdict that came out from big gaming publication like IGN and GameSpot were surprising (7.7 and 6 review score respectively). So what went wrong with one of the most awaited and highly anticipated games of 2017, was there some mistake from the Bioware part? According to the details revealed by an Ex-BioWare Employee on Glassdoor, Mass Effect Andromeda has been through development hell, and the working conditions at Bioware is just Awful.
In a post on Glassdoor, this ex-BioWare employee (worked as a VFX Artist for 5 years at BioWare) listed out the awful working conditions and many other negative points. Here is the full list.
- Bioware Edmonton and Montreal symbiosis are broken. Lots of conflicts and bro culture.
- Lost over 13 leads (game design, art, audio, prog, senior core leads, etc) in 5 years at Bioware Montreal on Mass Effect. Edmonton lost only 3. It is clear that Edmonton has the bigger part of the stick when it comes to purge Leads and Producers who are not aligned with their leadership style.
- Putting people on performance improvement program (PIP Program) is the new tactics to get rid of people. Once again more than 10 people in Montreal got slammed with this bureaucratic uppercut to let go people that are not bending to Edmonton leadership styles in the last revision cycle. This approach is used by the Montreal Leadership to purge the mess from the lack of vision caused by upper management in the last 4 years (throwing people under the bus to protect bad core management).
- Renaming crunch to Finaling mode. Which means the company pays for your lunch but you have only 30 minutes to eat and then getting back on the keyboard. Was lasting for over 2 months and was a real catastrophy.
- Retaliation and harassment are sadly a reality. If you talk and ask questions you will be tag as a trouble maker and end up in a bad position.
- HR won't help you out. They will deny the current harassment from Montreal management by ignoring and not documenting the facts. In other words, if you leave don't talk. Just let it go.
- Many benefits got cut due to too much time extension to get the game done.
Animations are one thing in Mass Effect Andromeda that has been heavily criticize by critics and fans. But going by the comparison Gif below (Mass Effect Andromeda April 2016 Leaked Version vs Mass Effect Andromeda March 2017 build), the former had dramatically better animations.
Should we take into consideration the awful working conditions Mass Effect Andromeda developers went through at Bioware as the main reason behind why the game has so many performance issues?