Last week, EA confirmed that Mass Effect: Andromeda developer BioWare Montreal would be joining EA Motive, which is currently making Star Wars Battlefront 2. The news followed the poor reception to Andromeda, as well as huge uncertainty over the future of the Mass Effect franchise.
Joining the crowd of voices who have weighed in about the game, a former developer from the studio has now weighed in as well. Manveer Heir was a gameplay designer on Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda prior to leaving BioWare Montreal not long before the game released. On Twitter, Heir responded to the news by saying “R.I.P BioWare Montreal” before adding that “getting the fuck out of that environment five months ago was the best move of my life, but I don’t really take joy in seeing the collapse.”
Although Heir doesn’t celebrate the demise of the studio, the developer did level some pretty major accusations at the company. Heir suggested that BioWare Montreal had a problem with racism and sexism, alluding to the sexist and racist harassment that he and some of his colleagues received during their time at the studio.
Referring to a report about Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s troubled development, Heir said that it was “worse than anyone on the outside probably realizes.” The developer also explained that while “most of that stuff” in the report was accurate, there is “a lot” that was left out.
While Heir suggests that he will tell the full story of his time at the studio at some point, these tweets are pretty scathing, and they cast a significant shadow of doubt on where the series will go next. There had already been allegations that Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s development was plagued with indecision, but the suggestion that the team was forced to deal with other stresses will raise questions too. These questions will need to be answered and addressed before production on another Mass Effect game begins, or else the morale of the team and the quality of the game could suffer then as well.
What’s positive, though, is that Heir believes that BioWare Montreal employees are now in good hands with Jade Raymond, the head of EA Motive. The former BioWare Montreal developer calls Raymond “good people,” reassuring a fan about the well-being of the Montreal team. If Heir’s comments are true, it’s still a shame that those developers had to work in a toxic environment at all, but hopefully the work with EA Motive on Star Wars Battlefront 2 won’t result in them wanting to leave the company like he did.