Mass Effect: Andromeda should have never been abandoned by EA — here's why

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.

Tying up loose ends

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.

Bugs are Andromeda's features

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.

Your thoughts

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.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • Trouble is the boat had sailed. I am a huge Mass Effect 1-3 fan and I was instantly put off by the 10 hour free trial that EA Access gave us. It wasn't Mass Effect. No amount of post work would get me to play it, because I had already moved on and forgotten the abomination. The lesson EA should learn is don't interfere with a great team like Bioware. That is now falling apart further with more employees leaving. Influential ones as well.
  • I'm mixed. By no means did Mass Effect Andromeda ever feel like it fully captured the magic of the trilogy games, but it was genuinely pretty awesome at many points and I feel like post-launch work could have gotten the game to a point where I would go, "Yeah. It wasn't the best, but I'm happy I spent my time and money on this."
  • Well, you should give it a chance. I thought the same as you did, recently I gave it another shot. And now I am sitting at 35 % after 40 hours, have three completely unexplored planets and find this to be the second best Mass Effect (nothing beats the first game). Story is great, exploration is great. I do play in narrative mode, where enemies take one shot and they are dead. I always hated the shooter mechanics of the series.
  • Personally for me, that sounds far too easy...any harder difficulty settings? @SaschDr . I ask as boredom gives me migraines.
  • Yes, when SaschaDr says narrative mode, is a mechanic that intentionally makes combat difficulty trivial. Has several difficulty levels to choose.
  • I'm with you. I don't know what "EA" (really, Bioware screwed this up from the ground up) could have done with this game. Are you going to rewrite the terrible lead character(s) Ryder? Get new voice actors for Ryder(s)? After strong lead characters in fem/male Shepards, how Bioware thought these new leads would appeal to any of the fans is beyond me.  With time, Bioware might have been able to fix some of the awful character design, I suppose. But could they go back and retroactively fix SAM who is so bad, you have to compare him to the phenomenal EDI? The game is bad. It's not Mass Effect. It felt like a rip off. In fact, if it had been called "Kingdoms of Andromeda: the Arrival" and not related to Mass Effect at all, just a clear rip off, the game might be enjoyable in the same way other copycat games are enjoyable. But whatever. This is EA's fault. Poor Bioware. 
  • I've just completed the main story quest in this and am in the process of completing a few side quests and to be honest I absolutely love it. The only time I haven't played it was when I was working or sleeping over the past week and it's been a while since a game has grabbed me like that. I haven't played any of the previous games, though I'm going to get them on steam asap, so I can't compare the experience but despite the few remaining bugs the story and characters had me hooked and, like the author, I'm disappointed at the many loose ends and even more disappointed that they may never get resolved.
  • I loved Andromeda and never really encountered any show stopping bugs. Sure there were some occasional crappy animations, but I got those at times in Skyrim and Witcher 3 too and they were universally lauded. I can only guess that maybe the experience was worse on pc than Xbox? It really was very disappointing that the loud whiney voices controlled the conversation, but I guess that's just a manifestation of what's happening in our social media driven society generally.
  • Yeah, social media is a problem with most things. I thought the game was decent (not as good as the originals obviously), but certainly playable. I enjoyed my 40-60 hours, but wished for more. Shame on EA for killing a great franchise.
  • The only good thing in mass effect Andromeda is it's engine.
    Characters and storyline were so immature amateurly done that nothing could have saved it.
  • I'll do you one better. Bioware should never have been acquired by EA.
  • I had fun with this game. Blasting aliens and equipping mods to my armor and guns. The story is weak though and the game felt very short.
  • EA probably pulled the plug because any DLC or microtransactions wouldn't have made enough millions for them due to the hash that was made of Andromeda. EA are the the single worst entity within the gaming world at the moment, eating away at it like a cancer and draining money out of players like a blood sucking leech.