BioWare Employee Busted in Dragon Age 2 Review Scandal - UPDATED

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Here's my issue. BioWare makes incredible games. They are one of, if not the, best developer in the industry right now. Yes, they don't quite have the extensive history of a Nintendo or SquareEnix. But, I would put the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series in an elite class of games. 99th percentile.

This "scandal" if we can call it that, just distracts from an excellent experience. Would I give DA2 a perfect? No. But, can you make an argument that it is a 10? Certainly.

More importantly, this just adds to EA's latest run of marketing nonsense. Please, just publish the games and tell people about it. BioWare built it...they will come. (Also, please do not take away my license to play Dragon Age 2, kthxbye).

Is it worth mentioning that the original review is up on the site, and I have never seen ANY requirements on metacritic stating that to review a game you cannot be tied to it, (or even have played it in case of trolls).

I am leaning towards this is just news grandstanding. But I don't know, as I am not buying the game because they felt it necessary to F steam users by not offering it for pre-order until the DAY after signature edition was no longer available. And then rather than just show some honesty and say "We didn't want to lose the potential money" they tried to shovel the BS line that it just happened to happen like that and that steam wouldn't accommodate them.

I will wait until it hits a steam weekend sale.

Knight Templar:

Popido:

Knight Templar:

That depends.
Are you suggesting that a review does not have the authors opinions within it?

In that case.
Are you implying that the authors opinion is not biased when judging hes own work?

Are you going to answer my bloody question or just play games? If you're going to keep dodging a simple question I don't see the point in talking with you.

His opinion may or may not be biased, but it doesn't really matter in this context.

I'll give you a hint: Hes opinion is biased. Whatever he says is null.

When you make your null look like a 10 and slap it on to your work as a selling point, you're being dishonest.

While reviewing matters in restaurant business, it doesnt in gaming. Because its homogeneous, therefore null. Game reviews have no meaning as they are null. Even so, people still connect them with other forms of more honest reviews. Game publishers and devs knows this. Thats why they still pay sites to give them better scores.

Shit is so corrupted that they dont even try hide it.

Popido:

Knight Templar:

Popido:
In that case.
Are you implying that the authors opinion is not biased when judging hes own work?

Are you going to answer my bloody question or just play games? If you're going to keep dodging a simple question I don't see the point in talking with you.

His opinion may or may not be biased, but it doesn't really matter in this context.

I'll give you a hint: Hes opinion is biased. Whatever he says is null.

When you make your null look like a 10 and slap it on to your work as a selling point, you're being dishonest.

People who created something are able to look at their work critically, but given the context it does not matter.
Also since you have ignored what I have said with every post in addition to falling to answer my question, I don't think you care what I have to say.

TheMadJack:

rsvp42:

Dany Rioux:
Another brick hits BioWreck.

When will this stop? Maybe someone will remove its EA hat and realize their in the deep end.

Oh and if you think, as an employee working for developer, to artificially inflate the score of said employer's release, at least have the brains to use a nickname that can't be linked back to you.

Really, a dumbass move.

To me, after ME3, it's goodbye to BioWreck. It saddens me, but at this point I don't have much choice. I profoundly hate unethical people/companies. That was the last straw.

A bit overdramatic of you. So the Metacritic score goes from 4.2 to 4.2001? That's "inflating?"

Whatever, if people want to get up in arms about BioWare on this site for stupid reasons, that's their choice. The belligerent self-righteousness on the Escapist is getting almost unbearable.

This has nothing to do with Metacritic. I don't care if they succeeded in kicking their rating up. What I don't and will never digest, is companies using their own workforce to try to compensate for their own lacks. DA2 has serious issues for me as a RPG fan, I disemboweled it on my personal blog and I'm sure BioWreck has read it (I could look up the IPs but I'm too lazy to do so and it also wouldn't serve crap). The thing is, they made a shoddy, fast-tracked game (we can all thank EA for that, again) that displeased many, many RPG fans. As me, several of these people were vocal and made their feelings known.

Now, because of the backlash, BioWreck whom I, for a very long time, have loved and, dare I say it, worshiped, is trying to push themselves out of the muck. Granted, it might or not work, but here it's the intent that counts.

I have nothing against them asking their user-base to go and fix the rating, although I would think that if these users loved the game so much they would've already made their thoughts known.

In one short sentence: This is unethical. It's biased, and BioWreck will reap the "benefit" of it, one way of the other.

How cute, you have a little pet name for them.

BioWare didn't order anyone to do this. It's not their company policy to send people out to make fake reviews for their products and if it was, they would cover their freaking tracks. This is clearly just one employee who made a hasty decision to support his studio and its work. Can we really fault him for that? I'm working on a feature film right now and you better believe I'll give it a good user review if I see others bashing it. I respect the work that we do here and the artists that do it.

As for DA2, I'm sorry to all the "RPG purists" who felt let down. Really, I am. But if we instead look at the game as just a fantasy action RPG with a focus on fast combat and a story that explores the life of a character instead of his/her quest to destroy a big bad boss, then isn't it better? When I play games or watch movies, I take them for what they are and what they try to do. The simple fact of the matter is that DA2 is NOT trying to be DA:O. I don't know if BioWare ever intended it to be like DA:O, but clearly the final product is its own piece of entertainment. Are there flaws? Yes, my main gripe is the repeated environments/dungeons. But as a smaller scale experience with dynamic combat and fun characters/story, DA2 is successful. It's not BioWare's magnum opus, no, but it does what it sets out to do.

