Gary McKay took over the role of Studio General Manager at Bioware in June 2021. The once legendary video game developer has been on the rocks with gamers over the past several years. Between Mass Effect 3’s unrewarding endings to the bait-and-switch, that was Anthem, we all knew that the Bioware of old was dead. The stench of EA was all over whatever this new company was.
Today the GM made a lengthy blog post about the company’s state and what lies ahead. Paragraphs and paragraphs address the recent Mass Effect Legendary Edition release and the “incredible reception” it received. However, McKay does not address Anthem or Mass Effect Andromeda in the text.
Gary McKay states that the company’s reputation does need to be repaired, but he does not expand on why it was damaged, to begin with:
“When I took on the GM role, I talked about rebuilding our reputation, and that remains a huge priority. We are laser-focused on building back the trust of our fans and community, and we plan to do that by delivering the types of games that we are best known for and ensuring they are of the highest quality.”
OK, what exactly does that mean? This sounds more or less like what he said back in June. These nebulous statements aren’t going to renew my confidence in this version of Bioware. Anthem was revealed to be a quickly thrown-together mess and was dumped by the developer not long after launch. Mass Effect Andromeda wasn’t much better, with the version of the game before the first patch being a glitchy disaster full of terrible dialog and terrible character faces.
In short, the General Manager’s post is a word salad full of back-patting and complaining about the environment the pandemic put the company in. Yup, 2020 made things harder, but Bioware’s problems started long before that. Admit that Anthem was a failure and the customers were left high and dry. Transparency will go a long way.
Maybe it is me, but when you talk about rebuilding a reputation, you should address the concerns. The nebulous phrase “highest quality” does not tell me a damn thing. Where were the shortcomings? How were they created? What was done to correct them?
This is frustrating because Bioware, many years ago, delivered great games. So what do you think of the GM’s words? Let us know in the comments section.