Bioware is one of the biggest game development studios in the world with recent hits like Dragon Age and Mass Effect under its belt. They also have a good reputation with gamers.
One of the reasons why they have a good reputation with gamers is because they are pretty open with information. Maybe that is why Casey Hudson, Executive Producer for their Mass Effect franchise, spoke about the collection of anonymous player data.
According to him, Bioware only collect data of events. In Mass Effect 2, these data are things like whether lines of dialogue were skip, what class people are playing, what missions are favorites, even how many times did a player complete the game.
The Bioware executive even gave details on people who played Mass Effect 2 like how 15% of the conversations were skipped, average game time was 33 hours, and that there were 2 players who played through the game 28 times on the PC.
Now let’s leave aside how anyone can play through a game 28 times and concentrate on the data collection. I understand that Bioware want the data to improve game design for their future games but I’m not a big fan of giving data, even anonymous data, to anyone without being asked.
I had played Mass Effect 2 on the PC before and I know my gaming data is currently with Bioware somewhere, but the thing is never once during the game was there any message stating that my data would be sent to Bioware. Now I’m not totally against giving data but I would like to be asked first before gaming companies sent my data to their database.
A simple line like, “Would you like to send your data to the company so that improvements can be made in future games?” Even something as simple as that would be great. I just want something that gives me an option, a choice of whether to give data because right now the only way not to give data is to off the internet.