You're free to hate BioWare and call it whatever stupid name you want, but I think any reasonable person should just chalk this up as a "meh" and move on. It's like everyone is taking it personally.

tofucyborg:
What a non-issue. 1) He is an individual. 2) He may actually be enthralled with the game, ESPECIALLY after working on a small part of it (apps are far from level design, sorry). 3) He posted a USER review.

This article is an overreaction and a blemish on the Escapist name.

I'm trying to think of something... it might be important...

I remember!

Conflict of Interests.
Bias.

Your argument is invalid.

And here I am . . . Playing the game(well. taking a break) . . . Trying not to give a single fuck about this shit storm it has created. It's all kind of amusing really.

Question:

Why do people still give a shit as to what Metacritic says? Everyone knows it's as accurate as fuck whether the game is a pile of shit or one of the gateways into enlightenment.

MrSnugglesworth:

tofucyborg:
What a non-issue. 1) He is an individual. 2) He may actually be enthralled with the game, ESPECIALLY after working on a small part of it (apps are far from level design, sorry). 3) He posted a USER review.

This article is an overreaction and a blemish on the Escapist name.

I'm trying to think of something... it might be important...

I remember!

Conflict of Interests.
Bias.

Your argument is invalid.

It's still an overreaction. Everyone has a bias, some stronger than others. The slew of 0 scores on there is evidence of that. It's like no one can have an opinion anymore without divulging their entire personal history. Even Greg Tito was accused of being paid off for his review of DA2. Haters of DA2 should just be happy with their successful review bombs and leave it at that. One or two BioWare employees making their opinions known, even anonymously, is hardly a problem and the Escapist calling it a "scandal" is an overreaction.

rsvp42:

MrSnugglesworth:

tofucyborg:
What a non-issue. 1) He is an individual. 2) He may actually be enthralled with the game, ESPECIALLY after working on a small part of it (apps are far from level design, sorry). 3) He posted a USER review.

This article is an overreaction and a blemish on the Escapist name.

I'm trying to think of something... it might be important...

I remember!

Conflict of Interests.
Bias.

Your argument is invalid.

It's still an overreaction. Everyone has a bias, some stronger than others. The slew of 0 scores on there is evidence of that. It's like no one can have an opinion anymore without divulging their entire personal history. Even Greg Tito was accused of being paid off for his review of DA2. Haters of DA2 should just be happy with their successful review bombs and leave it at that. One or two BioWare employees making their opinions known, even anonymously, is hardly a problem and the Escapist calling it a "scandal" is an overreaction.

But he worked on the game and his lively hood is built into the games success.
By anonymously posting his review he has lost all credibility due to conflict of interests. If he had said "I am a Bioware employee, but this is really how I feel about the game" then he may still be accused of foul play, it would be far less of an issue.

MrSnugglesworth:
But he worked on the game and his lively hood is built into the games success.
By anonymously posting his review he has lost all credibility due to conflict of interests. If he had said "I am a Bioware employee, but this is really how I feel about the game" then he may still be accused of foul play, it would be far less of an issue.

Where did it say he worked on the game?

And what credibility? It's a section for user-submitted reviews. There's no way of knowing if anyone on there even played the game, so all "credibility" goes out the window anyway.

So yeah, calling this a scandal is a huge overreaction.

Where's the bad idea seal when we need it.

rsvp42:

TheMadJack:

rsvp42:

A bit overdramatic of you. So the Metacritic score goes from 4.2 to 4.2001? That's "inflating?"

Whatever, if people want to get up in arms about BioWare on this site for stupid reasons, that's their choice. The belligerent self-righteousness on the Escapist is getting almost unbearable.

This has nothing to do with Metacritic. I don't care if they succeeded in kicking their rating up. What I don't and will never digest, is companies using their own workforce to try to compensate for their own lacks. DA2 has serious issues for me as a RPG fan, I disemboweled it on my personal blog and I'm sure BioWreck has read it (I could look up the IPs but I'm too lazy to do so and it also wouldn't serve crap). The thing is, they made a shoddy, fast-tracked game (we can all thank EA for that, again) that displeased many, many RPG fans. As me, several of these people were vocal and made their feelings known.

Now, because of the backlash, BioWreck whom I, for a very long time, have loved and, dare I say it, worshiped, is trying to push themselves out of the muck. Granted, it might or not work, but here it's the intent that counts.

I have nothing against them asking their user-base to go and fix the rating, although I would think that if these users loved the game so much they would've already made their thoughts known.

In one short sentence: This is unethical. It's biased, and BioWreck will reap the "benefit" of it, one way of the other.

How cute, you have a little pet name for them.

BioWare didn't order anyone to do this. It's not their company policy to send people out to make fake reviews for their products and if it was, they would cover their freaking tracks. This is clearly just one employee who made a hasty decision to support his studio and its work. Can we really fault him for that? I'm working on a feature film right now and you better believe I'll give it a good user review if I see others bashing it. I respect the work that we do here and the artists that do it.

