EA Boss Says Mass Effect: Andromeda Got Too Much Criticism, Franchise Could Return

The game "got criticised a little bit more than it deserved," EA's Patrick Soderlund says.

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Now Playing: GS News Update: EA Boss Says Mass Effect: Andromeda Got Too Much Criticism, Franchise Could Return

The Mass Effect series is one of EA's biggest and best-known series. Its latest version, Andromeda, launched in March and was not as well-received as the previous games. Now, EA boss Patrick Soderlund has come forward to say that Andromeda might have received more criticism than it deserved. He also says he believes Mass Effect series can come back someday, but only if it feels "relevant" and "fresh."

"I usually don't do this, but this is one of those places where I feel like the game got criticised a little bit more than it deserved," Soderlund told GameReactor. "I think the game is actually a great game. Yes, we have to acknowledge the fact that there were some things that maybe we could have done better, absolutely, but as a whole, if you go in and you buy the game today with everything that's in it today, I believe that that's a game worth buying, personally."

Indeed, BioWare improved Andromeda after release with patches that addressed its animations, among other things, and added new content. Multiplayer updates for the game will continue, but BioWare is finished with single-player content. Unlike Mass Effect 1-3, there will be no single-player expansions for Andromeda.

Additionally, Andromeda's developer, BioWare Montreal, has merged with EA's Motive Studios. Despite all of this, and the report that the Mass Effect series is now on "hiatus," Soderlund said he believes the Mass Effect franchise can return.

"For Mass Effect as a franchise, that has such a big fanbase, and you know I've seen people saying 'Oh, EA's not making another Mass Effect'. I see no reason why we shouldn't come back to Mass Effect," he said. "Why not? It's a spectacular universe, it's a loved [series], it has a big fanbase, and it's a game that has done a lot for EA and for BioWare."

"What we need to be careful though of is, whenever we bring Mass Effect back again, we have to make sure that we bring it back in a really [relevant] way, and in a fresh, exciting place," he added. "That's my job, and that's Casey's [Hudson] job, and BioWare and the Mass Effect team's job, to figure out what that looks like, and that we don't know yet, but we will."

Hudson returned to BioWare earlier this year to lead the team at BioWare Edmonton. That studio is working on Anthem, BioWare's new IP that Hudson believes "will redefine interactive entertainment."

In addition to whatever ideas BioWare might be thinking about for Mass Effect video games, a movie based on the sci-fi series is in the works.

Would you like to see more Mass Effect games? Let us know in the comments below!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for xfoxxredx
XFOXxREDX

I LOVE this game.

It’s not commander shepherd but it’s awesome! It did have technical issues at first release, they fixed it. Big deal, these people need to quit bein butt-hurt about it.... over and done with, move on.

It’s SO good! Don’t let someone stop you from experiencing it, really!

I’ve played through 3 times already... I definitely keep coming back to it every now and then. :) 👍🏻

Avatar image for bolzfield
bolzfield

I genuinely loved the Andromeda.

It felt a little bit to much like Dragon Age Inquisition which was a shame, and the missions didn't give me any feeling but it was a good game, a great game, but not a Mass Effect game.

Make the spaces far smaller, with really great story, and feeling and you have yourself a masterpiece again

Avatar image for jobele
jobele

Okay, so according to this EA "Boss" its okay to put out a game that is not playable because you are not able to complete missions. It's also okay to have graphics that are so bad that most of the reviews admit that they are bad and spawned numerous memes about it on the internet. It's also okay to have a sound track that makes one think they just lifted it from prior ME games. It's also okay.... just fill in the blank with any of the many other issue this game had like bad voice acting, bad script, bad....

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@jobele: The graphincs in the game were way better than Mass Effect 3 and while it may not compete on the same level as certain other AAA games, there's still alot of eye candy and attention to detail. The EA boss was referring to the patched up game. I totally agree, it's worth buying and playing.

