The science fiction series Mass Effect is, without a doubt, one of Electronic Arts' (EA) most successful franchises, with both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 being regarded by some as the best role-playing games ever made. However, the series took a steep popularity hit due to Mass Effect 3's ending, which was universally hated by critics and fans alike, and the Mass Effect series ended up not getting a new release for years.
Mass Effect: Andromeda, though, was a chance for EA and for developer BioWare to recover from the rough patch and rekindle people's love for their franchise. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. Though Andromeda sold well overall, the vast majority of its players were disappointed with the game's poor polish and lack of satisfying narrative closure. Patches to remedy some of the issues came, but after all of the backlash Andromeda received, EA ultimately cut off support for the game's singleplayer mode last August.
On top of this, EA also announced that the Mass Effect series would be put on hold until a later time. This came mere months after the series' return after five years of absence, and many are left to believe that we may be looking at the end of Mass Effect. Here's why extensive post-launch support could have saved Andromeda, and maybe even Mass Effect itself.
Moreso than any Mass Effect game before it, Andromeda ended with more questions for the players than answers. A multitude of plot points were left wide open and ripe for future downloadable content (DLC) to tackle, and since DLC has always been a common sight for Mass Effect, it was expected and implied we were going to get some.
However, with the abandonment of the singleplayer, we never got any. None of the loose ends were tied up, and with the series now on hiatus, it's unclear if they ever will be. By sticking with their game and committing to fully finishing their story, Andromeda's developers could have won back the hearts of people who were disappointed by the title's conclusion. Sadly, by leaving Andromeda in the dust, they've only fanned the flames of discontent even more.
Andromeda was arguably the most broken AAA video game of 2017, with bugs completely plaguing almost everything about the title. Framerate was abysmal, crashes were frequent, and in general, anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Knowing that they needed to act quickly in order to save their game's reputation, BioWare began to roll out regular patches over the course of a few months. These fixed many of the issues, and over time, Andromeda became more playable.
By the time August rolled around, the game was in a decent state, but far from ideal. There were still plenty of problems to fix, but due to the decision to abandon Andromeda, they never were corrected and still have not been to this day. Several bugs still exist, and there's no light at the end of the tunnel if you are afflicted by them. By vowing to at least fully fix up Andromeda before leaving it behind, people who enjoy the game would be able to do so with few problems. Now, Andromeda fans are left helpless.
Do you think the Mass Effect series can recover from the controversies surrounding Mass Effect: Andromeda? Do you think that BioWare and EA should have stuck with it and supported it longer post-launch, or do you think that EA made the right call?
Mass Effect: Andromeda is available on Xbox One for $29.99.