As for DA2, I'm sorry to all the "RPG purists" who felt let down. Really, I am. But if we instead look at the game as just a fantasy action RPG with a focus on fast combat and a story that explores the life of a character instead of his/her quest to destroy a big bad boss, then isn't it better? When I play games or watch movies, I take them for what they are and what they try to do. The simple fact of the matter is that DA2 is NOT trying to be DA:O. I don't know if BioWare ever intended it to be like DA:O, but clearly the final product is its own piece of entertainment. Are there flaws? Yes, my main gripe is the repeated environments/dungeons. But as a smaller scale experience with dynamic combat and fun characters/story, DA2 is successful. It's not BioWare's magnum opus, no, but it does what it sets out to do.

You're free to hate BioWare and call it whatever stupid name you want, but I think any reasonable person should just chalk this up as a "meh" and move on. It's like everyone is taking it personally.

DA2 sold partially on the good name of DAO so you can't separate the two to make it look better just like you can't say "Well, Zelda Twilight Princess is better if you call it something else".

rsvp42:

MrSnugglesworth:
But he worked on the game and his lively hood is built into the games success.
By anonymously posting his review he has lost all credibility due to conflict of interests. If he had said "I am a Bioware employee, but this is really how I feel about the game" then he may still be accused of foul play, it would be far less of an issue.

Where did it say he worked on the game?

And what credibility? It's a section for user-submitted reviews. There's no way of knowing if anyone on there even played the game, so all "credibility" goes out the window anyway.

So yeah, calling this a scandal is a huge overreaction.

He didn't, that's the point.
Credibility, in that I can trust what he's saying because he's being honest. If he's not being honest, the trust is broken and he loses credibility.

But you're correct, it shouldn't be a scandal. The review should be removed and everyone can go on with our lives.

Knight Templar:

Popido:

Knight Templar:

Are you going to answer my bloody question or just play games? If you're going to keep dodging a simple question I don't see the point in talking with you.

His opinion may or may not be biased, but it doesn't really matter in this context.

I'll give you a hint: Hes opinion is biased. Whatever he says is null.

When you make your null look like a 10 and slap it on to your work as a selling point, you're being dishonest.

People who created something are able to look at their work critically, but given the context it does not matter.
Also since you have ignored what I have said with every post in addition to falling to answer my question, I don't think you care what I have to say.

Being critical to yourself doesnt necessary make it any more accurate. You still need 3rd party member that presents the vocal voice of the target audience to review your work. Gaming mostly have just these hired Yes mans.

I dont really know what to say to you. Reviewer cant be biased or it will not make any sense.

MrSnugglesworth:

rsvp42:

MrSnugglesworth:
I'm trying to think of something... it might be important...

I remember!

Conflict of Interests.
Bias.

Your argument is invalid.

It's still an overreaction. Everyone has a bias, some stronger than others. The slew of 0 scores on there is evidence of that. It's like no one can have an opinion anymore without divulging their entire personal history. Even Greg Tito was accused of being paid off for his review of DA2. Haters of DA2 should just be happy with their successful review bombs and leave it at that. One or two BioWare employees making their opinions known, even anonymously, is hardly a problem and the Escapist calling it a "scandal" is an overreaction.

But he worked on the game and his lively hood is built into the games success.

One review on Metacritic probably isn't going to matter either way.

By anonymously posting his review he has lost all credibility due to conflict of interests.

You're just parroting words you don't really understand, aren't you?

If he had said "I am a Bioware employee, but this is really how I feel about the game" then he may still be accused of foul play, it would be far less of an issue.

This is the same website where people are giving the game 0s without even playing it. He'd be flamed if he outed himself, and I think he has just as much right to be anonymous as everyone else.

Popido:

Knight Templar:

Popido:
I'll give you a hint: He's opinion is biased. Whatever he says is null.

When you make your null look like a 10 and slap it on to your work as a selling point, you're being dishonest.

People who created something are able to look at their work critically, but given the context it does not matter.
Also since you have ignored what I have said with every post in addition to falling to answer my question, I don't think you care what I have to say.

Being critical to yourself doesnt necessary make it any more accurate.

Critical thinking does make something more accurate by and large.

You still need 3rd party member that presents the vocal voice of the target audience to review your work. Gaming mostly have just these hired Yes mans.

I don't really know what to say to you. Reviewer cant be biased or it will not make any sense.

You seem to have lost sight of the fact it's a user review.

You know what? It's clear you don't care what I have to say, which means there is no point in talking further. 

drunken_munki:

vrbtny:
Ooooh, busted!!!

Maybe this is BioWare trying to counter those several million 3/10 user review scores....

Why counter what the general pubic think about your product? How about they return to what made DAO successful instead of defending their BS? LOL dude.

In other words, you want more or less the exact same game as the first one.

This is the same website where people are giving the game 0s without even playing it. He'd be flamed if he outed himself, and I think he has just as much right to be anonymous as everyone else.

Yes, legally. It doesn't make this behavior any less unprofessional and, depending on whether or not he intended to mislead the readers, unethical.

In other words, you want more or less the exact same game as the first one.

Is it okay if I want a better game than the first one?

