*Correction: The article previously mentioned: "Anthem's poor sales due to its bad reputation." It should have stated Andromeda instead of Anthem since the latter is still in development. The error has now been corrected.
We all know that Bioware’s Mass Effect: Andromeda was a disappointment as the game received negative feedback, a stark contrast with previous entries in the franchise. However, one of Bioware’s producer shared his insight as he believes that the timing of the game’s release also contributed to Andromeda’s abysmal review scores.
Posting his opinion on Twitter, Executive Producer Mark Darrah stated that Andromeda was released on a crowded schedule and was consequently overshadowed by other big titles. During Andromeda’s release, several other games such as Nier: Automata, Nioh, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were also launched weeks before Andromeda. Darrah admitted that each of those games did something better than Andromeda, which he also believed to be a “flawed game.”
For producer Darrah, Andromeda’s “pretty decent” elements were unfairly compared to those other games as players and critics just came out fresh from playing the mentioned titles. Of course, Darrah admits that releasing Andromeda at a different time would not change the review scores drastically as he admits that Andromeda “is a deeply flawed game. Especially at launch.” Furthermore, Darrah thinks that the scores would have been slightly better if the game was released a little further away from other successful titles.
“As a result [of the crowded review environment], even systems that are pretty decent get scrutinized against superiorly implemented ones. Does launching in a different window turn 72% into 90? Certainly not. 72 into 77/78? Maybe,” Darrah wrote on Twitter.
Given Andromeda's poor sales due to its bad reputation, Bioware reportedly put the entire franchise on hold. As of now, the developer is focused on developing Anthem to the best of their ability as the game will focus on unique storytelling and will learn from the mistakes made in Andromeda. Hopefully, Bioware will be able to redeem themselves with their upcoming IPs, but looking at how things are going for the studio, regaining their reputation will not be a walk in the park.