Scumbags Harass Woman For Working On Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations

Scumbags Harass Woman For Working On Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations

Internet cretins engaged in a harassment campaign against a woman who worked for Electronic Arts this weekend, flooding her social media and various internet profiles with vitriolic, often misogynistic messages. Her sin, it appears, was working on animations for the game Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Allie Rose-Marie Leost, who worked for EA’s motion-capture labs in Vancouver, saw vicious harassment on Twitter and other websites today, most often from people who blamed her for Andromeda‘s awkward facial animations. The harassment appears to have been primarily triggered by a vile blog post at Ralph Retort, a right-wing, GamerGate-tied website, that claimed Leost was the lead facial animator on Andromeda. That website also accused her of performing sexual acts to get her job at EA.

Here’s a small sample of the hundreds of messages Leost faced today:

As often happens with these internet witch-hunts, the harassment campaign against Leost was based on false information. BioWare today released a statement clarifying that she was not, in fact, a lead animator on Mass Effect: Andromeda. (There has been some confusion over whether Leost’s social media posts indicated that she was a lead, but given that she worked at EA Labs and not at the Andromeda team’s offices in Montreal, it’s clear that’s not the case.)

BioWare also condemned the abuse with a statement this afternoon:

Leost did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Somehow, the attacks seem completely predictable despite how terrible they are. In the age of President Trump and GamerGate, it all feels straight out of some especially insecure and desperate playbook. Starting with the transformation of a game’s sometimes silly character animations into a conspiracy, and then later a scandal in which the data points waver between incomplete and meaningless, the cycle isn’t new by this point.


  • These people are idiots. That’s indisputable, surely.

    On what planet could anybody defend such behaviour?

    Gaming as a whole can’t move forward, by outright dealing with this cancer, because it’s held back by the constant ‘well, they might have a point in there somewhere’ flies buzzing around the pile of crap we all walk past.

    If you have any interest in games, you have to ask yourself why you’d want to be associated with coordinated and incessant abuse. You’re not doing it but it’s being done in your name.

    • There’s no guilt by association here. Stop trying to polarise the issue. What was done is reprehensible but trying to tar all gamers with the same brush because of the actions of the few is absurd.

      You know the alt-right make the same argument about BLM and rioters, right?

      • Is it even a co-ordinated movement? I thought it was just random wankers from some forum.

        The hate is ridiculous. Damn game isn’t even out yet and people are rabid about it.

        • It’s dickheads being dickheads – what they’re doing is totally inexcusable, and we should condemn them for it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a coordinated movement or not – and it probably isn’t, it’s most likely random morons with a chip on their shoulder finding a target to attack.

          But leigh’s post about it “being done in [our] name” is a load of garbage, it’s yet another attempt to tar the nebulous “gamers” with the Internet Hate Machine brush. These people are doing it in their own “names”, not anybody else’s. Stating or implying that a generic, wide demographic is awful because some idiots that identify with that demographic are being dickheads is ridiculous. It’s like calling all of BLM terrorists because some who went under that banner went on riots.

          • condemn them to what? for me, id like to remove their hands and ban them from technology indefinitely.

          • And that makes you as bad as they are. Unless they make actual threats, they have the right of free speech same as you. Stooping to their level makes you just as much of a shitlord as them.

          • except from the fact they have established their point of view first that supports bashing people for the work they do. where as, mine is a response to that. e.g. by verbally bashing and harassing someone (which is never ok), they have established that it is also how they are willing to be treated, seeing they think its ok, by their own logic. hence my comments. BUT, and its a big ‘BUT!’, if you read any seriousness in my comment, then you have misinterpreted my comment.

      • Literally a ‘not all gamers’ response. It holds about the same weight as ‘not all men’, or ‘not all white people’. Which is to say, it holds none. We can’t change the perception of gamers without speaking out.

        Silence is tantamount to approval. Don’t be silent.

        • Literally a straw man attack, because I did condemn these people and agreed that they are shit. There is no silence here. But deciding that a diverse and poorly defined demographic are all shit because some people are shit is nonsensical profiling, perhaps maliciously.

          Seems like “not all [group]” only applies if it suits your politics. Otherwise everyone is a shitlord because a few are.

          • I didn’t see your more detailed response, only the first one. I apologise for hitting you with my knee-jerk reaction.

            You’re right, it does suck that we get tarred with the same brush. And our only defense is to be vocally against bigotry, opression and bullying. It’s the way the world is, sadly.

          • Sorry, I came off a bit angry too, didn’t mean to be so accusatory. Should have been a bit more measured. Apologies too 🙂

      • First off, cut me some slack.

