Mass Effect: Andromeda's Facial Animation Was Reportedly Outsourced
BIoware possibly used other EA studios to finish production on facial animations.
News on Mass Effect: Andromeda hasn't slowed yet. A new report has shown some insight on the games biggest gripes: The animation.
Liam Robertson, "The video games history guy", spoke to anonymous Bioware employees to learn some details about facial and character animations for the game. As it turns out, apparently they had all these animations outsourced to other EA studios.
Robertson mentions BioWare's heavy use of a new Cyberscan technology, which creates digital scans of people or objects and creates a 3D model in-game. According to Robertson, BioWare used this instead of sculpting faces internally.
The biggest problem is that the face models were completely outsourced to other branches of EA. Specifically, EA Bucharest in Romania is the supposed studio in question.
Outsourcing smaller projects to smaller studios is a common practice with EA, but according to Roberson's sources, Bioware's management team relied too much on outsourcing, sending the entire workload off-site and relying too heavily on the scanning technology.
He also states that it wasn't even a cost-cutting issue. Robertson states that the management team didn't see the need to polish animations with the in-house team and one artist even "“actively went out of their way to offer their services to do additional work on the human character assets, and were turned away.”"
For some reason, facial animations were not a high priority to the management team, spending more time polishing the gameplay and other aspects like vehicles.