bioware? snatched to mars, more like byeware
We all know that the primary motivating factor for why Bioware is moving in this direction is because EA is trying to use their pull with their fanbase to make them in to a studio that can compete with the likes of Bungie and whoever the fuck multiplayer games because EA wants money and that’s all they want. They don’t care that they are turning Bioware into a studio that handles shit they haven’t been very good at handling before. They don’t care that they are alienating part of Bioware’s fanbase. What EA wants if for one of the titles under them to present itself as the BEST, not decent, but the top of the line best competition which is why they feel nothing about shutting down a longstanding studio like Maxis because, at this point, EA is just concerned about raking in the dollars that these other online games make and they’ll do it by any means necessary, even if that means killing much beloved franchises for the sake of boosting others.
And you know what, I do feel kinda bad for Bioware in that sense because I know that the folks working on Anthem are being worked to death, inhumane hours and practices, probably haven’t seen their families in a while, no holidays to use, and they are probably buckling under intense pressure right now because with Andromeda being a flop, they have no choice but to make Anthem top of the line with the sales to boot. If they don’t, there won’t be anymore Mass Effect or Dragon Age. The studio will be dead and all we’ll have is what we have with Maxis: the remnants of something that brought us so much joy yet turned into the victim of the same insatiable capitalist force that chews up creatives and spits out the bones once they’ve stripped them of the meat of what made the games these creatives made great now that they’ve stripped them of the things that sold us on these creatives’ vision.
But on the other hand, Bioware also did this to themselves sailing on that hubris of “we’ve got a consistent fanbase! They won’t go anywhere!” Which led them down a path of the same bullshit conversations, “we want to know how to improve our games!” while ignoring so much of our advice. We told them they needed to shape up and stop leaving gay/bi/pan men out of their games and actually put effort into showing male romantic intimacy, romance, something that shows that they understand that queer men play these games and deserve to be treated as human in these stories, and they ignored us to the point that only two queer men were romance option in ME:A and we had to beg for Jaal, who was scripted to be bi but was released as straight, which they only did once they realized that they fucked up and that name brand wouldn’t make them the cheese that they made when the first Mass Effect dropped.
We told them that people of color needed to be treated like they are actually a part of the narrative: we said darker skin tones and then gave us three options, none of which were treated favorably by the in game lighting. We said more black hairstyles for black fans, they refused to give black women cornrows and only gave us the option of being bald or having a fucked up afro. We said we would like to be fat, they have yet to answer us on that. We said we would like to be able to have gap teeth, freckles, wider noses, thicker lips, they gave us presets and very little room to make our characters unique. We asked for more romance options that were queer people of color, they gave us another straight black man, not black women to romance but the one, no East Asian romance options, nothing. So that’s a dud.
We told them that we wanted more people who had lived experience writing characters reminiscent of the fanbase’s makeup. We said we’d like a queer woman writing the romance between women rather than a straight man whose track record has them all end in death or has the relationship be built on toxic ideologies, and they said no. We said that people of color need to be in that writing room writing characters of their own race so that we could have more nuance, they said no and now we’re starting to see a pattern. We asked how they were supposedly sticking to that diversity promise when the only diversity we see is bare minimum at best and no people of color, or queer people of color getting any sort of involvement in the process of developing the game, writing the game, doing anything with the game, and they sort of just brushed us off and said whatever.
They asked us what we wanted, they have made it clear that they don’t actually care. And honestly? There are only so many times that you can fuck over someone when you ask for their input before people start catching on and realizing that you’ve been walking around with this hubris, this gall, this audacity to believe you were the pinnacle of representation when the truth was that people just didn’t see the potential in trying to challenge you and that’s what’s happening.
Ubisoft went from making excuses as to why they don’t put women at the forefront, to the polar opposite and have even given us the opportunity to play as a gay woman romancing other women, and not just any gay woman but a gay warrior woman with the same name as a previous warrior woman within Bioware’s own franchise that Bioware knew would appeal to the gay female fan base but still straight locked her romance regardless because they were too cowardly to admit that they didn’t want to alienate straight men..
Todd Howard was always going to eventually make the next Elder Scrolls, but now that it and a new space adventure is on the horizon, he’s coming out swinging with the same energy that gave us Skyrim, Morrowind, and Oblivion, and you know what’s fucked up? He’s still making a fuck ton of bank off just Skyrim alone.
Cyberpunk 2077 heard the excuse that EA gave for not making single player driven stories and, rightfully, laughed in their face and said “no it’s just that you dumbasses got complacent, so here’s our narrative designed for single players.”
Naughty Dog, which to its credit, never shied away from the fact that Ellie is a lesbian and has been since she was girl, has made it clear that she is a lesbian and even publicly debuted her as THE LESBIAN PROTAGONIST of a critically acclaimed series, whereas Bioware has on numerous occasions been afraid to call out and show people’s sexualities overtly so as not to fray the nerves of their straight fan base.
And with Red Dead 2, Hideo Kojima, DMC, and a plethora of other games designed with the single player experience in mind coming hot on the heels of God of War 4?
Bioware and its hubris, EA and its greed, are to blame for the storm that’s about to come and I don’t feel sorry for either one of them. They can choke on this humility if they learn anything from this, or they can choke on this reality as they realize their shit never once smelled like roses and they let themselves get complacent and lazy.
I lied about that being short.