        That comment was in a mod-queue for a long time, in the end I didn’t expect it go through but obviously it did. And this article must be full of similar-same instances of heavy (but fair) moderation, I don’t back down from what I said but don’t put words into my mouth, that’s all I ask 🙂

        I didn’t mention the word ‘gamer’. I painstakingly made sure not mention that word. I have never liked the term anyway. It’s cool that you use it.

        That’s not the issue here.

        It is being done – the planning, using the means to justify, and the actual acts of telling someone on social media you’re going to abuse them – all under the pretenses of video-games. That’s a fact.

        Why should you and I stand for that?

        • We don’t. Any implication that we do is you projecting that onto others. You don’t have to use the term “gamer” nor can you deflect attention from not using the term – we all know what you mean.

          The reasons why people are bigots or whatever is irrelevant – trying to pin it on a vague demographic of “video games” is irrelevant – it’s people being nasty. You can criticise something (like awful facial animations) without rape threats. Rape threats have nothing to do with video games and everything to do with a horrible, nasty individual. Attempting to project that onto “video games” in general is absurd.

          • “Stand for that” not in the “We stand for free beer, petrol, and ice-cream!!” sense, but in the sense of “we wouldn’t let that kid steal a little old lady’s handbag” sense.

            My apologies if that was not made clear, that was my original point yesterday too.

            I am not seeking to project anything. Unless you have a problem with little old ladies keeping their handbags. Then I so am.

            I’m not a “gamer” in any sense of the word. You are fine to call yourself that.

            You can call it deflecting attention all you want – the word isn’t sacred. It’s not a label. It’s a corporate construct like Happy Little Vegemite. Or Mouseketeer. Britney Spears was one.

            The forty year old shut-in who pirates all his movies isn’t a “film-goer” now is he?

            He sits at home all and watches Transformers or Fast and Furious all day. His actions, though small in the scale of things, still impacts movies and the movie industry.

            So too does all this re: games. I am an absurd person.

    • “You’re not doing it but it’s being done in your name.”

      What an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.

      • Damn right.
        This is how everything is reduced to one side verses another.

        Even when we stand against the negative aspects of our communities, we are tethered to and lumped in with them for the sake of argument and continuing this wide spread political nonsense.

  • I guess when a franchise has a few million followers a few hundred are bound to be mentally unstable. A few more probably have no life outside of gaming thus this is the most important game in the world so they feel the need to do stupid things. I hope the people making the game don’t take it to heart and can shrug it off. Unless everyone who is not crazy now has to tweet them so they can put things into perspective??

  • The harassment appears to have been primarily triggered by a vile blog post at Ralph Retort, a right-wing, GamerGate-tied website, that claimed Leost was the lead facial animator on Andromeda.

    I agree that the attacks are vicious and unnecessary, like many others these days, but I do think it’s worth mentioning that these claims weren’t exactley baseless, as Leost had called herself “Lead facial animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda” on both her twitter bio and facebook profile. She’s removed them now, but that is technically what started this witch-hunt on her.

    Is it acceptable? Of course not, it’s disgusting, and anyone who’s yelling or screaming at her should be ashamed of themselves. However, she did clearly put false information on her social media profiles. (A photo of her old twitter bio, before she was targeted)

    • Is it acceptable?
      Absolutely! If she says that she’s the Lead Facial Animator for the game, then I’m going to express my distaste for the animations to her. Out of those 4 tweets shown, only 1 of them was obviously sexist. 2 of them were legitimate complaints to her and the last one was a theory on how she got the job without having any prior video game experience. The animations in the game were absolutely garbage and there’s nothing wrong with complaining to the person that you think is responsible.

      • I have never heard of anyone else hunting down a lead singer to complain before. Normally they would whinge to the main account of the game company as opposed to trying actual people.
        It is not acceptable to target one person. It’s entirely possible that the lead animator still had people to please while being constrained by time and budget. Obviously, the person in charge of the game (not the lead facial animator) let this through. Why aren’t people harassing him/her? Why aren’t people harassing the publisher for agreeing to this? They have the final say as to what happens to a game.
        Last of all, it may be disappointing but it is only a game. It might be important to you buy you know what else is important? The mental health of the developers who created the game. Personally attacking them like this when they’re already in a highly stressful job is not going to help.
        The only other people who get this level of vitriol are those who work in retail.

        Complaining is okay. Personal attacks are not okay.

        • Oh boy. You’ve not gotten into the world of boy- and girl-groups where fans of certain members of the group will rabidly attack certain other members (and fans) because they are seen as ‘dragging down the group’…

          Or certain actors or actresses that are seen as making an otherwise acceptable film suck…

          Happens all the time.

          • Maybe It’s because I’m not 16? I have no issue with people being angry, but when they attack a single person, it’s just not okay.
            I mean, to put me in the other persons shoes, I get frustrated when people keep saying Nintendo is going to fail because I tend to enjoy their games. I get that It’s not for them, but there is no reason to go into a Nintendo article specifically to proudly announce that the switch is shit and they knew it all along.
            It just seems childish to me.

