Mass Effect Andromeda's lead designer Ian Frazier has spoken to IBTimes UK about the negative response to some elements of the sci-fi sequel that hit shelves toward the end of March.
Released in March, Andromeda was criticised for some strange animations, its lip-syncing and other bugs and quirks. The issues have since been addressed in a patch, but for some time these singled-out elements dominated discussion of the game among fans.
We asked Frazier about criticisms and how it's affected BioWare's post-launch plans for the game. His comments were part of a larger interview you can read here. Frazier also spoke to us about an early version of Andromeda that was a "giant procedural game".
"Our intent was to always be flexible because you don't know how fans are going to react," he explained. "You don't know what they're going to get super-attached to, positively or negatively. So we went in thinking 'here's some stuff we're definitely going to do, and then here's some stuff we might do, maybe, let's see how the fans react'.
"So to a large extent I think things are sort of on track, with regards to post-launch plans. Obviously the particulars change, but the overall timetable doesn't."
But what of his own take on the negative feedback, or that of his team?
"As far as my personal reaction. I won't speak for the other guys, but I spent quite a bit of my time on Twitter and various forums and such. And I won't lie, it's hard. It's hard to see the criticisms, some of the challenges that are out there.
"It's difficult because we do want to help, so you're out on Twitter and forums and stuff trying to troubleshoot issues or give people a hint on something they're struggling with. But to do that, to help the fans and try to absorb the feedback to better steer what we do next, you have to wade through a lot of crap. And that part is not a lot of fun."
Despite the ill-effects of such a proximity to the fans when things are heated, Frazier still appreciates the ability to talk directly to the people playing his games.
"Don't get me wrong. I don't enjoy the occasional gut punch, but on balance I think it's really valuable that things have gone this way. Our ability to get feedback from fans on such a broad spectrum is great.
"For example, we used to rely heavily on our forums, but now we've got several channels of information coming in. You just get a much larger pool, because when you're limiting it to one channel or two, it self-selects to an extent. You're only going to get feedback from people who'll take the time to become a member of that forum, or what have you. It's been nice having a broad assortment of people give us feedback – good and bad – through channels like Twitter and Facebook."
Mass Effect Andromeda released in late March to positive reviews. While it did review more poorly than the original trilogy of Xbox 360 and PS3, it was still a good game. You can read IBTimes UK's review here.