An extensive trailer for the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda was shown during The Game Awards in early December and, while the overall reaction was positive, fans and snarky commenters picked out some questionable facial animation on the part of one of the leads.
“There were a few moments during the dialogue section that seemed a bit off, especially if you pay attention to some of the facial animations,” The Mary Sue reported last month. “Ryder’s face doesn’t seem to express or change too much, especially as she steals the bodyguard’s gun from him. I realize this is almost assuredly still a somewhat early build of the game, and it should be shaken out by launch, but it definitely stood out to me here.”
So why the hell would EA highlight that exact moment in a tweet from yesterday? In a trailer full of moments that landed so well, why market your game using the one that fell with a thud?
The tweet didn’t seem to be picked up any more or less than most of the tweets on the game’s social media account, but it’s still strange to see such a light “controversy” be given new life by a game’s own marketing.
Bioware’s own general manager tweeted within an hour to help allay some of the fears fans may have about the animation.
Sara Ryder is awesome. Strong, funny, and adventurous. Sorry there's a facial performance bug that lets her down here. We'll improve it https://t.co/esUaI4aFTJ— Aaryn Flynn (@AarynFlynn) January 3, 2017
What’s fascinating about this whole situation is that, until these tweets took place, I had no idea there were people out there who were unhappy with the animation. But those involved with the game can’t seem to help repeatedly calling attention to it. Other people feel the same way about the latest wave of publicity, and Flynn responded to them as well.
@kevwright1 Heh it's become something of a lightning rod unfortunately— Aaryn Flynn (@AarynFlynn) January 3, 2017
This is after the development team took to twitter in December to assure worried fans of the same thing: the animations are being worked on, it’s all being polished and will continue to be polished until the last possible second.
This wouldn’t be the first time a game published by EA has suffered from some odd behavior on social media, and we look forward to seeing any and all awkward moments from tomorrow’s CES trailer to be highlighted in an upcoming tweet as well.