          • Now, now, you’ll have to wait for the next Kotaku GitS article (shouldn’t be too far away)…


      • You are being sarcastic yeah? Because if you aren’t, uh… yeah no.

        If you could produce a portfolio of facial animation work that you’ve done personally that’s better, I might give you half a second, but for real, literally no one has the right to go to a person individually for their job regardless of industry.

        1. Animation is the job of potentially dozens of people. Singling one female lead animator out is dumb.

        2. Even if this animator was the sole person who worked on every face in the entire game, they were signed off on by higher management.

        3. There were no doubt all sorts of constraints (time, budget, tools, engine, assets etc) that factor in. In some respects, I’m guessing what we have is a miracle as it is.

        4. If you’re going to be disappointed over something like facial animations, ok fine, but just… no man. You don’t need to go and make someone else feel like shit for doing their job.

        • 1. Animation is the job of potentially dozens of people. Singling one female lead animator out is dumb.

          2. Even if this animator was the sole person who worked on every face in the entire game, they were signed off on by higher management.

          3. ….

          4. ….

          Bro, do you even…

          1. She is the “LEAD”. This means she is supposed to mentor and criticise everyone else in the team. It’s her job to “lead” the people in the team to deliver the best job they can. Now, whether she was an actual lead, or not, is unclear at this point, at least for me. Either she was lying in her social media accounts, which is bad enough, or BioWare lied by stating that she wasn’t a lead. That’s why leads of teams should have experience.

          2. Management, producers, publisher, etc. let this pass because they already have a hard release date and they probably saw this pretty late in the development.

          3. This game was in development for 5 years with a pretty big budget for sure. If a tool can’t do what you want, you just use a different tool. It’s not like good facial animations haven’t been done before.

          At the end I want to say that attacking her is not what people should do. It’s none of their business how companies choose employees and whatnot. What people can do is play the “demo” version that you get with Origin Access and decide for themselves if they want the full game or not. Low purchases will indicate well enough to EA and BioWare that they didn’t live up to the hype they created around their game.

          • Dude, did you read the article at all? She’s not the lead. This people didn’t like some thing, poorly perused for a name they could blame, found a woman’s and decided to go all in. Then the rest of idiots jumped in on believing she was the lead because to hell with fact-checking when lies are so convenient to one’s own hateful narrative.

            The fact that she’s charged with being the lead demonstrates that prejudice came before facts, which then were assumed to fit with the conclusions obtained.

          • She made the claim she was lead designer, as someone else’s comment proves – in her social media profiles. For someone talking about fact checking, maybe you should do some yourself, before criticising others. The fact that those were changed to hide this to try and make the comments seem totally baseless, is rather pathetic.

            Making threats to someone is unacceptable. Sending legitimate complaints about the work that they claimed to be in charge of might be a bit extreme, but if that’s your job, and you put your name on it, then you are responsible.

          • Even if she was the lead facial animation artist, the lead designer would have to agree with what has been done. Then, the lead designer, needs to go to the publisher and get their approval.
            The process of game development is like a large tree. Publishers have the ultimate say. Games can be at 95% completion before a publisher can tell them to start again, make the game completely different. Happens all the time. It’s why Indies became a thing.

        • By your standing, nobody is allowed to criticize someone’s work unless they themselves have produced something of same quality or higher. That is completely absurd for a couple of reasons.
          One reason should be obvious: We pay them for their work. As the buyer, we have a right to be upset if we feel the work was not satisfactory to the price. When we pay for something, we expect it to be worth the payment. If you paid someone to paint your house, and the painters end up leaving drip marks and uneven lines, then of course you would be upset because they did not provide to you the quality service you paid for. So when this company demands 60USD (and tax) for their game, and then they release a game with animations that are on par if not beaten by a game that came out half a decade ago, then people will be upset. Especially if the price you paid now is ten dollars higher than the previous purchase.
          The second reason is simple: 90% of consumers of a product are NOT creators of a product. Obviously most self-sustaining farmers would not go and buy meat to eat when they have their own animals to supply themselves with food. Obviously they might prefer saving their resources for sales, but the point stands that if one can and does produce their own product, why go and buy someone else’s when you can make yourself one for cheaper, if not free? Since 90% of consumers buying the product are not builders of the product, that means that the mass majority of any sort of criticism will come from non-constructors; people who have little to no experience in the craft. If we reserved the right of critique to only those who can achieve the same quality or higher of work as the one being critiqued, next to nothing would ever be improved. In fact, things would more than likely dissolve as producers settle for cheapness instead of quality, since ratings are not based on the consumer.
          Basically, ratings are based on the consumer because they not only paid for it, but because most of the consumers are not capable of making such an item, which is why they purchased it.
          Also, don’t use that crap excuse of “time, tool, engine, and assets” constraints. They had years to develop this game, and it was produced with top notch (or at least they have access to top notch gear as a big company) engines, tools, and assets. They had PLENTY of ways to make this great. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.