Which differs him from most of the other reviews how? People aren't honest on sites like MC and IMDb. For all we know, he might've sincerely believed what he was typing, and just thought that modeling it on ad copy was a good idea.

FieryTrainwreck:
This is getting to be stupid. You've got dozens of people defending Bioware and DA2 to the death in this thread when it should be glaringly obvious by now

The phrase "glaringly obvious" is rarely used by anyone who isn't trying to prop up their opinion.

that DA2 did not meet expectations

Whose expectations?

and Bioware is badly screwing the pooch with regard to PR. Seriously, do you people have blinders on? You like the game? Happy for you. TONS OF PEOPLE DON'T, and they're just as entitled to express their opinions as anyone else.

Oh, you meant the expectations of people who were expecting a reheated DAO.

By subset of RPG players, do you mean RPG players?

See, you're making your opinion out to be a majority one again.

Because DA2 only seems to appeal to Bioware RPG players - or as a lot of people

How nice it must be to have these large, faceless masses agreeing with you.

see them, fans of extremely linear action games with a small handful of RPG elements masquerading as full-fledged RPGs.

And now you're veering pretty close to insulting the people who *did* like the game.

And the reason so many of these "mouth-breathers" have enough free time to slame sites with bad reviews? There aren't a lot of fucking games for them to play anymore.

Read a book.

That's probably why they're so up in arms about all of the changes in DA2.

Why don't they just go outside?

What would you do if your preferred genre/style of gaming was rapidly vanishing on account of larger market forces seemingly beyond your control?

I'd turn off the console and read a book.

You'd probably make a bit of a stink in the hopes that maybe devs would realize you are part of a passionate and increasingly untapped market.

"A bit of a stink", he says. You're using emotional language to paint yourselves as an embattled minority.

Oh, and all the meta-convos about what defines an opinion and whether or not the guy even did anything wrong? Sorry, that stuff has been decided already.

Yet I somehow missed the Supreme Court ruling.

If you were part of a production, authoring a publicly-available assessment of your own work without disclosing your relationship to the product is completely unethical. Period. There's no debating this point, and anyone trying to do so has no grasp of the situation whatsoever.

In other words, everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and you're not willing to argue the point, ever. Glad that's sorted.

JonnWood:

MrSnugglesworth:

rsvp42:

It's still an overreaction. Everyone has a bias, some stronger than others. The slew of 0 scores on there is evidence of that. It's like no one can have an opinion anymore without divulging their entire personal history. Even Greg Tito was accused of being paid off for his review of DA2. Haters of DA2 should just be happy with their successful review bombs and leave it at that. One or two BioWare employees making their opinions known, even anonymously, is hardly a problem and the Escapist calling it a "scandal" is an overreaction.

But he worked on the game and his lively hood is built into the games success.

One review on Metacritic probably isn't going to matter either way.

By anonymously posting his review he has lost all credibility due to conflict of interests.

You're just parroting words you don't really understand, aren't you?

If he had said "I am a Bioware employee, but this is really how I feel about the game" then he may still be accused of foul play, it would be far less of an issue.

This is the same website where people are giving the game 0s without even playing it. He'd be flamed if he outed himself, and I think he has just as much right to be anonymous as everyone else.

Hahaha, yeah I was raging, what can I say.

I don't really care much about it any more.

rsvp42:

TheMadJack:

rsvp42:

A bit overdramatic of you. So the Metacritic score goes from 4.2 to 4.2001? That's "inflating?"

Whatever, if people want to get up in arms about BioWare on this site for stupid reasons, that's their choice. The belligerent self-righteousness on the Escapist is getting almost unbearable.

This has nothing to do with Metacritic. I don't care if they succeeded in kicking their rating up. What I don't and will never digest, is companies using their own workforce to try to compensate for their own lacks. DA2 has serious issues for me as a RPG fan, I disemboweled it on my personal blog and I'm sure BioWreck has read it (I could look up the IPs but I'm too lazy to do so and it also wouldn't serve crap). The thing is, they made a shoddy, fast-tracked game (we can all thank EA for that, again) that displeased many, many RPG fans. As me, several of these people were vocal and made their feelings known.

Now, because of the backlash, BioWreck whom I, for a very long time, have loved and, dare I say it, worshiped, is trying to push themselves out of the muck. Granted, it might or not work, but here it's the intent that counts.

I have nothing against them asking their user-base to go and fix the rating, although I would think that if these users loved the game so much they would've already made their thoughts known.

In one short sentence: This is unethical. It's biased, and BioWreck will reap the "benefit" of it, one way of the other.

How cute, you have a little pet name for them.

BioWare didn't order anyone to do this. It's not their company policy to send people out to make fake reviews for their products and if it was, they would cover their freaking tracks. This is clearly just one employee who made a hasty decision to support his studio and its work. Can we really fault him for that? I'm working on a feature film right now and you better believe I'll give it a good user review if I see others bashing it. I respect the work that we do here and the artists that do it.