Avatar image for oz1956
Oz1956

Great comments, read them all. I agree, the game sucks. EA boss is a dick. The trilogy was much better, except for ME1. Would rather stick a fork in my eye, than play it again. MEA was just too gay for me, quest were pointless and scanning the planets was a bigger waste of time. Don't see a replay in my future. At least, I didn't pay a lot for it. Loved Bioware, when it was Bioware. Now it's a lifeless shell. I'm a big fan of the DA series, but DA2 was the worst. Almost afraid of what they will do to DA4. They need to change engines, stop the open world bs and bring back modding. Mods bring such versatility to the games. EA hates it, because we actually make the games better. As for another ME game, that's a scary thought. Won't be buying that one hot off the press, either.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@oz1956: Mass Effect was too gay? You're exaggerating. While the game certainly doesn't have the impact of the original trilogy, it's a fun sci fi romp that is worth playing. If you focus only on the main mission you still have 18 hours of gaming which is in line with the original trilogy. One awesome detail is if you do wander off and do side missions and talk to people you don't have to it'll get referenced in the game by other characters, giving additional meaning to those actions.

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YoungDavid77

I haven't play it but I think the game need to take a 5 year break, and maybe reboot or a sequel

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@YoungDavid77: Don't let the haters bog you down. It's worth buying and playing at full price. You can play for free if you subscribe to EA access or purchase it for a ridiculous sum if you wait for deep discounts. I bougt it for $10 on PSN and love the game. It doesn't have the impact of the original (how could it?) but it does sci fi justice and is fun to play.

Avatar image for ditronus
Ditronus

It plays like a good, bland mmo, sure. Too many generic fetch quests throughout the whole game. Travel to this planet, click on the data pad, travel here, talk to this person, travel here to kill 3 enemies, quest done.

I miss the old Bioware games that valued dialogue, player agency, and unique consequences.

This game had too big of a scope, but too little of substance, especially in its world design. Repetitive monsters on every planet, big open areas with nothing to do but drive to the next nav point, etc. It was bad.

Go back to small, intricately detailed zones.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@ditronus: Did you play the game though? The story misisons have way points for you to go to throughout which keeps the filler away if you don't want to explore and the combat is fun. I care less for my squad mates I have to admit, but I think it's more because I don't control them individually, which is fine because of the new combat system. I hated that the power wheel was gone, but after taking the time to acclimate to combat it's easier to see why it was removed and agree with the decision.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bda06edf37ee

High-profile franchise needs to have high-profile quality.

It only needs to meet, or better yet, exceed the standards it has set ITSELF earlier. That is a bit embarrassing statements from him, because the game really was sub-par compared to the previous titles in the series.

It's like they really just thought about cashing in with the franchise, without putting in the investment that the franchise would've required. Someone who is in control (i don't know who calls the shots when it comes to spending time and money on game development) at EA is killing valuable IPs by repeating this same mistake.

Focus is too much on marketing bullshit, and too little on actual product development. Sad reality is probably that they still make more money by doing what they are doing right now...

Avatar image for Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

You've simply got to be kidding me.

Game was a technical disaster with worse animations and voice acting than most games have that are 10 years older that it. It plays like a dull boring singe player mmo. I mean if this guy seriously thinks the game didn't deserve every bit of criticism that it got than its no wonder why EA hasn't got a clue what they're doing when the big boss himself appears to not know what a good game looks like. They failed dragon age, battlefront, and mass effect. Whats it seriously gonna take to get the damned clue EA lmfao. Just wow.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@Shelledfade1: You're looking at those past games with the rose colored glassed of nostalgia. The game is fun. At its current price, everyone who loved the original and or loves sci fi games in general should buy and play.

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Adenosine

I did enjoy Andromeda (especially the hilarious tired facial glitches and animation), but I didn't feel the same joy that I felt with the first three games. The missions were alright, not great. I just think that more could have been done with the story. It just felt a little too short to me, and I even did all the side missions because I like doing those before the main ones. The worlds did seem bigger, more to explore, but most of the time they were empty and only served as some kind of pace changer to make you ride around your vehicle. The interior levels were cool, but I think the ones in the first three games gave more of a mysterious and majestic feeling. I think the feeling of mystery is the main thing missing from Andromeda. I remember when I first played ME1 and I reached that one planet where people disappeared, it had this mysterious twilight zone vibe to it. I loved it. Andromeda didn't really have any unexpected mysteries for me. I already knew that I was probably going to find artifacts to help fight the bad guy and I was correct. I wish next time the Mass Effect universe would bring back the mystery and the joy of discovery.