          • So you think ignorance is critique, now? How is it that criticism is even valid, the game isn’t out, yet? You think you’re capable of this? Because all i see are a series of assumptions. Funny thing is that the ignorant rarely understand their assumptions are assumptions, i hope you aren’t one of those people. Critique is fine but you have to exercise restraint and try to express insight, not just say something is shit – it’s nothing worth listening to.

          • I’m not capable of that, but I recognize an amateur work when I see one: the ME Andromeda animations are amateur level stuff, I don’t think it’s up for debate.

          • – my comment was based on the fact that a lot of people have no idea what goes into a project like this.

            – your analogy with the painter: would you a) hire the first painter you came across or b) do your research and read the literal 1000s of critiques available first? The “I’m a paying customer” point is kinda moot, because actually, you could not pay the $60 and move on. (Side note, all this happened before the game was even out.)

            – your analogy with the builder: ha, I’d pay to see any single one of the comments directed at this animator go up to any builder and do the same. I think you’re kinda missing the point: this isn’t criticism, it’s ignorant ranting.

            – tools, time, engine assets: even top notch tools aren’t perfect, and every single piece of computer software has flaws. Again, anyone who has even tried to use tools like these to create such a massive piece of work understands that you could literally be the best at your job in the world and still struggle with software. It isn’t “crap”, it is well passed a legit reason.

      • The vitriol in those tweets is unacceptable, regardless of which gender it’s directed at. If you have a problem with the work then talk about the work, launching ad hominem attacks against the person is completely inappropriate.

        • He is just another average conservative moron who thinks any woman in a position of power has gotten their by using her feminine charms. Because in his eyes women dont have any merit.

          Its not suprise really given that she was targeted thants to some angry conservative right wing mongoloid. In their eyes if something is wrong it must be a womans fault.

          Thehasbrogamer is an example of that type of person.

      • If you think only one of those comments was sexist you’re completely clueless.

      • Of course thehasbrogamer. Women arent allowed to have jobs right? In your eyes womenfolk should be your subservent slaves and should have never been given the right to vote.

        On a more serious note im not suprised you support the douchebags that posted these tweets given that you are one yourself.

        • He must be loving the auto moderation he is getting right now. Must be screaming that lefties are cracking down on his freedom of speech or something.

          • You get used to it when you say things that others don’t like. Poor old Alex is the one that has to go through and check the comments awaiting moderation though.

            It’s true though that lefties love cracking down on freedom of speech 😉

            (righties do as well)

          • I’m very used to being put on a moderation list. I do say some things that people don’t like. I’m not really complaining that I’ve been put on a moderation list, but I honestly didn’t expect the hate for this one.

            Oh, also, if anybody with some power does read this, I want to let you know that a moderation list isn’t bad, but being put on it automatically for getting a -5 score is pretty bad. Why should somebody be put on that list if they make one comment that some people don’t agree with?

      • Agreed. The problem is that some people cannot remain civil when criticising others. Apart from that and there’s no problem calling people out for sub-par work.

      • Things that are actually relevant and absolutely valid points in your comment:

        1. The animations in the game were subpar.

        Everything else you shared—to use your own vernacular—was absolutely garbage.

        If you’re interested at all in having any real positive influence on anyone’s work, critique the work; don’t criticise the person doing the work. And I encourage you to look up the difference between critique and criticize.

  • What in the actual fuck is wrong with people? It’s just a goddamn game for the love of god.

    • You must have missed the drama regarding the ending of Mass Effect 3, Bioware attracts these kinds of people.

      • Yeah, but on the whole the drama regarding the ending, the complaints were directed at the ending itself, or at BioWare as a generic whole. No one was specifically telling particular people that they should be fired, that they didn’t get their job through talent or otherwise engage in targeted personal harassment.

        There’s a difference between saying “this sucks because it’s a complete and utter mess that doesn’t make any sense” and “you wrote this ending, I hope you get AIDS”. The former is okay, the latter is not.

        • You must not of been paying attention after people started beating ME3 then. Do you really think biowares founders “leaving” bioware had nothing to do with that??

          When you fuck something up that bad, whether it’s the entire ending of a trilogy or way too many animations to count, you do not deserve to keep your job.

          • Firstly – it’s “not have”, not “not of”. Sorry to be a grammar nazi, but this is seriously a pet hate of mine.