As for DA2, I'm sorry to all the "RPG purists" who felt let down. Really, I am. But if we instead look at the game as just a fantasy action RPG with a focus on fast combat and a story that explores the life of a character instead of his/her quest to destroy a big bad boss, then isn't it better? When I play games or watch movies, I take them for what they are and what they try to do. The simple fact of the matter is that DA2 is NOT trying to be DA:O. I don't know if BioWare ever intended it to be like DA:O, but clearly the final product is its own piece of entertainment. Are there flaws? Yes, my main gripe is the repeated environments/dungeons. But as a smaller scale experience with dynamic combat and fun characters/story, DA2 is successful. It's not BioWare's magnum opus, no, but it does what it sets out to do.

You're free to hate BioWare and call it whatever stupid name you want, but I think any reasonable person should just chalk this up as a "meh" and move on. It's like everyone is taking it personally.

You're missing the point.

This is like buying a Ferrari but getting a Cadillac. By buying a Ferrari, you expect the top of the line car. Nobody says Cadillac is a bad car maker or that its cars are not worth crap, but there's no denying it's inferior to Ferrari.

This is the same with BioWreck (let me have my fun will you?). I'm expecting a AAA game that I will enjoy for years. Community made addons, modules, etc. I'm, in fact, expecting things to be the way BioWare was; i.e.: the way it was before it forgot its roots and why DA has been created in the first place.

Now what do we get? An RPG-wannabe, a game dumbed down to the lower common denominator (EA). We also get a day-one DLC (which I can't abide to), we also get iffy performance and countless other things. Yes, those are not all major things, but this is NOT what we were used to with BioWare. I chose to blame EA and indirectly, the company itself who was touting the DA series as "Baldur's Gate"'s spiritual successor is many things, but that, it is not.

Who cares? So many people zero bombed it without ever playing it, so what if one of the devs who poured his blood sweat and tears wants to give it a 10/10 and a glow review?

Correct me if Im wrong, but didnt one of the developers tell the people who scored the game to "quit trolling?" because the game was bad, and told people to grow up?

WELL PASS THAT MEMO AROUND THE OFFICE THEN.

If you make a game people dont like, its because you were either lazy or dumb (play Dragon Age 2 after being told it was better then the first, I would have to say a bit of both). You dont see Bungie artificially inflating Halo 3 ODST, or CoD doing the same to Big Red One.

Live up to your mistakes. Dont be so fast to milk your series. And dont have the gull to inflate your own scores, just because of your bias towards the game.

Adding this to the list of reasons I stray as far away from BioWare and EA...

Andy Chalk:
UPDATE: Electronic Arts has apparently decided to balls it out with a statement to Kotaku that actually defends the review as no big deal. "Of course the people who make the game vote for their own game," a senior PR manager said. "That's how it works in the Oscars, that's how it works in the Grammy's and why I'm betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election."

Knowing Kotaku, I wouldn't be surprised if they embellished the statement.

Good fucking lord, it's just one thing after another with Bioware since Dragon Age II came out. Seriously, how much douchebaggery can Bioware churn out in such a short span?

Uber Waddles:
Correct me if Im wrong, but didnt one of the developers tell the people who scored the game to "quit trolling?" because the game was bad, and told people to grow up?

WELL PASS THAT MEMO AROUND THE OFFICE THEN.

If you make a game people dont like, its because you were either lazy or dumb (play Dragon Age 2 after being told it was better then the first, I would have to say a bit of both). You dont see Bungie artificially inflating Halo 3 ODST, or CoD doing the same to Big Red One.

Live up to your mistakes. Dont be so fast to milk your series. And dont have the gull to inflate your own scores, just because of your bias towards the game.

Adding this to the list of reasons I stray as far away from BioWare and EA...

I wouldn't stray away from EA period... Bioware, maybe, but EA not so much.

Speaking of which...

Dear Bioware,
Just stop. Seriously, just stop. Stop trying to defend the game. Stop trying to act like you know what we like better than we do. Just stop with the douchebaggery in general. In the span of about a week (if not less), my opinion of you guys have gone from a respectable and talented development company, to that of just sheer douchebaggy. Just stop, please.

Sincerly,
Sean Strife

PS: Now go stand in the corner and think about what you've done.

BAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!! Did you see that UPDATE?!
First Bioware says JRPGs are not RPGs, then they say Call of Duty is an RPG!
Then they are shown, IMO, to be whiny bitches about the DA2 reviews!
Then EA's hidden policy allowing them to lock you out of your game (if you buy from EA store and have a EA or Bioware forum account) for the vaguest reasons is made public knowledge, and they say it was all a mistake...
...Only to then stop a kid who they let purchase a game from playing said game because he's underage!
THEN there's the asshat moderators for Bioware stirring up trouble with curious fans on the forums
THEN there's a Bioware employee caught writing a positive review for DA2, a game his employers MADE
AND NOW the UPDATE!! (seriously read that update at the bottom. I love the escapist and Kotaku journalists for having that in printed word. Oh my crap... Favorited for future "Bioware and/or EA rules" arguments XDD)

EA & Bioware better hope Mass Effect 3 is God in digital form because they have been having violent intercourse with their own PR ever since DA2 was released. Wow. And they already had enough trouble releasing the game around the same time Skyrim is coming out. You really think you can afford this kind of crap when you have that kind of competition, EA&Bioware? Really?
__Even if Mass Effect 3 could give blowjobs for free, there's still a little something called "buying used" (legal piracy as brought to you by Gamestop). ME fans can still have their ME3 and don't have to support you for SHIT! AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!

