BioWare apologises for the way it portrayed a transgender character in Mass Effect: Andromeda. The developer calls the missteps, which saw fans criticise the ‘unrealistic’ dialogue with a transgender person, an “unfortunate byproduct” of game design.
BioWare previously vowed to make adjustments to scenes involving the character, as well as improvements to gay romances, in an upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda patch.
Mass Effect: Andromeda Trans Character Apology
Regarding Hainly Abrams: pic.twitter.com/nFpUKihqOj
— BioWare (@bioware) April 5, 2017
In a post to its official Twitter, BioWare explains that it ‘strives’ to make games that are “representative of our players and the world around us.” Referring to a scene with an NPC named Hainly Abrams, in which she immediately comes out as transgender and shares her pre-transition name, BioWare says that it never intended to “hurt” anyone with the content.
Explaining that the misstep was a result of the “iterative process of game design and a change in structure of the character’s dialogue,” BioWare also rveals the steps it is taking the change the scene in question. The developer has had “several discussions with members of the transgender community” internally and with the “broader community,” and is already working on a fix.
>Hey, what brought you here?
bioware please pic.twitter.com/1bthNIXfiG
— Lone (@lonelytiefling) March 20, 2017
Once the changes to Mass Effect: Andromeda have rolled out, it says, “Hainly will only reveal certain information to [player character] Ryder after they have developed trust, and only if the player chooses to support her.”
On social media, the response to the proposed changes and to BioWare’s apology from transgender gamers has been positive. While some seem surprised that the developer issued the apology at all, others are happy for an official comment and that, in their opinion, it sees genuine and sincere.
Many are also glad that the developer has confirmed that it is working with the wider transgender community to remedy this and that it isn’t just doing this internally, in an effort to rush a fix and quieten concerns quickly. When BioWare worked with trans consultants for Dragon Age: Inquisition for a transgender NPC called Krem (as wonderfully discussed by LPVG here), the portrayal was well-received, and so many are eager to see how this will be successful a second time around.