While the internet at large has had fun ripping Mass Effect: Andromeda a new one over its countless animation blunders, affairs took a nasty turn over the weekend. Dissatisfied with the apparent quality of the game launching this Tuesday, a couple of Mass Effect “fans” targeted Allie Rose-Marie Leost – one of the people who worked on motion-capture for EA, and Mass Effect Andromeda.
First circulating on some vile blog posts on equally vile websites, Leost’s Twitter feed quickly become a mess of hatred as people singled her out as the sole cause for the animation faults present in the game. The post in question also suggested that Leost might have attained her position through sexual favours – a snide comment that only fueled insults thrown at Leost during the weekend.
They’re all rather disgusting.
— Joshua Graham (@joshgraham704) 19 March 2017
Still wondering how many dicks @allierosemarie had to suck to get a position like that with such little talent or experience.
— a rabbit (@Stoagah) 19 March 2017
@allierosemarie Riiight. So it’s your fault the faces in Andromeda look like Body Snatchers, is it? Hope you’re proud of your work. Jfc.
— QTEBossBattle (@cyb0rgmous3) 19 March 2017
@allierosemarie how many bj animations did bioware make you do in your job interview? You are about as qualified asmy shits on burrito night
— Xearo (@BigXearo) 19 March 2017
— Hafiz Abu Hassan (@apizarshaveen) 19 March 2017
Unsurprisingly, it seems the very angry mob got a few things wrong. Incorrectly identified by the post in question, Leost was not actually the Lead Animator on Mass Effect: Andromeda. Although her (now changed) Twitter and LinkedIn bios previously stated as such, evidence points towards Leost being a part of an external team in Vancouver that aided BioWare’s team (located in Montreal) with facial-capture animations. A fact which has already been dug up in the game’s credits.
The hate being directed towards Leost alone was so severe that BioWare General Manager Aaryn Flynn felt compelled to make a statement, reprimanding the actions of so called fans and setting the record straight on the matter.
— BioWare (@bioware) 18 March 2017
Irrespective of where Leost worked, it seems woefully ignorant and incredibly vitriolic for a bunch of people to single out one person as the sole cause for the numerous issues Andromeda is facing in terms of animation. These sorts of implementations aren’t done single-handed, usually comprising of large teams to collaborate and integrate their work over the entire product. Tools and engine changes also lead to unexpected problems, and with Mass Effect making the transition over to Frostbite it’s conceivable that BioWare faced some difficulties getting things working perfectly.
That doesn’t change the fact that there are very clearly issues, but spewing hate at an individual online isn’t going to change that. Nor will it invoke a response from the studio in question that aligns with the demands of these digital pitchfork wielding mobs.
This isn’t critique; it’s childish behaviour at best. And it’s depressing to still see it exist.