*plays Yakuza 4 and Persona 4 while laughing hysterically*

TheMadJack:

You're missing the point.

This is like buying a Ferrari but getting a Cadillac. By buying a Ferrari, you expect the top of the line car. Nobody says Cadillac is a bad car maker or that its cars are not worth crap, but there's no denying it's inferior to Ferrari.

This is the same with BioWreck (let me have my fun will you?). I'm expecting a AAA game that I will enjoy for years. Community made addons, modules, etc. I'm, in fact, expecting things to be the way BioWare was; i.e.: the way it was before it forgot its roots and why DA has been created in the first place.

Now what do we get? An RPG-wannabe, a game dumbed down to the lower common denominator (EA). We also get a day-one DLC (which I can't abide to), we also get iffy performance and countless other things. Yes, those are not all major things, but this is NOT what we were used to with BioWare. I chose to blame EA and indirectly, the company itself who was touting the DA series as "Baldur's Gate"'s spiritual successor is many things, but that, it is not.

All valid opinions. Personally I feel that DA2 has a stronger design than DA:O. Characters have better faces, teeth aren't big brown chiclets filling up the mouth shapes, elves are actually designed to look lithe instead of just shorter humans, Qunari actually have a design now and aren't just tall guys with stern brows. Companions actually have abilities that make them unique, both visually and in terms of their abilities and I'm even noticing a lot of companion-specific content both in the story and during random party exchanges.

Battle is more fast-paced and visceral, but unfortunately more repetitive and with less variation in tactics. Fortunately, skill selection is clearer and abilities are more impressive, making the battles fun anyway.

Conversation options are comparable to Mass Effect 2. There are less options, but this is offset by having a character that is more than just an empty shell. This allows for some more emotionally satisfying connections, such as the one between Hawke and his sibling. Ultimately, the story feels more linear, but the more defined character is (for many) a welcome change from DA:O.

This is what I'm saying. It's all just opinion and preference. I think it's a shame that a decent game is getting this kind of treatment, just because it's different than what folks expected. There are so many improvements that I'm actually excited to see a DA3 that incorporates them all. Take the design and cinematic quality of DA2 and put it in a game with the scope of DA1 (or bigger) and BioWare will have a beast of a game. I'd hate to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater when it comes to DA2.

Always_Remain:
And here I am . . . Playing the game(well. taking a break) . . . Trying not to give a single fuck about this shit storm it has created. It's all kind of amusing really.

I feel the same, I'm having a blast playing the game and I'm genuinely entertained watching the shitstorm going on around here regarding it. Some people seem to be genuinely angry. It's a bit like going to the zoo. :)

TheMadJack:

rsvp42:

TheMadJack:

This has nothing to do with Metacritic. I don't care if they succeeded in kicking their rating up. What I don't and will never digest, is companies using their own workforce to try to compensate for their own lacks. DA2 has serious issues for me as a RPG fan, I disemboweled it on my personal blog and I'm sure BioWreck has read it (I could look up the IPs but I'm too lazy to do so and it also wouldn't serve crap). The thing is, they made a shoddy, fast-tracked game (we can all thank EA for that, again) that displeased many, many RPG fans. As me, several of these people were vocal and made their feelings known.

Now, because of the backlash, BioWreck whom I, for a very long time, have loved and, dare I say it, worshiped, is trying to push themselves out of the muck. Granted, it might or not work, but here it's the intent that counts.

I have nothing against them asking their user-base to go and fix the rating, although I would think that if these users loved the game so much they would've already made their thoughts known.

In one short sentence: This is unethical. It's biased, and BioWreck will reap the "benefit" of it, one way of the other.

How cute, you have a little pet name for them.

BioWare didn't order anyone to do this. It's not their company policy to send people out to make fake reviews for their products and if it was, they would cover their freaking tracks. This is clearly just one employee who made a hasty decision to support his studio and its work. Can we really fault him for that? I'm working on a feature film right now and you better believe I'll give it a good user review if I see others bashing it. I respect the work that we do here and the artists that do it.

As for DA2, I'm sorry to all the "RPG purists" who felt let down. Really, I am. But if we instead look at the game as just a fantasy action RPG with a focus on fast combat and a story that explores the life of a character instead of his/her quest to destroy a big bad boss, then isn't it better? When I play games or watch movies, I take them for what they are and what they try to do. The simple fact of the matter is that DA2 is NOT trying to be DA:O. I don't know if BioWare ever intended it to be like DA:O, but clearly the final product is its own piece of entertainment. Are there flaws? Yes, my main gripe is the repeated environments/dungeons. But as a smaller scale experience with dynamic combat and fun characters/story, DA2 is successful. It's not BioWare's magnum opus, no, but it does what it sets out to do.

You're free to hate BioWare and call it whatever stupid name you want, but I think any reasonable person should just chalk this up as a "meh" and move on. It's like everyone is taking it personally.

You're missing the point.

This is like buying a Ferrari but getting a Cadillac. By buying a Ferrari, you expect the top of the line car. Nobody says Cadillac is a bad car maker or that its cars are not worth crap, but there's no denying it's inferior to Ferrari.