            But on point, no, I don’t think the Doctors left because of people’s complaints regarding the ending. I think they left because they saw they were getting increasingly less say in how BioWare should be run, and more “direction” from EA, and that the company that they had founded was not going to remain the same going forward. I don’t recall any vitriol or anger being directed at either of the Doctors – and I read a *lot* of stuff during that mess, because I still think the whole ending was a complete and utter mess that was hideously inconsistent from lore, story and thematic viewpoints. (Yes, that’s even with the “extended cut”, which seriously did nothing to help and anything “fixed” resulted in at least another glaring hole to replace it)

            The people that suffered the most flak were Casey Hudson and Mac Walters, but even then, what they faced was nothing like this, and based on what we know, they were almost solely responsible for the rubbish ending after the original ending was leaked. About the most common “attack” was the quote from Casey Hudson saying there would not be an A, B, C ending as text on a picture of the three space magic colour ending platforms. That’s not even in the same league as the comments directed at this woman.

      • Yeah, but the question is, where the hell are “these kinds of people” coming from and where the hell did they get their values?

      • Nah, I think it’s just a large part of the vocal community (note: not actually a large part of the actual community, but rather just those that are particularly vocal – there’s a huge difference there). I seem to remember people receiving death threats over re-balances in a CoD game, same thing with ME 3’s ending and pretty much any of the games that have come out recently and had an issue (or been generally seen not to contain issues that others then point out), see the bizarre accusations and insults Jim Sterling got after posting a 7/10 review for LOZ: BOTW or absolutely anything to do with No Man’s Sky.

        Although I think your comment may have been made in jest it’s definitely not just Bioware that attracts these kinds of dickhead, it’s just that with Bioware tending further towards progressive viewpoints there’s a sort of nasty sexist/racist thing that leaks into every other attack which, in this instance as well as a few others makes the particular abuse a lot more disturbing.

      • no it has nothing to do Mass Effect, its part of a grander thing we see all the time these days. Every week its the same old thing, different game, different developers. Movies. Tv. There is a mass market of online misogynist bellends who have nothing better to do than wage this type of ‘war’. Every week there is a different victim and different excuse.

        • I find it interesting the person who instigated this did not choose to target a male person on the animation team. Only a female

          • I guarantee that if it had been a male with the ‘Lead Animator’ tag in his Twitter account it would have been the same amount of abuse (though differently worded). Just look at Casey Hudson and Mac Walters during the ME3 ending furor. People will target whoever they think is responsible. The interesting part is that it’s usually only women who suffer the sexually-worded attacks. It really is the same kind of attack that racial extremists level at those of other ‘lesser’ races: that somehow being of a ‘lesser’ race makes one less competent, less worthy and fair game for violent threats.

          • Do you know of many cases of males getting jobs they were not qualified for?
            You are speaking about this as if it were plausible for a man to even be in this situations. How many men can get offers for employment based on political rather than meritocratic processes?

            You won’t see a male Lead Animator working on a AAA game with a 40 million dollar budget. How would a male without ample industry experience possibly be in that situation? There are very few men who have the privilege of being in this scenario.

            Think before you commit words to the screen.

          • I’m sorry but I find your comment to be incomprehensible and can’t respond to it.

          • Yeah, but even those two didn’t suffer the same kind of vitriol seen here. There was a lot of anger, but it wasn’t anywhere near the same level as this.

      • Haha! I hated the ending of ME3 and was very vocal about it, but I didn’t hunt down individual members of the team and send them hate mail!

        • I hated, even more than the ending, the way that the indoctrination theory, which was so lovingly crafted by fans (in SO MUCH DETAIL) was basically shot down by the devs, when those devs could have left it ambiguous.

          • Also, when your fans come to you with an “And it was all just a dream” ending that not fits in better with the series in terms of lore and theme and overall tone… you should probably take that as a wake-up call that your original ending was not very good.

            Unfortunately they chose to double down on stupid.

    • I dont know. When ever i cant help an employee at work with an I.T related matter.
      They just turn to absolute shits. People are shit in general. If it is not their ideal way of having something the way they want it, they just meltdown, even over small inconveniences.

      Moral is, all humans are potentially nut jobs, and should be classified as sub-humans.

  • Thats pretty scummy, even if the animations are god awful she shouldn’t be harassed for it.

  • I wouldn’t consider that harassment, just internet fuckwads.

    and what’s with the call out for Gamergate? They haven’t been a thing for years.

    • and what’s with the call out for Gamergate? They haven’t been a thing for years.

      Neither has Hitler, but you know, name dropping and shout outs are cool dawg.

    • The Gamergate reference is apt in this case, Ethan Ralph was a prominent figure in the GG movement and continues to be influential in what remains of it. His website, The Ralph Retort, was one of the bigger pro-GG websites and continues to fly the same flags.

    • The core of rabid GG haters haven’t changed and still fire up whenever there’s an opportunity to blame a woman for any possible negative in a game or gaming in general.

