BioWare Uses Stock Photo for Tali in Mass Effect 3

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BioWare Uses Stock Photo for Tali in Mass Effect 3

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Some Mass Effect fans are incensed that an in-game image of Tali is based on a stock photograph.

In the last year or so, BioWare has shouldered its fair share of criticism. Casting Jessica Chobot as a voice actor and the failures of the leaked Mass Effect 3 endings are just a few signposts of the massive gamer rage leveled at the company from Edmonton about its sci-fi epic. Now that Mass Effect 3 is out, the public is ready to heap more criticism on BioWare's latest opus by pointing out the use of a piece of altered stock photography in the game.

Mild ME3 Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now or forever hold your peace.

The character of Tali'Zorah wore a mask throughout Mass Effect and its sequel. We've never seen her face, until Shepard finds a photograph of the quarian without the mask in ME3. Somehow, a few gamers remembered seeing the image of a brunette female with the sun behind her in a catalog of stock images from Getty, a service that supplies images for all creative endeavors. Several angry posts were made on BioWare's forums and various gaming outlets with links to both the original image and comparisons pointing out the similarity. Many decided this was unforgivable.

Matthew Leete photographed the original image and licensing it costs at least $15, which BioWare conceivably did before artists there altering it to look a bit less human. The image comparison in the spoiler tag below clearly shows a few markings on Tali'Zorah's chest and white eyes to denote her as a quarian.

Major STORY spoilers in this image:

Cue vitriol. Gamers on the official BioWare forums were miffed. "Bioware, really?" asked "smithguy" after posting a comparison image. "We're supposed to think this is okay??"

"This is obviously very lazy on Bioware's part," said user "dkohalloran" before he chalked this terrible act as another black eye against the studio. "Let's just say I'm glad that their betrayal of their original fanbase is coming to bite them back in the ass. The writing for this game is completely terrible."

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset. According to some, BioWare is lazy for using an image service instead of crafting the image from scratch, while others seem to use this as evidence for something else they didn't care for, like the writing. Could have BioWare have used a custom image? Yes. Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

Now, if you want to quibble about how Tali doesn't look like how you imagined her, well, you might have a point there. Perhaps characters who are masked should stay that way. I'm looking at you, Samus Aran.

Source: BioWare forums

Permalink

A shit storm is a coming.

Okay people, come with me if you want to live, I have a bunker.

Honestly? This doesn't really bother me. It isn't going to lessen my experience of the game and I quite like the picture. What does it matter whether it's made from scratch or not?

Well, unless you're a Talimancer of course, but then you've got more things to worry about.

Greg Tito:

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset.

Perhaps that Matthew Leete and the model are getting a maximum payment of 325 from a franchise that sells 2 million copies. You'd expect Chobot and Yvonne Strahovski are getting slightly more.

(Actually chaps, can anyone check if Matthew Leete's name appears in the credits of ME3? I'm betting it doesn't)

The really funny thing is that, if true, it makes Tali an Essex Girl.
(Check the photo tags)

One wonders if she's had a vajazzle.

"Bioware uses stock photo for ME3" would have been just as effective a title without the spoilers.

Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

Even without reading the article there's a pretty big spoiler in the title.
Well done there escapist.

Fr]anc[is:
"Bioware uses stock photo for ME3" would have been just as effective a title without the spoilers.

That, and put up a spoiler warning in the title. Because otherwise people would click it, see the Tali pick for the news story, and connect the dots.

Irridium:
Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

Soviet Heavy:

Irridium:
Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

Irridium:

Soviet Heavy:

Irridium:
Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

Irridium:

Soviet Heavy:

Irridium:
Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

Korten12:

Irridium:

Soviet Heavy:

OT: meh it doesn't bug me in the slightest, i think only talimancers will be truly disappointed with it.

so she does not look like Dr Zoidberg, big freaking deal!

I think far to many fans WANT to be dissapointed by Mass Effect 3, and so are looking for anything to do it. what I want to know is why is Tali wearing a Kashmir sweater?

As Frehls puts it though, there has been a lot of stock photo-raiding...

image

Half is a Desktop called Winter on Mars, I think...the other is the original inspirational ending...

There are a lot of 'borrowed' images in ME3. That's going to happen when you outsource your art.

