'Mass Effect: Andromeda' News: BioWare might finally be taking its queer fanbase seriously
When Mass Effect: Andromeda finally came out in March, one thing became quite clear — BioWare dropped the ball when it came to being inclusive for its LGBTQ fans. Between its lackluster same-sex romance options for men and clumsy handling of a transgender character named Hainly Abrams, many fans felt like BioWare had cut corners, leaving them behind in the process.
However, it looks like BioWare has finally acknowledged some of its biggest missteps in regards to its LGBTQ representation and has promised to address these issues — and others — in a series of updates that will roll out over the next two months.
Here's what's going on.
Mass Effect: Andromeda: BioWare promises to address concerns regarding LGBTQ representation
In a blog post, BioWare announced that the upcoming patch 1.05, which rolls out Thursday, will address a whole host of bugs and performance issues that have plagued the game since launch. But it also scoped its plans more generally for updates over the next two months.
Here's the section that's most relevant to its LGBTQ fanbase:
• Improvements to male romance options for Scott Ryder
In case you hadn't heard, there are only two male-male romance options in Andromeda right now, neither of which feature a member of the game's central cast. By comparison, there are five male-female romance options, three of which are Ryder's own squadmates. In response to this realization, Andromeda fans swarmed social media with the hashtag #MakeJaalBi to make their voices heard, advocating for the character Jaal to be romanceable by male Ryder.
Additionally, there's a side character you meet named Hainly Abrams who awkwardly reveals she's a trans woman while dropping her own dead name (a term that refers to the name a trans person is assigned at birth). So, for queer fans, the way Abrams was written was yet another sign that BioWare's approach to LGBTQ content in Mass Effect: Andromeda is painfully clumsy.
While BioWare has yet to detail exactly what the improvements to these particular aspects of Andromeda will look like, any kind of acknowledgement that it messed up is a welcome change. And next time around, hopefully LGBTQ fans won't have to make so much noise to get the attention they deserved in the first place.
Mic has reached out for more information about what plans BioWare has and will update with any response.
More Mass Effect: Andromeda news and updates
For more on everyone's favorite space opera, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here's an essay on the troubling history of colonialism in Mass Effect, a story about the horrifying harassment campaign carried out against a former BioWare employee, a look at the #MakeJaalBi fan movement and an overview of the historic lack of gay romance options in Mass Effect.