Manveer Heir, the racist BioWare developer who most recently was working on Mass Effect: Andromeda is no longer with the company. BioWare General Manager Aaron Flynn confirmed Heir’s departure on twitter.
— Aaryn Flynn (@AarynFlynn) March 18, 2017
However, Manveer notes he left the company a month ago to start his own project.
I guess this is a good time to mention I left a month ago, as soon as we finished, & have started an indie studio doing amazing things ?? ?? https://t.co/7silSoYCjR
— King Curry Thunder (@manveerheir) March 18, 2017
The revelation that Manveer left on his own has upset a number of gamers – who are also questioning BioWare’s own stance on the issue. Fans of the series and other games have made it clear that they won’t be buying Mass Effect: Andromeda because of the views held by Manveer Heir.
— Hello Hello (@scruffyskurfer) March 18, 2017
— Adam Zeller (@RidgeTop21) March 20, 2017
— Joseph Taylor (@JarthallT) March 19, 2017
— Scott Guthrie (@scoots300) March 20, 2017
— BoybetterknoWoW (@Stushxy) March 23, 2017
— Dave Fen (@Fenbops) March 22, 2017
Between his crude and racist statements, and his explicit dislike for those who are white, it was clear that BioWare had a liability on its hands. Just take a look at Manveer’s twitter account and it’s a “how to” in modern racism. It got so bad that his tweets inspired disgusted gamers to create a petition to have him removed for his views on race.
With a possible boycott on their hands over Manveer Heir’s role in the game and his online comments it appears BioWare realized in order to keep the lights on they need to turn a profit. To make matters worse, the character creator didn’t allow gamers to make fair skinned characters. And those who did get to play the ten hour free trial lambasted BioWare for the game’s poor
Quality. As seen from the following reviews:
Bioware took notice with the lead game designer Ian Soon Frazier stating on twitter that they were looking to patching the misstep in the character creation screen so you can make fair skinned characters.
@BlazinSB We're looking at patching lots of issues and want to strongly support the game moving forward. I can't say more just yet.
— Ian S. Frazier (@tibermoon) March 21, 2017
BioWare also sent out a cryptic message that appears to be referring to Manveer Heir, saying he misrepresented himself as a lead designer. However, this just looks like corporate cover in the face of a boycott and poor reviews.
— BioWare (@bioware) March 18, 2017
Problems like this worry normal gamers who aren’t inclined to be lectured by developers with an agenda after working fifty plus hours a week. This disconnect between gaming developers and their clients has in the past caused issues where gamers rose up en mass to protest and make their voices heard.
People like Manveer Heir are everywhere in the gaming industry, and issues like this will continue to come up until companies are ready to listen to their customers, instead of trying to lecture them. That’s why it’s important for gamers to be ready and willing to stand up against toxic developers and the companies that hire them.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is out now for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.