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:

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.

12 Comments

  • Matt Reply

    March 19, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    And you’re not going to bring up the common thread to all of these death and rape threats — that they keep perpetually happening to women? Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room.

    • Liana Ruppert Reply

      March 19, 2017 at 7:43 PM

      I’m unsure what you mean by that. other than what I think you mean that I’m ignoring the issue that this is an issue women in the industry face. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I am the author – I am also a woman – and I am woman that has DEFINITELY faced similar threats in the industry. I briefly touched on that it happens more for women, but I have done separate pieces specifically for the “elephant” in the room. This piece is about her – and to show contrast so people read it and don’t immediately discount it for “ERRRMGADHGAWWD LOOK AT THIS ‘SJW’ UGJKHSDLJFSLDF” BS, I added an element of inclusion. I’m not ignoring anything – I’ve written about it in the past – especially when GamerGate first hit the fan – and I will write about it in the future. My 10 years of writing is not condensed into one piece.

      • Doctor Man M.D. Reply

        March 21, 2017 at 1:25 AM

        I’m not even a public figure and I still get death and rape threats over the internet. I just don’t go crying about it on the internet lol

        • Liana Ruppert Reply

          March 21, 2017 at 3:38 PM

          Since when has having an adult conversation been considered “crying”? – I swear, internet culture gets sillier by the minute.

  • Kropolis Reply

    March 19, 2017 at 1:49 PM

    She doesn’t need to be harassed if she wasn’t involved. But if she were responsible for the ridiculous animations and/or character designs then I’m all for calling people out so they step down or are fired. It allows for change within the organization so mishaps like this don’t occur. However, there is a line of civility that shouldn’t be crossed.

  • Tim Fu Reply

    March 19, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    Sorry to be pedantic, but I think it’s ‘vicious’ not ‘viscous’. Otherwise, I totally agree with you. Personal attacks are uncalled for, and make us all look bad.

  • Ben Morton Reply

    March 19, 2017 at 5:19 PM

    Its actually appalling that anyone believed they can threaten an individuals life for any reason. Makes me feel a bit sick

  • viktor Reply

    March 19, 2017 at 9:38 PM

    Oh my god, Dragon age 2 is one of my favorite games and I didnt know people harrassed the writer to quit. That makes me incredibly sad and shocked. That shouldnt happen! Those scums who harrass the artists and writers and other staff should be stopped immediately so nothing like this ever happens. There are hundreds of thousands of fans who suffer from such untolerable behavior. We love the people of Bioware. We want them to keep doing great work. People who harrass are not true fans. They need to be stopped before they destroy the thing that makes Bioware great and so loved: the people who work there.

  • Chris Reply

    March 20, 2017 at 12:02 AM

    good writing. i am not one who gets too much into gaming communities, even though i am an avid gamer. What I am seeing here is the decrease of morals over the last ten years to the point where people think it is ok to be vicious. We are seeing the same things outside of gaming with the political movements. It is a liberal mindset that thinks they are a victim and they lash out with extreme. This is sad that people have let themselves go so far down. Just remember there are those of us who appreciate the work that is put into making these games and letting us play them.

  • Chris Reply

    March 20, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    Absolutely horrible. These little shits deserve to get punished badly. Like being put in prison with real criminals badly. Violence or threatening with violence is never a good thing, so punishment’s should be severe. To think people can’t make mistakes without such a horrible response is insane. On top of which, she wasn’t even involved in any way. The guy who “outed” her (and subsequently turned out to be wrong) deserves a year sentence at the very minimum.

    And in all seriousness, it’s a videogame. You’d have to be the most worthless looser to care this much about a videogame. They don’t even deserve the air they breath.

  • Feldspar Reply

    March 21, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Looks like Allie got caught in the shitstorm that White Tears coffee mug started.

    I don’t care about twitter feuds, or the opinions of 14 year-olds as long as the game is good. Hopefully the shortcomings, if correctly reported, were just incomplete in the trial version.

    Good facial animation and playing a blue-eyed brunette white girl aren’t necessities but would improve the game for me.

  • Peter Moore Gives His Final Farewell to the Gaming Industry (VIDEO) - Don't Feed the Gamers Reply

    April 16, 2017 at 5:31 PM

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