news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm

BioWare Employee Causes Controversy with Dragon Age II Review


BioWare hasn't been on the good side of gamers lately. Despite garnering favorable review scores, Dragon Age II has seen its share of criticism from fans. After the SecuROM fiasco, which alarmed those who thought EA had nested the DRM into the game, most players became extremely wary. Shortly after, the company did nothing to ease tensions regarding the unfair ban on a Dragon Age II player. Even worse, it's the general consensus among fans that the game has been rushed. Given the gravity of these situations, it should come as no surprise that BioWare isn't the most popular developer right now.

A company employee has just given fans even more reason to be dissatisfied with BioWare. Posing as a user named Avanost, Chris Hoban of BioWare gave Dragon Age II a perfect score on the user reviews section of Metacritic. His concise (and biased) review read, "The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining."

Though our review of Dragon Age II does attest to the game's high fun factor, "flawlessly executed" is hardly the phrase we would use to describe the game. There's no denying the solid gameplay and long lasting value, but Hoban's review was obviously meant to counter the average user score of 4.2, which is incredibly low and a clear sign of fan backlash. Given EA and BioWare's recent tomfoolery, it's hard to blame gamers for these sentiments, especially those playing the game on the PC.

EA chose to defend Hoban's actions, stating that praising and voting for one's own work were general practices in all forms of entertainment and business. "Of course people who make the game vote for their own game," EA told Kotaku. "That's how it works in the Oscars, that's how it works in the Grammys and [it's] why I'm betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election."

BioWare making the news so often as of late isn't necessarily a good thing for EA. Any publicity isn't always good publicity, especially in the gaming industry, which has countless vocal consumers ready to drop cash for a game or ignore it completely—potentially making or breaking a franchise in the process.

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