  • To be honest fans have a right to be pissed off about the game, but I will admit this is taking it a bit far.

    Now if they had proof that she was the lead animator (or at least one of the head ones) then sure have at it but in moderation, but this just seems like people being childish over a shit game…..but then again you have the SJW’s and feminist’s getting super salty due to harper (I can’t remember her full name) not being lesbian (though to them she looks it so she must be) so same shit all around.

  • Know all those times politicans and news reporters talk about gaming causing violence and anti-social behaviour? This is the type of shit they use to prove their point. Who the fuck thinks this is acceptable behaviour? I can’t understand why or how people get so worked up over a game they go into a frenzy and think this is the way to vent their frustration. Personally I think the animations are hilarious and can’t wait to see how goofy and screwed up they are for myself, but I just cannot understand how animations in a game can justify going after someone like this in their minds. Fucking hate people, honestly.

    • I don’t actually mind people getting angry about the animations, even if the full extent of my emotions on the subject are it’d be nice if they were better, the problem isn’t the anger there, but rather how it’s directed at a singular person – that is unforgivable, particularly in the particular form it is taking.

    • The problem with the facial expressions is that ME isn’t supposed to be a comedy, some people cannot take it seriously as it is now.

      As funny as they may be now, I suspect that after so many hours, once the novelty factor wears down, the animations will stop being funny and look just sad.

  • Not ok no but whoever signed off on these facial animations needs to be fired or at least demoted severely. The fact a lot of the characters look like marionettes and have worse facial animation than Mass Effect 1, a game 10 years old now, is pretty pathetic. Luckily the game itself is pretty bloody good…

    • This is what I don’t get. If the animations aren’t great, and don’t have any effect on the overall gameplay, then what’s the problem? If anything, it’s at least a comical bonus you can share on your social accounts.
      Consider No Man’s Sky launched with barely any of its advertised features. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 was an absolute s**t-show. What about Star Wars 1313? PT on the PS4? Starcraft: Ghost? These titles didn’t even see the light of day. Hell, Disney Infinity 4 was cancelled after being announced!

      Point is, you got some crappy animations in an otherwise complete game. Call me crazy, but I think that’s win. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Think of your favourite movie. Good story, good special effects or sequences etc whatever. Now picture the actors making derp faces while reading their lines, like faces that dont match the emotional intent of what they are saying, or just looking like marionettes. That is the disjointed feeling a lot of us get when playing a game that has such a focus on conversations. Just makes it all very odd. And from such a widely respected series is just poor form on Biowares part imo.

        • Of course I was being mostly facetious. When comparing the ME:A release to other failed game releases, ME:A is clearly a winner, but within its own franchise’s history, it’s definitely lacking in at least this one area.

  • I gotta ask, was she hired for her proven experience, or was she hired because she’s a female?

    Back in 2015, I was a part-time onsite I.T. technical support at a private high school. They were looking to increase our numbers due to fellow administrators becoming of retirement age. However, we were told by front desk that they were looking to add a female to our group.

    Now, we get a lot of face time with the walking-acne-giggle-sticks, as they personally have to come into our corner and present us with their broken laptops and iPads. I was told the reason why they wanted a female in our group was to try and show the students that the I.T. industry wasn’t just some boys club.

    I took this in two ways.

    I thought that was a good idea, as I have a niece who wants to get into that industry, particularly the animation side of things, and maybe something like this might boost morale or confidence or whatever you want to call it, in those that are unsure or timid in that area.

    However, I also thought it was bullcrap. The reason for this was because I spent the previous year struggling to find decent work, and the fact that some lucky person gets this handed to them on a silver platter because of their gender, really struck a nerve. Not because she was a female, but because it felt unfair. Unfair like in those moments where a best friend might get a high paying do-nothing job, simply because their uncle is the boss.

    That’s just my personal experience, but I do wonder from time and time again if this happens in other places, especially since I’ve recently gotten back in the jobsearch side of things, and a couple of pre-interview papers ask me these questions.

    – Are you of aboriginal or torres strait descent?
    – Are you a 457 visa holder?
    – Are you disabled?
    – Are you a woman?

      • sub conscious bias still exist, at least in AU. a few years back I believe it was Current Affairs or Today Tonight that did research before, sending out the same resume except changing the name to to sound more Western as opposed to Asian / Muslim sounding. it was actually kind of interesting.

        I’d like to believe on the whole we as a country has moved beyond such issues but you can tell just watching the current news it’s still sadly not true.

        regardless though it doesn’t excuse the actions present in this article. even if it’s just one person to blame for the animations of ME:A (highly unlikely), that’s not an excuse to heap abuse on them

        • wow Current Affair or Today Tonight? that must have been some hard hitting and absolutely flawless research. especially given the intellectually and morally challenged people who watch their show dont actually needs facts they just need to be told they are right. its those people who are the reason why we still equal opportunity quotas in employment

          • would you deny such existence just because it came from a questionable TV show?

