Mass Effect Andromeda’s Development Troubles Laid Bare- Frostbite A Problematic Engine For RPGs, Rushed Development, and More

Murphy’s Law in full effect.

Posted By | On 08th, Jun. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

In a new, incredible example of investigative journalism, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has published a piece on the troubled development cycle of Mass Effect Andromeda, the latest installment in the beloved science fiction series that released to a dismal critical reception, and commercial failure. What could possibly have gone wrong to make the public so indifferent to the game?

As it turns out, there were multiple issues- the game was too ambitious, to begin with. Originally, it was meant to have a fully explorable galaxy with procedurally generated planets, but in 2015, Bioware realized that it would be difficult to manage that, and they scaled it down to 30 explorable planets, a number that was further chopped down to just seven in the final game. Multiple frantic cuts were made, and the entire game had to be thrown out, meaning that the development of Mass Effect Andromeda as it shipped occurred in just 18 months.

Adding to all of this trouble was the fact that Frostbite, the engine developed by DICE, which EA enforces company wide almost as a mandate, is singularly unsuited for RPGs. Everything, from inventory tracking to party management, was something the engine couldn’t handle, meaning Bioware had to rebuild all those functions from scratch- wasting more precious development time.

The full piece is worth reading, and a damning insight into how the game’s development went. Bioware, EA, and even the gaming media, do not come out looking good in this story, but it’s an example of how things can go terribly wrong for a beloved series. With the future of Mass Effect now uncertain, it may be worth it for fans to at least try to understand just how the series ended up in this nightmare in the first place.

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  • Yones Xtr

    Dragon age:inquisition was developed by frostbite but don’t have problem as much as MEA,it’s an excuse I think…

  • heima

    On top of all the above there’s that none of the original creators/writers/directors of the franchise was in charge of the game. If you are going to develop a game with such a large scope as MEA you should damn be sure that you have a great story and great characters. Unfortunately BW/EA decided to go for the quantity instead of quality, and what you get is a game which has inherited a great lore, a great universe, but pretty much no story to tell or, better, had no one who can tell that story properly and compellingly. Which is a shame, if you ask me. ME was one of my favourite franchises and the reason I bought a Xbox 360 ten years ago after years of PS and PS2.

  • Riggybro

    It was pretty sad reading. They planned to focus on the exploration that was hinted at in ME1.. it sounded like the game of my dreams on paper!

    I hope for the next one they don’t give up on the dream M.E game and retreat back to a safe, linear type thing.

    • Psionicinversion

      you cant do that with a story driven game, otherwise itll just be fill;ed with fluff just to add stuff and andromeda had enough fluff as it is i felt

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