Mass Effect Andromeda and Memories of No Mans Sky

Just the other day I read an article by Tony Cocking 5 Life Lessons from the Nintendo 3ds and it has me thinking about Bioware’s latest title which launched today. Now Andromeda is being published by EA and it’s the knee-jerk reaction of any gamer to despise anything EA gets their money grubbing hands on but for once it seems this only partially their fault.

So before I rip into Bioware we’ll have a lovely rant about how awful EA is and how they’re ruining the industry because no-one enjoys anything more than that. So dare I mention the dreaded word…



Drum roll, please…

Standard Pre-order bonus

  • Deep Space Explorer Armour: woo a skin
  • Multiplayer Booster Pack: 5 50% XP boosters so you can reach the fun levels faster
  • Nomad skin: it’s exactly what it says it is

The deluxe edition (sounds a lot better than it is)

  • Everything that comes with standard
  • Pathfinder Casual Outfit: for those casual Friday missions
  • Scavenger Armour: another skin
  • Pathfinder Elite Weapon Set (4): like pay to win but in single player where it doesn’t matter.
  • Pet Pyjak: okay not even I can hate on a pet space monkey. This is probably the one good thing in this steaming pile.
  • Digital Soundtrack: because YouTube doesn’t exist
  • Multiplayer Deluxe Launch Pack: yay more guns for multiplayer

Multiplayer Super Deluxe Booster Packs

  • Everything above
  • Multiplayer Super Deluxe Booster Packs: hey guys maybe if we string enough impressive sounding words together they’ll think this is actually worth the extra $20

And of course, I’ve saved the best till last, the cherry on the cake, the Nomad editions

Collector’s Edition – Diecast Nomad ND1

  • A 1:18 scale diecast replica of the Nomad ND1
  • That’s it.
  • No other bonuses
  • Not even the game.

Collector’s Edition – Remote Control Nomad ND1

  • A 1:18 scale RC Nomad ND1 with six-wheel drive
  • An app to control it
  • No game

So, let’s break this down. To get every single possible thing, the RC Nomad and all the in-game bonuses, you will need to give EA $320 USD ($413AUD). To put that in perspective that’s roughly 5 AAA titles (going off the average US price of $60). Now go ahead and try to tell me this is perfectly normal, that this isn’t ridiculous in the extreme. It gets worse though because you have to remember that some people paid $320 for… this.

ando(As one gamer to another, whoever pre-ordered this… I feel your pain)

So how does all this relate to No Man’s Sky (don’t worry I’m getting to Bioware)? Well, it’s the exact same case of ridiculous marketing promising everything and delivering next to nothing. I won’t go too deep down the rabbit hole of Sean Murray’s elaborate lies because those are so widely covered at this point it’s a tad pointless. But consider the lessons One Man’s Lie tried to teach us:

  1. Don’t lie to your audience
  2. Don’t promise futuristic graphics and then deliver something that looks like it came from the 360 era
  3. Relying on pre-orders to break even before everyone realises just how awful your product is, is a spectacular way to sink your IP
  4. Release the product when it’s finished.

Case in point: pre-release footage vs release

Anyone can see that EA and Bioware haven’t learned these lessons, or even really paid attention to them at all. Instead, believing that the Mass Effect title alone is enough to sell this lacklustre instalment.  Every review I’ve read so far from both renowned industry critics and the common man alike points to this being an abject failure. A universe as wide as an ocean but as deep as a puddle (sound familiar?) with generic Sci-Fi plot 13 woven in.

Now it’s clear I’m no fan of EA and you might think I’d be celebrating this abysmal performance, honestly, I’m just sad. I doubt Bioware will be given a chance to redeem themselves given EA’s track record of running studio’s into the ground then shutting them down when the cash flow dries up. Mass Effect was a great series and I’ll mourn the inevitable death of Bioware. All we can hope for is that this is a

All we can hope for is that this is a wake-up call for others in the industry, that you can’t just sell on title alone, that we have standards and expect those to be met. With so many amazing titles currently being released from the big budget Horizon Zero Dawn and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to smaller indie games like Streets of Rogue the bar’s set higher than ever.

I’ll just leave you with this, a picture speaks a thousand words after all.

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