Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GM Switch-up at BioWare

For those who don't know, Aaryn Flynn, the current General Manager of BioWare, will be stepping down at the end of the month to peruse other projects. Former BW alum Casey Hudson will be returning to take the position. Hudson didn't stray far from BW. He's always held an "honorary" staff member position, but spent most of his time as a creative directing consultant to Microsoft.

This change over was unexpected, and some gamers are praising the decision through Twitter. With horrible hashtags such as #MakeMassEffectGreatAgain (ugh, people...this is why we have a Cheeto in the White House. How dare you.) And comments to "Save Mass Effect." It's a bit disheartening. The backlash from Andromeda was strong, about as bad as what I remember seeing in 2012 when people complained about the ending to ME3. The project that Hudson led, no less. He got a ton of flack for that game. Funny thing is, I'm sure some of those "fans" that are praising Hudson's return are the same ones that vilified him for ME3. Connecting those dots is almost too easy.

Flynn has stated that he's leaving after contemplating making changes to his life. He's been with BioWare since he graduated college and has had an experience a number of developers would dream of. But he's still young and has plenty of life left in him. It's not a bad time to go out and see the world. It's possible that the board members of EA wanted him to step down, and this was their way of doing it graciously. Or that Flynn is being 100% genuine (based on his tone, it feels like it) and has wanted to make some changes in his life.

Whatever the reason, I'm miffed at how poorly some people are responding to the news. Flooding Flynn and Hudson's Twitter with pointless hashtags, harassing EA and BW's social media with the same thing. Even worse is that I'm seeing some people arguing with those who like Andromeda, claiming they aren't fans of the series. I feel like I'm stumbling into the 'Star Wars' Prequel arguments once more. "You can't be a fan if you like Episode I!"

Whatever your position is on Andromeda, can we stop being dicks to other gamers and to the developers? This is petty and insulting to Flynn, Casey, and the network of people that developed Mass Effect. They believed in the game and worked hard on it. You can dislike a game. You can not agree with a company's direction in their product. Everyone is entitled to have their opinions. But be CIVIL about it. Acting like a 5 year old, calling people names, and belittling other gamers and developers is beneath us. Stuff like this is why people don't want to get into certain fandoms (check out Reddit's for 'Steven Universe' if you don't believe me). Let's not be that group of people and get back to what's amazing about Mass Effect. Everyone can love the games, whether it's the first or the last, and be a fan.

Flynn, thank you for your dedication to the team and we are going to miss you. Your influence at BW will last for a lifetime and we can't wait to see what you do next.

Hudson, welcome back. We know this is a coming home party for you. Your work continues to be an inspiration to the company and we are eager for you to continue your legacy.

Gamers, stop being dicks.


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