BioWare Makes an Official Statement Regarding the Attack on Allie Rose-Marie Leost
The release of Mass Effect Andromeda is almost here and the team over at BioWare has definitely had their hands full with the outpouring of excitement with each trailer, and the backlash of animation issues that were reflected in early reviews and the 10 hour trial of the latest RPG. A recent, and unfortunate, development with the team occurred this week when the critiques took a more volatile tone, all seemingly directed towards one individual. The harassment of Allie Rose-Marie Leost quickly escalated from constructive, to dangerous – and come to find out, she may not even have been involved.
BioWare has since released an official statement across their socials to address the harassment that has grown exponentially like wild fire. The statement itself was made by Aaryn Flynn, the studio’s general manager. You can see what he had to say in the tweet below:
— BioWare (@bioware) March 18, 2017
Leost has worked for EA as a part of the team in Vancouver working in the motion-capture labs – the harassment should never become vicious like some of the threats she experienced, some of the messages and taunts were nothing short of abusive and crossed the line from voicing a community concern into vitriol hate. After BioWare made their statement, confusion erupted with claims of “who is lying?” because her socials indicated that she was the Lead Animator for Andromeda, and BioWare claims differently.
But attacking individuals, regardless of their involvement in the project, is never acceptable.”
The drastic turn this criticism took was shocking – up until this point, many voiced their concerns on an individual basis and it did inspire some hilarity with the internet reacting in the way it often does: making those sweet, sweet memes. Once it took a more twisted, and specific, turn – that is when things went from community feedback to cruelty. As mentioned, the confusion of who she really is in relation to Andromeda kicked up additional dirt, shifting away from the actual issue – that this type of behaviour is completely abhorrent. Keeping a critical eye and voicing disapproval should never take a violent turn. That’s not how effective changes can be made or heard, nor is that a way to represent the gaming community.
Unfortunately, constructive criticism turning ugly is nothing new to not just game developers as a whole, but also to BioWare. Jennifer Hepler was forced to resign after being the target of an overwhelming amount of death threats to both her and her family over the writing in Dragon Age 2, which was met with a plethora of negative feedback following Dragon Age Origins. No Man’s Sky is another recent case, but those are no where near the only isolated cases.
This puts the gaming community in a very unfortunate place, especially with outside media scrutiny. When things like this happen, when construct becomes destructive, we, as a gaming microcosm, are put under a glaring microscope meant to pick us apart and align us within the negative stereotype those outside of the industry like to paint us as. The people behind these games – they are just that, people. They have flaws, they have beauty, they have blunders, they have creative genius, they make mistakes, they make up for mistakes – they are only human. Let’s make gaming positive – and positive doesn’t mean turn a blind eye to what you think should change, it simply means to not lose your humanity over the way you present yourself.
Liana Ruppert578 Posts
With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Mass Effect, Liana has been an avid collector of gaming and comic memorabilia for well over two decades. With a passion for writing, gaming, and comics - she is currently working as Editor-in-Chief for the revival of Prima Games, with previous managing editor experience with several gaming publications including ComicBook.com, The Hollywood Reporter, TwinGalaxies, and other outlets. She is also the Co-Owner and Managing Editor for DFTG. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, as well as several Facebook communities online.