EA Responds To Mass Effect: Andromeda's Mixed Reaction, Talks BioWare New IP Delay
CEO Andrew Wilson says Mass Effect still has a bright future.
During an earnings call that followed Electronic Arts' financial report today, CEO Andrew Wilson addressed the delay of BioWare's new IP and spoke about the mixed reaction to Mass Effect: Andromeda. Starting with Andromeda, Wilson said he would have liked review scores to have been higher, though he is proud of the game BioWare made and how was the game some players were looking for.
"Mass Effect [Andromeda] is an interesting title; it was in development for a really long time and represented a lot of the great things that BioWare is known for: story, size, depth, breadth, imagination," Wilson said. "And while overall the aggregate review scores were lower than we would have liked, we did have over 100 reviewers score the game at 80 or higher. So it represents a fanbase that's very passionate, that's looking for very particular things, and many players found exactly what they're looking for, and some players did not."
Andromeda does the things that make Mass Effect games great, Wilson said, listing off elements like "wonderful, beautiful, deep, rich worlds; amazing combat; and engaging, fast-paced multiplayer."
Wilson also pointed out that BioWare continues to support Andromeda's multiplayer "regularly" with new content. Overall, Wilson said EA is is "very happy" with "how BioWare is treating Mass Effect."
In the long run, EA still has "strong" expectations for the brand going forward and the franchise overall, Wilson said. No games in the series beyond Andromeda have been announced, though a movie is in the works.
As for BioWare's new IP, EA today announced that it's been delayed, now scheduled to come out between April 2018 and March 2019. Speaking about the delay, Wilson stressed that it didn't have anything to do with the situation surrounding Andromeda. Instead, Wilson said it wanted to give BioWare more time to make the best game possible.
"The choice to move the new IP and what happened with Mass Effect [Andromeda]are completely unrelated," he said. "The reality is, we have a creative process--as a company, creativity and pioneering is really important for us. Innovation in games is important more now than ever, and as a leader in the industry, we see it as our responsibility to innovate.
"As part of our creative process--and I get to be involved in that creative process--we recognized that there was so much more opportunity in a connective, networked, social world to do some things in the new BioWare game that had never been done before, and [that] we don't think anyone is going to do anytime soon. But by virtue of our network, our cross-platform presence, and our scale, we think we can do that. And we chose to give the team some more time to deliver against that innovation because we believe players are looking for the kinds of things that we plan to put into that game."
While we don't know much about the new IP right now, Wilson teased that BioWare might make announcements about it "in the months to come." This could be a reference to E3, which is held in June, or Gamescom, which takes place in August. Or EA might choose to make announcements outside of these venues. Whatever the case, we'll report back with more information as it's announced.
Earlier this year, Wilson said about BioWare's new IP: "This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in an exhilarating new way. We're very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large, global audience."
For more on EA's earnings call today, check out the stories below.