Death threats, abuse and crunch: what was behind the end of Mass Effect 3

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The Mass Effect trilogy was dismissed with controversy. Shepard’s story was closed in a way that did not satisfy some members of the community, as they felt that the decisions were barely reflected in the ending. Faced with this situation, BioWare relented and released an extended outage through an update patch. But what actually happened in the studio during that turbulent time? The youtuber People Make Games has collected the testimony of several former developers of the company, who have drawn a picture of crunch, abuse and death threats.

In Mass Effect 3, players had a choice between three options, which determined the future of the galaxy. But this also had its impact in the real world, because the developers were subjected to harassment and death threats. The fact of having to add new cinematics for the conclusion of the story caused one of the usual situations in the video game industry, labor exploitation. What’s more, the release of the free update was not free for the team nor the next project, Dragon Age: Inquisition, which was affected by the circumstances.

Crunch, an all too familiar practice

This is not the first time that crunch has been mentioned in BioWare. Mike Laidlaw, former creative director of the Dragon Age series, acknowledged in an interview with Eurogamer that the team was immersed in a brutal crunch during the development of the second installment, which was designed in record time. More recently, the Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem issues revealed that this practice was not extinct. Kotaku reproduced a situation of exploitation within the developer, which even Casey Hudson, already a former general manager of the company, publicly admitted.

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BioWare is currently working on the new installments of Dragon Age and Mass Effect, which still do not have a launch window or confirmed platforms.

Fuente | People Makes Games, Eurogamer

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