Former BioWare developer Manveer Heir has been somewhat of a controversial figure in the games industry. He’s outspoken, and has previously sparked controversy with his tweets on sensitive issues. Appearing on a recent Waypoint podcast, Heir reflected upon his time at BioWare, talking about the studio’s lack of diversity, work environment, and more.
Mass Effect Andromeda attracted criticism for what many saw as its promotion of colonialism. According to Heir, some developers within the studio raised the issue years ago but its “homogeneous leadership” paid no mind.
I wasn’t the only one. There were other people, there were other white people, white men, who spoke up. There’s a lot of really good people inside of BioWare who spoke up on this stuff. This is what happens when, I think, you have a homogeneous leadership. The leadership of Mass Effect: Andromeda was all white men.
Heir also mentioned being “talked to all the time about speaking up” on various issues, which contributed to his resignation from BioWare earlier this year.
As somebody’s who’s public, you become the loud guy, you become the angry guy, and you become the person who’s just trying to get all the press for yourself. That’s how it’s read, and then there becomes internal strife.
It is our job to speak up and do that thing. I’m not gonna quiet down and I’m not gonna not fight. So to me, when I realized I was in an environment that did not accept that and want that, and that was telling me I was being too angry or I was speaking up too much, and basically tried to tell me to sit down and be humble, I was like…peace out.
Following his resignation, Heir set up an indie studio.
You can listen to the full conversation over at Waypoint.