Speaking to GamesReactor EA's Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund said that Mass Effect could return once the miasma surrounding the latest series entry dies down. He also thinks that Andromeda was judged unfairly by fans.
"Well I think, my personal opinion is, I think that the game... I usually don't do this, but this is one of those places where I feel like the game got criticised a little bit more than it deserved," EA's Executive Vice President Patrick Söderlund told GameReactor.
"I think the game is actually a great game. Yes, we have to acknowledge the fact that there were some things that maybe we could have done better, absolutely, but as a whole, if you go in and you buy the game today with everything that's in it today, I believe that that's a game worth buying, personally."
First off, lets be fair. Mass Effect: Andromeda may very well be worth the currently common asking price of roughly £20, and it's on sale reliably frequently ever since EA realised that no one in their right mind is going to pay close to £50 after all of the negative user and critic reviews the game was showered with.
The mind-blowing audacity of this statement only becomes apparent when one considers EA's part in why Andromeda turned out the way it did in the first place.
Mass Effect: Andromeda was developed by only a third of the staff that the previous series entry had at its disposal. During the very short effective development time of 18 months, BioWare Montreal lost employees that were never replaced, particularly in the animation department. Both EA and BioWare knew what a mess they had on their hands before the game shipped, yet nobody considered toning down the release hype or easing off the usual pre-order advertisement. And it's not like the two companies didn't already know how volatile Mass Effect fans can be when they feel that the series is being mistreated.
All in all, everything surrounding Andromeda felt like an afterthought on part of both the developer and publisher. The series has lost some of its momentum with Mass Effect 3 and its DLC, and most of the production staff moved on to other projects. But EA wasn't done with the IP, realising that there was still money to be squeezed out of the Mass Effect brand, capitalising on the sheer inertia remaining in the series.
EA even went as far as saying that Andromeda did ok as far as their bottom line was concerned in a fiscal report calling it a "significant contributor" to digital sales, and considering that the game is still being sold in its current state, with no plans on fixing any of the remaining issues - the above comment from EA's VP seems more than a little unfair.
If there was any mistreatment going on regarding Andromeda, then it was rooted in the way mainly EA and in part Zombie BioWare have treated the game since its inception. Releasing a broken mess of a product, then saying that criticism aimed at it was unfair while abandoning any effort at trying to fix it, and after simultaneously dismantling the studio that made the game is a feat of doublethink only an EA higher-up can pull off with what I presume was a straight face.