            I thought it was interesting regardless and it prompted me to explore the subject more.

            I think blindly accepting something is true is stupid no matter the sources

          • oh you misunderstand I dont deny its existence, merely those who give credence to it. there is a reason why anti-intellectualism is flourishing at the moment. there is good reason why what they say happens, does actually happen and its not a bad thing. Like those who try and sell it that way. People like Current Affair know their audience is ignorant and play to that. Which in turn fosters more ignorance which creates losers like the guy this post was about. A game gets launched, the WHOLE dev team make decisions which give it less than perfect animations, but this ignorant sod decides to use it to push his gamer gate style agenda, which itself is based on ignorance. Pandering to his audience, inspiring others to share in his stupidity, much like Current Affair does every night.

          • an interesting view point and one i can agree with

            thank you for the civil discourse

      • As far as are you Aboriginal or torres straight, yes. Employers get more money from the government for hiring people from certain walks of life. Mature age are worth more than young unemployed as well. Quite often I see jobs specifically saying “for Aboriginal or torres straight only”. Jobs are often still there a month or 2 later…

        • You should report jobs you see that advertise ‘aboriginal or torres straight only’, because they’re illegal. The government incentivises hiring certain disadvantaged groups but it’s still illegal to restrict hiring on the basis of race.

          • Not if that race (or more appropriately ‘culture’) is a necessary part of being able to do the job. Granted, there are very few positions that would be like that, but they do exist. The problem is these things aren’t generally tested because so few people outside that race or culture would want to apply for the position. It does tickle me though when certain people get their noses out of joint just because, for example, a male is made the ‘women’s officer’ of a certain university…
            You don’t get Kotaku articles about that kind of thing though…

          • I can’t think of any jobs outside acting roles where a particular race would be specifically required, but your point is taken. I don’t think Andy was referring to that kind of job though.

            Regarding the women’s officer story, it seems unique in that it’s an elected position, not one awarded on the basis of merit. I don’t believe the role should be artificially restricted to women, but it seems likely that women would be more qualified for the role simply on the basis of experience with women’s issues.

          • The funny part in the women’s officer story was the number of people screaming that a man could not possibly represent women as well as a woman could 😛

          • I don’t consider it an absolute, but I’m sure you’d agree it’s considerably more likely that women would be better qualified for that role.

          • Nope. They’re just after someone with professional Mandarin fluency, nothing in there about race.

          • I doubt ANYONE would be qualified for that role. They want someone with 5-8 years of ‘pablic practice’ experience!

          • It’s a company that deals specifically with Chinese language job placements and the contact has a Chinese name, there’s a pretty good chance he’s not a native English speaker. Is poking fun at his spelling really the bar you want to set?

    • Why do you gotta ask? It doesn’t matter – even if she was hired to fill a quota over other, more qualified applicants that doesn’t make it okay to abuse her. If people feel a company’s hiring practices are poor they should take that up with the people in charge of setting those policies, not the people who may or may not have benefited from those policies.

      I generally agree that companies shouldn’t go out of their way to hire any group over any other, but OTOH I also think it’s important to try and (for one example) get more women into IT jobs. I don’t really think company policy that involves hiring a certain percentage of women even if there are more qualified men for those roles is a good solution but I also don’t actually have any better ideas that won’t take a couple of decades to make a real difference.

      But yeah, in this case “why was this person hired” isn’t really even a relevant question, and it’s pretty insulting to ask it at all when there’s no good reason to suspect that she wasn’t hired on merit…

      • Why do you gotta ask? It doesn’t matter – even if she was hired to fill a quota over other, more qualified applicants that doesn’t make it okay to abuse her

        I never said it was okay to abuse her, so let’s get back on topic.

        in this case “why was this person hired” isn’t really even a relevant question, and it’s pretty insulting to ask it at all when there’s no good reason to suspect that she wasn’t hired on merit…

        The question is relevent because there are a lot of people complaining about the current quality of the animations, thus this article exists, thus videos like these exist;

        I don’t see how it’s ‘insulting’ to ask; This particular Facial Animator is the LEAD animator for a blockbuster, AAA, new release game, and so far, all the reviews back (albeit on a beta) are highly negative on the facial animation.

        I’m not assuming she was hired because she’s female; I’m looking at her work (which speaks for itself) and wondering how someone who done such a poor job, managed to get such a senior position. Almost as if she possibly wasn’t hired on merrit?

        Now, which brings me to my question made in my first comment. I’ll reword it since I believe I was too vague.
        Is this happening in other places/industries? How will this affect future games and their quality?