This is the same with BioWreck (let me have my fun will you?). I'm expecting a AAA game that I will enjoy for years. Community made addons, modules, etc. I'm, in fact, expecting things to be the way BioWare was; i.e.: the way it was before it forgot its roots and why DA has been created in the first place.

Now what do we get? An RPG-wannabe, a game dumbed down to the lower common denominator (EA). We also get a day-one DLC (which I can't abide to), we also get iffy performance and countless other things. Yes, those are not all major things, but this is NOT what we were used to with BioWare. I chose to blame EA and indirectly, the company itself who was touting the DA series as "Baldur's Gate"'s spiritual successor is many things, but that, it is not.

Why not choose to blame yourself for having completely wrong expectations? Or indeed having expectations at all?

Sean Strife:

Dear Bioware,
Just stop. Seriously, just stop. Stop trying to defend the game. Stop trying to act like you know what we like better than we do. Just stop with the douchebaggery in general. In the span of about a week (if not less), my opinion of you guys have gone from a respectable and talented development company, to that of just sheer douchebaggy. Just stop, please.

Sincerly,
Sean Strife

PS: Now go stand in the corner and think about what you've done.

Doesn't help that the Escapist has been skewing all the stories in a negative light. Calling this a scandal? Blowing the whole accidental game lockout thing out of proportion? It's easy to spin this kind of thing the wrong way and users here are quick to jump on the highest horse they can find.

I think BioWare has made some missteps, sure, but to look at a couple problems surrounding one game and conclude that a company has fundamentally failed is taking it a little far.

BehattedWanderer:
Not too young, but probably young enough to be considered young, so you have that on me. I'm an engineer, and admittedly, my conflicts of interest center more or less around supporting the project, and not publicly dismissing the suppliers or client. If I wanted people to see that there are those out there who would support the project, given an arbitrary review score, I would say that I am not above fluffing said score, without acknowledging my position on it. Yes, it has a lobbyist feel to it, but being a bit underhanded without being the most estimable in one's PR still gets the name out there. Should it come to light that I was the one who fluffed the review to draw attention, then I would admit as much--but would say that it was for the purposes of drawing more attention, which in today's climate, is how you get more people to try it and form their own opinion. It might be in that ethically gray area, but ethically gray is where most people sit. They're willing to see an underhanded trick, as long as it doesn't hurt them. That's how I feel on the matter, anyway.

So you want to have your cake, and eat it too?

In all seriousness though, you don't see the problem with your approach? If it comes out that an employee or team member is anonymously shilling for a product that they helped create, it all of a sudden casts doubt on all review material. Suddenly, consumers and/or industry peers don't know what or who to trust. Which are "real" reviews, by professional critics and end users and which are basically advertisements, submitted by the producers? It might not seem important, especially if the producer is genuine in their praise for the product, but many consumers look to reviews by "unbiased" (in quotations because generally we all have some sort of bias one way or the other) critics to help them make purchases. When the reviews seem untrustworthy, eventually your brand becomes tainted.

And you must certainly see the conflict of interest that arises when you actively work to boost your own product (and possibly your own bottom line) in a user's forum, posing as a user, when in fact you are creator or producer?

Sure, self advertising and being proud of your product is great- when you identify yourself as creator. When you take that "ethically gray" road, your customer base becomes suspicious and often, as this case demonstrates, vindictive.

JonnWood:

FieryTrainwreck:
This is getting to be stupid. You've got dozens of people defending Bioware and DA2 to the death in this thread when it should be glaringly obvious by now

The phrase "glaringly obvious" is rarely used by anyone who isn't trying to prop up their opinion.

You're attacking stylistic tendencies over content. I refuse to adapt the reductive language of 1984. If that's a dealbreaker, I can't say I'm going to miss you.

that DA2 did not meet expectations

Whose expectations?

The expectations of a large number of people who supported the first game? Was that hard to figure out?

This backlash is what happens when you decide to slap an existing IP onto a drastically different (and arguably inferior) game in an attempt to cash-in on an existing fanbase. And I'm glad it's happening, because publishers/devs need to realize the potential for negative consequences when decisions are made purely for the sake or profit.

and Bioware is badly screwing the pooch with regard to PR. Seriously, do you people have blinders on? You like the game? Happy for you. TONS OF PEOPLE DON'T, and they're just as entitled to express their opinions as anyone else.

Oh, you meant the expectations of people who were expecting a reheated DAO.

You're using the form of an argument (rehashes are bad, yo!) without understanding the context. In a vaccuum, a rehash sequel is obviously lame. In the context of the industry as a whole? That depends on what you're rehashing, doesn't it? What if you're making only subtle, evolutionary improvements to a vanishing genre -- "rehashing" practically the only party-based RPG from last year? Isn't that preferrable to "innovating" the series when the result is something so much more like everything else? DA2 has taken the franchise in a new direction for the series, but it's the same direction as most every other series in gaming. That's not progress.

By subset of RPG players, do you mean RPG players?

See, you're making your opinion out to be a majority one again.

The fact that it's become this enormous divisive issue pretty clearly indicates that I'm not part of some nutjob minority. Stop dismissing me as such, because you're starting to look worse. At best, Bioware fans are a subset of the RPG fanbase. It's not the other way around. And if it is the other way around, that actually proves my point.

