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The Rise And Fall Of Mass Effect: Andromeda: What Went Wrong With This Year's Biggest Title Release

By Joseph St. James. , Jun 09, 2017 06:00 AM EDT
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In March 2017, Bioware launched Mass Effect: Andromeda with such high hopes. However, even the most ardent fans of the long-running Mass Effect series were disappointed. Critics were criticizing it for its bugs and its uneven writing among many other issues. Apparently, there were situations in the game's development process that led to the mistakes that made the game problematic, as critics would put it.

Did BioWare Use The Wrong Engine For Mass Effect: Andromeda?

One of the major reasons for Mass Effect: Andromeda's dreadful experience is its utilization of the Frostbite engine. This appears to be the assessment of Jason Schreier, news editor of Kotaku. He believes that this engine was not really designed to produce the kind of RPG that BioWare wants to create in MEA.

The Frostbite engine, according to Schreier, required BioWare to build key modules and capabilities for Mass Effect: Andromeda right from scratch. Additionally, this developed a rapid change in the focus and scope of the video game. It came to the point when these developmental aspects of MEA's video game development went on and on when they should have been discontinued as soon as they created problems.

The Problems Of MEA Were Unusually Difficult To Resolve

Admittedly, there are other causative problems, but it appears from the analysis of Schreier, that these two issues were the main ones that led Mass Effect: Andromeda in its present state, languishing in the backburner. As a result, the development of the video game experienced troubles and turbulence. For instance, there was a time when the director was changed.

Other problems also developed such as technological challenges, office politics, several major re-scopes, a shortened timeline, communication issues, an animation team that is understaffed and tremendous pressure to finish the project. Admittedly, these problems are not unique to MEA since most video game development teams of other publishers suffer the same experience. However, in BioWare's Mass Effect: Andromeda, the problems are unusually difficult to resolve. The final question is: will BioWare be able to extricate MEA from this unenviable situation?

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