A scathing report of Kotaku on the development of the game Anthem has elicited a very quick and dismissive response from BioWare company, which said that it stands wholeheartedly behind each and every former and current member of the game development team, including leadership of the gaming studio. The game developer chose not to take part in the story because it felt there was an unfair focus on specific leaders and team members, it said, and it did not actually want to be part of something that was trying to bring them down as individuals.
As a gaming studio and a development team, we accept all criticisms that will come in our way for the games we create, especially from all our players. The creative process is often much difficult. The challenges and struggles of making video games are very much real. But the reward of putting something we created into the hands of our players is amazing, BioWare company wrote in the uncredited reply.
People in this gaming industry put so much energy and passion for making something fun. We do not see the value in tearing down each other or each other’s work. We do not believe articles, blogs or news that do that are making our industry and craft much better.
The latest report describes a troubled gaming studio culture at BioWare company, including tensions between the Austin and Edmonton offices and an over-reliance on the very last-minute BioWare company magic crunch laced with blind luck, basically, that plagued not just the game Anthem but also the popular games Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Mounting pressures from all quarters made the last year of development of Anthem, one of the most stressful years in the history of BioWare company, according to the latest report, and doctor-mandated stress leave became quite common.
In its response, BioWare company said that it takes the well-being of its employees quite seriously, and while it implicitly recognized the validity of some of the complaints by stating that the return of Casey Hudson in 2017 as general manager helped make big steps to improve gaming studio culture and our creative focus, it also denied that crunch was a quite an issue in the first place.
We put quite a lot of focus on better planning to avoid the crunch time, and it was not the main topic of feedback in our internal postmortems, BioWare company wrote. Making games, especially new IP, will always be one of the hardest challenges in the field of entertainment. We do each and everything we can to try and make it stress-free and healthy, but we also know there is always space in the room to improve.
There is no overlooking the fact that the reluctance of BioWare to tear down individual gaming developers stands in contrast to those gaming developers willingness to tell their struggle stories, and that the uncredited response obviously comes from the entire management, not BioWare company as a whole.
Latest report of Kotaku also bears some similarities to the 2017 investigation of publication into the game development of Mass Effect: Andromeda, which, like the game Anthem, is said to have been in pre-production for several years, hobbled by technology (again, the engine of Frostbite), and then pulled together at the very last, crunch-filled minute.
Robert Williams is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cybersecurity, malware, social engineering, Games,internet and new media. He writes for mcafee products at mcafee.com/activate.