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bloodmoney92

The moment when the EA boss himself gets criticized while criticizing about people's criticism on the game he ruined. Priceless Criticiception!

Avatar image for expredator
expredator

What a pussy.

Man up EA and make better games.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@expredator: The game is fun. Not as impactful as the original, but does sci fi right. Play it and see for yourself. I think you can still play a 10 hour demo.

Avatar image for HarlemVIP
HarlemVIP

I guess I'm in the minority of those who love Andromeda....well, THUS FAR. Believe it or not, I'm literally JUST NOW starting on the game. I waited this long because I wanted to make sure all the freaking updates and patches were done first. I think I should be caught up at this point when it comes to those things. But I'm still starting a fresh game, and so far so good. I guess I'm kind of biased because I have an absolute fascination with the universe, galaxies, and such...so games and movies in this genre are automatically gonna get my attention. Its up to THEM to screw up. And so far, Andromeda hasn't screwed up. I don't see anything that has been complained about thus far.

One thing though...the level of action has been kicking my @ss. I guess I'm out of practice with being quick on the draw with my keyboard and mouse.

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ConsoleHaven

@HarlemVIP: Late to reply, but I love the game too. Was criticized way too harshly! Got my ass kicked in combat too until I practiced some of the mechanics and learned to use cover better.

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lmv92

@HarlemVIP: I guess we're pretty much on the same club.

Avatar image for HarlemVIP
HarlemVIP

@lmv92: I swear, from the very first day, I've been reading complaints about this game. I took it upon myself to listen, but not join in. I had to see for myself because of how much I enjoyed ME3....well, right up until he ending. It was the same thing with No Man's Sky. Took me forever to get that game installed also because of all the updates and crap. I didn't see where all the complaints came from with that game either.

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HarlemVIP

The better question is, would you like to see a Mass effect movie?

HELL NO!!

Avatar image for lmv92
lmv92

@HarlemVIP: Well, the in game cutscenes are already a big enough movie.

Avatar image for HarlemVIP
HarlemVIP

@lmv92: Some games do the cinema scenes right. Some games get way out of hand with them. I'm on the fence with the way they did Metal Gear Snake Eater. That thing WAS a freaking movie. One thing I learned from Mass Effect 3 is that i freaking hate ANYTHING that looks anything like the damn Citadel! It's too freaking big, and it takes way too long to explore and chit chat with every available person. I'm going through that in Andromeda. The first place they put you (I forgot the name of the place) where you first get the Tempest is freaking huge! So far, I'm on the very first planet. That desert world and some big ass cloud of radioactive smoke is chasing me (told you I was new). I don't know how lengthy the cinema scenes in this game can get, but hopefully they don't Snake Eater me.

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Yoshikawa12

@HarlemVIP:

I don't think snake eater has more lengthy cinema scenes than the "movie" that we called MGS 4 tough :)

Avatar image for HarlemVIP
HarlemVIP

@yoshikawa12: Unfortunately, Snake Eater was the last Metal Gear game I ever played. I don't count Revengeance. lol

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Yoshikawa12

@HarlemVIP:

I called that fortunately. lol.

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lonewolf1044

Imho, Andromeda had a rough start and some of the graphics was not up to par such as facial expressions which was too creepy. I played it and even with the problems I liked it but it is no GOTY.

Avatar image for osxgp
osxgp

There is no question that this game deserved criticism. There are plenty of YouTube videos to back that up. EA is known for releasing unfinished games and that is exactly what this game was: unfinished. If they waited another 6 to 8 months to polish everything instead of giving in to investor greed, the reviews would have been better. The gameplay is fantastic IMO but the crap animations and bugs were unforgiveable. EA should've known better to do this to a proven franchise especially after the ending to Mass Effect 3. Look at what happened with that. People were outraged because that ending was clearly rushed to meet some deadline. You have an epic buildup spanning three great games until the ending which was so lackluster and unfinished that they had to go back and release an extended cut. I'm about done with EA and their greed. And now with Anthem on the way, I'm not spending a dime on that until I read some good reviews that aren't bought and paid for. Lets hope it isn't rushed as well to meet some deadline with patches and updates that follow later on to fix what should have been fixed to begin with.