        • 1. It seems like she wasn’t actually the lead animator. She was working under a different studio at EA and the official statement is that she was “misidentified.”

          2. Even if she had been, there are dozens of reasons other than her being incompetent that this could’ve happened. Unrealistic deadlines or budgets set by somebody higher up the food chain is a pretty common one in software development, but there are plenty of other possibilities. We don’t know exactly what happened. We do know that in development projects worked on by hundreds of people, when some aspect of that project isn’t up to scratch the blame pretty much never falls on the shoulders of a single person.

          3. Imagine you’re working on a large group project for work. Maybe you’re one of a slew of managers involved. The project doesn’t come out so well. Immediately the public assumes that A: It was your fault, specifically and B: You didn’t work hard to earn your position at the company, and only got that job because your boss had a quota to fill. That doesn’t seem insulting to you? And unreasonable?

          When Batman: Arkham City launched as a buggy mess on PC did you immediately assume the Head of the QA department was completely incompetent and probably got their job because they were a woman/black/they knew the boss/the HR person who interviewed them thought they were hot or whatever? Probably you did what most people did and assumed it was rushed out the door due to a decision made by somebody higher up in the company, or the testing team was too small, or any of a dozen contributing factors… If you’d found out the Head of QA was a woman would you then have suspected it was all their fault?

          You probably wouldn’t have. But a small and very loud minority of people with too much time on their hands might’ve, which is really the salient point of this article.

        • It’s still irrelevant and all you’re doing is chucking aspersions and fishing with assumptions of hypothetical situations.

  • People are dicks, who gives a fuck about animations……….and it’s never okay to bully/harass a person

    • People are dicks, and it’s never okay to bully/harass a person. Very true.
      Who gives a fuck about animations. Really? Lost me there. Animation is pretty key to a good game along with story.

      • We are talking about minor nuances here like lip sync and dead eyed glaring, not a real deal breaker though…..aslong as running, jumping and thrusting an omni tool into a foe is nailed down tight 😉

  • Don’t care if you’re a male, female or god knows what else, long as the game is enjoyable! If it’s not, then off I go to another game.

  • To think that the gaming world was once content with blocky graphics, simple colours, and a four note-soundtrack…

    I miss those days.

  • I think the consensus in the comments here is bullying is wrong. What I don’t understand though is why the article had to throw in a snide political comment at the end talking about Trump.

    • Its a comment on the way him and “Some” of his online followers act. They dont actually counter somethign, They just jump straight to insults.

      There was that story of the young teenage girl who asked trump a question criticizing him and what did she get? Trump called her stupid and she recieved death threats from rabid trump fans.

    • It struck me as a bit off too. I’m no fan of Trump but there was no need to mention him here.

    • Seems fitting. Both are adversarial, unfocused, and prone to lashing out at shadows. It’s also worth noting that GG was effectively a nascent form of the alt-right, a following that has thrown its weight behind Trump. View all that through the lens of the current event and Trump’s inclusion is apt.

    • Neo-Nazis weren’t the only undesirables who found a rallying flag in Trump. It may be an uncomfortable fact, but it’s an observable one nonetheless – since Trump’s election, public expressions of racism, sexism and bullying have increased as people who hold those views feel legitimised by a president who has demonstrated on numerous occasions racism, sexism and bullying.

      • There will always be overzealous people on either side. That being said I think the vocal minority is starting to to see the quiet majority get sick of the PC culture that is being jammed down their throats.

        That however is off topic and still doesn’t explain why Trump’s name was used in an article about basement dwellers harassing a Bioware employee. Just feels like agenda pushing which I’ve come to expect on this website.

        • That however is off topic and still doesn’t explain why Trump’s name was used in an article about basement dwellers harassing a Bioware employee.

          I’m sorry if my reply was unclear for you, but it did answer your question. The article mentioned “the age of Trump” to provide the social context within which this event is taking place.

          • I don’t, and I explained why above. There’s ample evidence of the effect he’s had.

          • I thought we were just saying there was evidence and not providing any. That’s what you did after all.

          • You didn’t ask for any. I’m happy to provide evidence of the effect Trump’s election has had if you’d like me to, and I’d like you to do the same for your position.

            Do you actually want to see some of the evidence? I have a hard time believing you don’t already know it exists.

  • Gamergate is as Gamergate does…
    They still think women want to ruin gaming, this is no different to every other female in gaming or gaming journalism who has been targeted by the GG hate machine

  • I wonder how many of these sick individuals will claim “We were only kidding” when an article comes out titled “Animator of Mass Effect Andromeda commits suicide over harassment.”

  • “You ruined Mass Effect! I hope you get fired.”


    Some people need to get out more. If your entire basis of existence is for a game that isn’t even out yet…then there is something more deeply wrong in your world than a few facial animations.

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