This anonymous individual's review paints an alarming and disturbing development cycle for MEA. Could his/her reasons be why the game is in the state it is today?
Take a look at some excerpts from below from the review. The link above has the full review.
It's very, very sad.
- "Bioware Edmonton and Montreal symbiosis is broken. Lots of conflicts and bro culture."
- "Lost over 13 leads (game design, art, audio, prog, senior core leads, etc) in 5 years at Bioware Montreal on Mass Effect. Edmonton lost only 3. It is clear that Edmonton has the bigger part of the stick when it comes to purge Leads and Producers who are not aligned with their leadership style."
- "Putting people on performance improvement program (PIP Program) is the new tactics to get rid of people. Once again more than 10 people in Montreal got slammed with this bureaucratic uppercut to let go people that are not bending to Edmonton leadership styles in the last revision cycle. This approach is used by the Montreal Leadership to purge the mess from the lack of vision cause by upper management in the last 4 years (throwing people under the bus to protect bad core management)"
- "Renaming crunch to Finaling mode. Which means company pays for your lunch but you have only 30 minutes to eat and then getting back on the keyboard. Was lasting for over 2 months and was a real catastrophy."
- "Retaliation and harassment is sadly a reality. If you talk and ask questions you will be tag as a trouble maker and end up in a bad position."
- "HR won't help you out. They will deny the current harassment from Monreal management by ignoring and not documenting the facts. In other words if you leave don't talk. Just let it go..."
- "Many benifits got cut due to too much time extension to get the game done."
In addition, take a look at the below video comparing the leaked 2016 MEA footage to the current footage.
Notice how the April 2016 leaked version has dramatically better animations, ESPECIALLY the facial animation when that guy starts coughing. What happened?!
In conclusion, it seems MEA had an insanely troubled development due to issues between teams, politics, nepotism, leadership conflicts, and lack of care for the actual developers themselves who had no say. I think this is the reason MEA is in the state it is. Crazy. What happens now? I'm still going to play this game. Mass Effect is my favorite set of games of all time and I will still sink 100+ enjoyable hours into MEA, but this discovery disturbs me. Makes me feel uneasy actually. I feel sorry for the developers who worked so hard on this game and had to endure this at BioWare. Why did this happen like this? Questions. So many questions.
I feel like we need to stop blaming the actual developers. The problem with MEA is much more than that and this review highlights much more disturbing issues about BioWare specifically, not the developers.
Speculate below, but be civil in this discussion.
Edit: Just want to say, this is purely SPECULATION. No one is pointing fingers here. We are all just fans of the series and are curious as to why MEA is in the state is in today. Take anything you read above or in this thread with a grain of salt. Keep this discussion civil everyone. Hope you all are excited for the release tonight as I am. Looking forward to the game.