BioWare Talks Mass Effect Andromeda: “Flawed Game” Harmed By A Crowded Review Environment

Executive producer Mark Darrah has provided a few interesting statements on Twitter about what happened with Mass Effect Andromeda, admitting that it was a flawed game but also that it was harmed by the crowded month of March where it was shipped last year.

In particular, when he says crowded month he means that, because of all the games that were released in that window, Andromeda wasn’t given a lot of care by reviewers, who were instead more focused on titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nier Automata, Nioh, and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Bioware Explains What Went Wrong With Mass Effect Andromeda

“First off, the question was not “is MEA secretly a great game and did mean Nintendo make us fail?” MEA is a deeply flawed game. Especially at launch. But the review environment was crowded. Nier, Nioh, Horizon, and Zelda all launched in MEAs window. Each does something better than MEA (again, a flawed game),” Darrah, who’s now working on Anthem and Dragon Age said.

“As a result, even systems that are pretty decent get scrutinized against superiorly implemented ones. Does launching in a different window turn 72% into 90? Certainly not. 72 into 77/78? Maybe. Does that affect sales? Some. But word of mouth matters so much these days.”

Adding more to the reasonable analysis he provided, he concluded that “here’s the thing. That’s the nature of the industry. You don’t have full control over when you launch and no control over when others do. DAI benefited by how tough a year 2014 turned out to be for games.”

“You launch the best game you can. MEA has a lot of problems and got lapped by genuinely better games.”

Hopefully, things start better with Anthem, although it is also releasing in a crowded month next February – it’s the same day with Days Gone and Metro Exodus, and the same few weeks with Crackdown 3.