Well, I read this article and got to the minor spoilers part thinking, "well, I can handle minor spoilers, it's not a big deal." After reading that paragraph, I thought, "oh, it's just gonna be a photo of Tali, and I'll see that anyway pretty soon, so what the hell."

And then I read the text above the photo on the right. Really Greg? Really? Did you HAVE to include that text? I realize it's ultimately my own fault for looking since it was CLEARLY marked as spoilers, but despite that, I can't help being a little pissed off right now.

I'm not going to get enraged about this, but it all comes off as somewhat suspicious. I just can't tell if it was intentionally done or laziness.

Edit: Before anyone decides to reply to my post, I've already explained in a later post that I have never had Cable/satellite in my life. So I don't watch television that isn't watchable on the rabbit ears.

What do you mean about Samus? *googles*

What? Samus is a GIRL? WHYYYYYY?

I think part of the problem here is in the context. In a world of all sorts of fantastic creatures, they likely expect something a little more than photoshopped eyes and veins. That is, as the French would say, le fucking lazy. And it really does look kind of cheap, the sort of job you'd see done by a bored kid in the internet, not by a professional studio which is known for AAA games.

Plus, within the context, this is an alien who couldn't survive without her suit, posed in a pretty open setting. I mean, I don't really care about the series that much anymore, but it's not hard to see why people might think this is another case of Bioware screwing up their own canon. What, do Quarians get a day off once in their life so they can conveniently pose for stock photos?

The_root_of_all_evil:

One wonders if she's had a vajazzle.

Ew.

Waaghpowa:
I'm not going to get enraged about this, but it all comes off as somewhat suspicious. I just can't tell if it was intentionally done or laziness.

It's meant to tie the two together. It's intentional.

So they ruined Tali's revel?
Stop the presses.

Daystar Clarion:
A shit storm is a coming.

Okay people, come with me if you want to live, I have a bunker.

Honestly? This doesn't really bother me. It isn't going to lessen my experience of the game and I quite like the picture. What does it matter whether it's made from scratch or not?

Well, unless you're a Talimancer of course, but then you've got more things to worry about.

They couldn't even be bothered to give an alien character an original face?
Not even the face of her voice actor.
Not even the face of a model specifically hired for the character. No
They went to all the trouble of giving Ashley a make-over, and Tali gets dumped

It's just insulting.

Zachary Amaranth:
That is, as the French would say, le fucking lazy.

I laughed far harder at this than I should.

Awwww...I shouldn't have clicked that spoiler. I wanted to see the image, but didn't want to know why. Dang. :( Now I'm sad. Could have given the photo without the reason, man. Not nice, Greg. Not nice.

Waaghpowa:
I'm not going to get enraged about this, but it all comes off as somewhat suspicious. I just can't tell if it was intentionally done or laziness.

Well...seeing as they had a world premiere of the trailer during the show...I'm gonna go ahead and call that one intentional.

Using stock photos are perfectly acceptable. For non-characters that don't matter and random portraits in hallways.

For a major character whose face is something a lot of fans have been clamoring to see? Not so fucking much.

What really pissed me off is just how fucking lazy the photoshop job is, she just a human with white slanted eyes and some symbols on her neck.

Fucking REALLY Bioware? And I was, thinking that you couldn't get any more creatively bankrupt.

at this point, I just don't care. The tone of this public sulking that's been going on even pre-launch for this game is pathetic. Plus, let's face it, people would have complained like children no matter what Tali looked like. I say let the devs do what they want with their characters. We don't deserve them.

To be fair, it's not so much the picture that bothers me about this, but mostly the text that was left over it. That's not exactly the spoiler one expects when looking for a picture of a character's face.
Also, not having played ME3 myself yet: What the Christ brought her to THAT?!

Windu23:
It's meant to tie the two together. It's intentional.

BehattedWanderer:

Well...seeing as they had a world premiere of the trailer during the show...I'm gonna go ahead and call that one intentional.

<---does not watch TV and hasn't had cable/satellite for 24 years. So that's why.

Eh. Shepard is based off of Mark Vanderloo, Miranda is Yvonne Strahovsky, Liara is Jillian Murray, now Tali is....whoever the hell that is. No skin off my ass.