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dani_i89

@osxgp: The animations are the least of the games problems. People who complain about the animation have no clue

Avatar image for ditronus
Ditronus

@dani_i89: that's what I'm scared of. EA will take the criticism and think the only reason the game isn't liked is because of animation glitches and stuff. So they'll make the next dragon age having "learned" from MEA, which means we'll have a technically flawless game, but huge, empty worlds and tons of shallow fetch quests because to them that wasn't the problem of MEA to people.

I want the games to stop forgoing DA:O and Kotor-quality dialogue, choice, and consequence in favor for zone-size and a flood of generic quest content.

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@ditronus: Yeah, the early criticisms were WAY too harsh. I loved the first 10 hours, but beyond that it's simply Dragon Age (which wasn't great) with boring gunplay and a story that ripped off Halo 4.

There were maybe 3 or so kinda-interesting missions with tons of filler and no feel to exploration. Don't know why people simply only choose to focus on face animations when criticising this game...just shows how casual and easily triggered gamers are.

Avatar image for sweep-king
Sweep-King

Alot of people who criticised the game seem to be people who either didn't play the game or only played less than 10 hours, it is by no means a great game but there are some merits.

Combat is easily the most fun I've had in any Mass Effect game i'm sure the majority of players who beat the game will tell you this as well, weapons customisation is great as well. Rest of the game is quite mediocre tho, game has some good boss battles, something that was missing in ME3.

The story is quite lackluster the protagonists dad seem like a better character to play as, the premise is good but wasn't executed well, most of the characters in the game are pure shit especially the main character Ryder, the only saving grace is Jaal (your new Garus) and Drack (your new Wrex) and maybe PeeBee.

My biggest gripe is that this game seems like a carbon copy of Dragon Age Inquisition set in Mass Effect universe, I see more similarities between these two games than the ME trilogy and Andromeda, and before you ask I beat both games with an easy 50+ hours for each

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@sweep-king: I loved the first 10 hours more than the rest of the game. I thought the combat was boring and the boss battles were not exciting. Very disappointing game.

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JamesJoule

then why the **** did you close the studio that made it ??

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rlg5150

@JamesJoule: Because that studio was SJW cancer. They ruined the game - not EA.

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Veldi

@rlg5150: So are you just trying to cram in the term "SJW" in as many comments as possible even if it doesn't apply ?

Avatar image for garysan
GarySan

@rlg5150: spot on.

Avatar image for gargungulunk
gargungulunk

$20 right now..... ....

....

...

Wh'ev, It's downloading.

The take away seems that it's a legit game, but a lousy ME game. I'm in the mood to explore some new planets, lets see whats up finally.

Avatar image for drivemanner
Drivemanner

That's it I'm convinced Bioware is out of touch. They massacre a beloved franchise and then they complain because the criticism hurt their feel-feels. What about the fans? Just let it die please don't make another mass effect, Andromeda was enough...

Avatar image for osxgp
osxgp

@drivemanner: I used to blame Bioware but then I realized they are most likely at the mercy of their corporate overlords EA. Forcing them to release unfinished games while knowing all along they aren't ready for release. "Release now and patch later" should be the EA corporate slogan.

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nhaskell

Mass Effect 2 is my all-time favorite video game. I just downloaded Andromeda last week and gave the 10 hour free trial a spin. I had a really open mind and wanted to like it, but I only played 3 hours and then uninstalled. It was just boring. The story was boring, the characters were boring. It was soulless. The graphics were great, but so what. That doesn't make a good game.

Avatar image for dani_i89
dani_i89

@nhaskell: I don't think 3 hours is long enough to get a feel of the game. Also, ME 2 does not hold up well. ME 1 is by far the best Mass Effect.

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uncle5555

AAA Studio doing a Half-***ed job...criticism warranted.

Next question?

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Rodro

What did he expect?? The character creation tool was bad, the characters are not deep as the other Mass effects, and i hated the main character, Also the combat why do you give me choice of only 3 abilities, WTF????? I should feel like i can combine more things, also the sword combat should be better It sucks really hard, they should balance meele and ranged combat.

Avatar image for lmv92
lmv92

@rodro: Maybe you should stop bringing a sword to a gunfight. Or you could get better at sword play.