A ‘Crowded Review Environment’ Is the Reason Why Mass Effect: Andromeda Underperformed

BioWare Producer Mark Darrah Gives His Insight

When Mass Effect: Andromeda was released last year in March, reception to the game was significantly lower than previous entries in the series. Even we called BioWare’s space adventure our most disappointing game in 2017. Now, BioWare producer Mark Darrah has decided to give his two cents on why Mass Effect: Andromeda underperformed and what he believes could’ve contributed to the game’s lacklustre reception.

Mass Effect Andromeda Top Screen

In a series of tweets today, Darrah — while admitting that Andromeda is a “deeply flawed game” — blames a “crowded” review environment as the main reason for what hurt Andromeda. If you recall, NieR: Automata, Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were all released just mere weeks before Andromeda. This is what Darrah is saying about the review environment being “crowded” while also pointing out that each of these games “does something better” than Andromeda.

“As a result, even systems that are pretty decent get scrutinized against superiorly implemented ones,” he says in regards to the crowded review environment. Darrah doesn’t believe that the game’s 72 Metacritic score would suddenly skyrocket to a 90, but perhaps a few points higher at around 76 or 77.

Darrah thinks that slight Metacritic score difference likely would have had “some” effect on sales, but states that word of mouth matters “so much these days.”

“That’s the nature of the industry,” concluded Darrah. “You don’t have full control over when you launch and no control over when others do. You launch the best game you can. MEA has a lot of problems and got lapped by genuinely better games.”

BioWare’s next game is Anthem, which will be an all-new IP for the studio and is dated February 22nd, 2019 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

What do you think about Mark Darrah’s comments? Tell us your thoughts down below.