DVS BSTrD:
So they ruined Tali's revel?
Stop the presses.

Daystar Clarion:
A shit storm is a coming.

Okay people, come with me if you want to live, I have a bunker.

Honestly? This doesn't really bother me. It isn't going to lessen my experience of the game and I quite like the picture. What does it matter whether it's made from scratch or not?

Well, unless you're a Talimancer of course, but then you've got more things to worry about.

They couldn't even be bothered to give an alien character an original face?
Not even the face of her voice actor.
Not even the face of a model specifically hired for the character. No
They went to all the trouble of giving Ashley a make-over, and Tali gets dumped

It's just insulting.

I'm still finding it difficult to give a fuck, and I love Mass Effect, hell Tali is one of my favourite characters and I still don't really care, because compared to the clusterfuck of uncanny valley that is the Mass Effect characters, that picture looks great.

Some people don't like it, and that's fine, but with the way some people are carrying on, you'd think Bioware pissed on their grandmothers or something.

Oh look, a gaming site kissing EAs feet... again, big surprise!

You know how they made a big deal out of it, throwing around concept art and saying that they "thought about it a lot" and all that: http://i41.tinypic.com/2v96us6.jpg

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And what do they come up with for the "question" a part of their fanbase philosophized over and discussed since the first game? A bad photoshop of a stock image from the Internet, with 2 fingers removed. That's not only lazy, it's downright disrespectful.

And it's not like it's the first thing for people to "complain" about regarding Mass Effect (not that people already forgot about the whole Dragon Age 2 BEST GAME EVER - but not thing), even if you chose to take some of the minor things people had problems with over the likes of "Origin only on PC", "Pay-For Day1 DLC" and the fact that you need to pay ~870 dollar if you want to really get the complete game.

Let me explain how this all works to you guys.

1) Something, anything, in a Bioware game is revealed to the public.

2) Shitstorm rages for weeks.

3) Between 95 and 99% of this is a bunch of crybabies wailing about anything they possibly can owing to a deeply unfulfilling life at home. 1 to 5% of this are genuinely disappointed fans whose hopes have been hurt in some small way important enough to them to make a difference.

4) Genuine disappointments are assimilated into the mob as "hard evidence" Bioware is turning its back on their fanbase.

3) Meanwhile, almost everyone continues playing in ignorance of the outside turmoil.

I'm not surprised they are cutting corners on the art. Not after I saw this:

Oro44:
Eh. Shepard is based off of Mark Vanderloo, Miranda is Yvonne Strahovsky, Liara is Jillian Murray, now Tali is....whoever the hell that is. No skin off my ass.

Liz Sroka.

image

This is what I thought Tali should look like... http://fav.me/d2zcbd0 I guess it's not that bad, and in line with 'using real people to come up with character's faces'... Wonder who was the inspiration of Kasumi and Zaeed.

But the other, lazy, and blatant ripoffs... it's really really cheap of them. Is this the sign of Bioware not caring anymore? Or is it because they've been spread too thin due to SWTOR?

Soviet Heavy:

Irridium:

Soviet Heavy:

VulakAerr:
Let me explain how this all works to you guys.

1) Something, anything, in a Bioware game is revealed to the public.

2) Shitstorm rages for weeks.

3) Between 95 and 99% of this is a bunch of crybabies wailing about anything they possibly can owing to a deeply unfulfilling life at home.

I stopped reading there because I can easily counter that with: "95 to 99% of the people defending this sort of thing are mindless consumer drones owing to a deeply unfulfilling life at home and absolutely everywhere else [citation needed]."

Here's how it really works:

1) A company puts out a product full of lazy copy paste jobs, uninspired art, story and gameplay.

2) The game gets hailed as the second coming of Christ.

3) People rightfully point out the many flaws and exaggerate them, just like everybody else exaggerates the quality of the game.

4) "YOU'RE JUST MAD BECAUSE YOUR MOMMY DIDN'T LOVE YOU YOU NASTY TROLL!"

What disappoints me is that they showed her face at all. I felt like the mask was a major part of her character. For me it WAS her face. But know that face is canon and we all know the Quarians look likeish. It doesn't kill Mass Effect for me, its still a great game and series but it does disappoint me.

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