Because DA2 only seems to appeal to Bioware RPG players - or as a lot of people

How nice it must be to have these large, faceless masses agreeing with you.

I know! We're so few and far between that the game's own employees have had to step up with hilariously biased reviews in order to "balance" the equation!

see them, fans of extremely linear action games with a small handful of RPG elements masquerading as full-fledged RPGs.

And now you're veering pretty close to insulting the people who *did* like the game.

I've got zero problem with people who enjoy the game. I've enjoyed it to an extent. But it's definitely a giant step in the wrong direction for this series in the eyes of many fans, and I'll gladly rip anyone who can't empathize with that frustration simply because he or she doesn't share it.

And the reason so many of these "mouth-breathers" have enough free time to slame sites with bad reviews? There aren't a lot of fucking games for them to play anymore.

Read a book.

You have to be a troll. There's no way you can deride me for possibly insulting a group of people after calling CRPG fans mouth-breathers.

And telling the CRPG fans to read books? I'm not sure if you're implying that a) we need to read more books, which seems comical given my opinion that we probably read more than our fair share, or b) we only seem interested in reading books because we're somehow nerdier, which seems even more comical when you consider that Bioware's "streamlined" approach to RPGs is a lot more like a passive narrative than an active role-playing experience.

That's probably why they're so up in arms about all of the changes in DA2.

Why don't they just go outside?

And have sex with girls, right! /highfive!

What would you do if your preferred genre/style of gaming was rapidly vanishing on account of larger market forces seemingly beyond your control?

I'd turn off the console and read a book.

So you're not really all that interested in what happens to this hobby because you don't consider it a legitimate or primary hobby? Honestly, why even make that sort of comment? If you're looking to mock people for taking a hobby seriously, you probably shouldn't do it on a forum dedicated to discussing that hobby.

You'd probably make a bit of a stink in the hopes that maybe devs would realize you are part of a passionate and increasingly untapped market.

"A bit of a stink", he says. You're using emotional language to paint yourselves as an embattled minority.

Weird. I didn't feel too emotional when I wrote that.

We are an embattled minority in the same way that every fan of a specific media experience is an embattled minority. Moneyed interests (aka publishers) are always going to push for media to be as inclusive as possible in order to generate the most revenue. This movement frequently acts in direct opposition to the quality of said media. If causing a ruckus on forums and review sites shows that there is some degree of push-back against this inevitable march towards "the perfect game", I welcome the whining.

Oh, and all the meta-convos about what defines an opinion and whether or not the guy even did anything wrong? Sorry, that stuff has been decided already.

Yet I somehow missed the Supreme Court ruling.

So you want to stand firmly in the camp that sees nothing wrong with a wholly compromised source anonymously producing a similarly compromised assessment for public consumption? That's really where you want to be when Jesus comes back? Because I'm pretty sure even he will call you an idiot.

If you were part of a production, authoring a publicly-available assessment of your own work without disclosing your relationship to the product is completely unethical. Period. There's no debating this point, and anyone trying to do so has no grasp of the situation whatsoever.

In other words, everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and you're not willing to argue the point, ever. Glad that's sorted.

If you think it's okay for someone who worked on a game to submit a review of his own work without acknowleding his connection to the product, you're wrong. Absolutely wrong. Sure as up is up and down is down. Doesn't stop people from trying to create a world where that sort of behavior is fine and dandy, but their existence doesn't necessitate a debate. We could have one, but we could also debate 1+1=2. If you're interested in doing so simply to prove some ridiculous point about how "everything is relative/debatable/magic", you won't find an adversary here. I'll just point, laugh, and go about my day.

Zom-B:

So you want to have your cake, and eat it too?

In all seriousness though, you don't see the problem with your approach? If it comes out that an employee or team member is anonymously shilling for a product that they helped create, it all of a sudden casts doubt on all review material. Suddenly, consumers and/or industry peers don't know what or who to trust. Which are "real" reviews, by professional critics and end users and which are basically advertisements, submitted by the producers? It might not seem important, especially if the producer is genuine in their praise for the product, but many consumers look to reviews by "unbiased" (in quotations because generally we all have some sort of bias one way or the other) critics to help them make purchases. When the reviews seem untrustworthy, eventually your brand becomes tainted.

And you must certainly see the conflict of interest that arises when you actively work to boost your own product (and possibly your own bottom line) in a user's forum, posing as a user, when in fact you are creator or producer?

Sure, self advertising and being proud of your product is great- when you identify yourself as creator. When you take that "ethically gray" road, your customer base becomes suspicious and often, as this case demonstrates, vindictive.

But user reviews are inherently untrustworthy. I'm not saying this was a good idea, but as others have mentioned, there are many reviews from people who either didn't play the game or never went in with the intention of reviewing it fairly. The game's score has already been crapped on by disgruntled "fans" so a single employee that may or may not have been involved with the game posting a good review doesn't really change the landscape at all. And honestly, his review likely reflects the opinions of plenty of players. Obviously not all of them, but there's nothing scandalous about this. It's just an issue of questionable judgment and people that use this as an excuse to hate BioWare or try to prop this up as an example of corruption or something ridiculous are just being spiteful and probably were looking for a reason to rant anyway.

It seems like everyone in this issue has an axe to grind.

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