We Talk Race in Games and EA Woes with Former Mass Effect Dev Manveer Heir


More like this please.


This episode was great. I really like that other sites are picking up on this.


I remember reading stories of people spending thousands of dollars on ME3, but man.

Fifteen thousand.


Really interesting podcast, and I really enjoyed listening to it!

I wanted to get other people’s opinion on this, but when all three were discussing marginalised groups in gaining employment in video games, I was on my commute thinking, any second they are going to discuss people living with disabilities…right? PLWD face similar barriers to getting jobs not only in games and in other industries, in most cases, PLWD can’t even get their foot in the door or make it to the bottom rung of the ladder. It is not uncommon for this inattentional blindness around disability to emerge, but the conversation was so salient and Austin, Manveer and Danielle all being very switched on and engaged people I would have thought this should have been discussed as well.

Is it just me? Am I just bringing my own mindset to this discussion or did anyone else notice this?

Keep up the good work, and more podcasts like this one please! :smiley:


It’s always refreshing to hear someone be extremely straightforward about the topics that are often only spoken of in roundabout ways. Manveer being straight up about racism and bad employee practices in AAA is like, a breath of fresh air.

Plus, I appreciate the focus on this being a structural issue. This isn’t about the vast majority of EA/Activision/Whatever employees, it’s about a bad corporate culture that trickles down to making bad decisions in games and thus, worse games. It’s the polar opposite argument to that dumb Penny-Arcade post that placed anger first-and-foremost on the consumer (“what you’ve done is bad for gamers!!!”).

if we want better games, we gotta understand that these corporate structures themselves are to blame.


No, you right, that area is one that Waypoint covers very rarely.

What I would say, though, Waypointers are pretty open to criticism: if you want to send them a question or actual criticism you can do that (reminder: gaming@vice.com). Or you can make a thread about it. I started thread about Steam Controller mostly for that reason (well, about playing games, not for hiring people).

And that also a good point that having a diverse group of people is essential. You hear about colorblind options or lack thereof from Giant Bomb constantly, because they have (strategically put) Jeff and Vinny. I’m colorblind myself, btw, but I’m not noticing it until I’m noticing, you know, so I get that you would not even think about it when everything works for you.

And that’s just a very small part of the issue, of course. I just don’t want to derail the conversation too much.


This is such a great podcast. Love the discussion in this episode. Very important conversation to have and I’m just sitting here nodding approval of pretty much everything that’s being said.
Though I’m not sure the ones who need to hear this will, or if they do they’ll “hear it” the same way I am.

And regarding the posts above by @newtotheinternet and @onsamyj, those are good points, I’ve not really considered that aspect. Made me think of something when Manveer said “That’s why I wanted to create a black and brown company” , as in not mentioning (explicitly) more women as well, and this lead to me thinking this is a problem we have, where someone tries to do something good and we fall in to a “trap” of thinking "is it good enough " and “they should do more”.
I think what I’m trying to say is, is that when minorities or other groups that are marginalized speak up and try to do something about their situation, they inadvertently are tasked with speaking up and trying to fix things for all marginalized groups. I’m not sure I’m making a coherent point here, and I’m trying to type this on mobile while it’s still fresh.

I might have to edit this to be more coherent when I’m back at a computer I think.


Manveer is a champ. More guests please!


On one hand you right, there is enormous pressure from all sides: from haters and from people who actually want to support you. On the other hand, we still have people that get ignored.

Also, I don’t think that groups that trying to fix situation only for “their own people” are the norm. Feminism is also about all LGBTQIA+ issues for some time now. Guys at Spawn On Me now have Tanya and they been inviting a bunch of different guests from the start. Waypoint is great, too. Etc., etc. So, while, yes, I think it is a little bit, um, not cool to put more pressure on people who do “good enough”, they putting that pressure on themselves anyway.


This was a very good episode and discussion. Very refreshing to hear someone from the industry speaking so candidly about its issues


This was a fantastic episode. What I found particularly great was it wasn’t pre-occupied on dwelling too much on where we are, instead focusing on putting it into context and how we can try to change things

When Waypoint launched and made its mission clear, this is the kind of work I’d like to see more of. Thank you to Austin, Danielle, Vice Production staff, and especially Manveer for spending his time (not just in this podcast but in the industry over the last decade).


This was a really good episode. Some really interesting insider discussions, and Manveer’s honesty about all things was really refreshing.


Manveer is fantastic and I really want to hear more experiences in the games industry from the guy.


This was an absolutely amazing episode. As someone who hopes to make it into the industry as a programmer, and as a brown dude with a funny sounding name, its definitely disheartening to hear that the industry hasn’t come that far in terms of race. Manveer brought up so many amazing points about the industry and more specifically about EA and their goals. Hearing people “like me” talk about the industry and their position in it really inspires me every day, it helps me remember that I /can/ do this!! Thanks again for the great content


I just want to add my praise to the pile. This was a fantastic episode and I went and actually shared a link to the episode and podcast, which I never do for podcasts.

Really looking forward to hearing and seeing more from Manveer.

Great job, Waypoint.


I’d love it if you elaborated on this. I was surprised to hear Heir have such a poor opinion on how Andromeda’s story reacts to historical colonialization. I still haven’t finished the game, but thus far I’ve felt that Andromeda’s narrative talks about colonialization quite well (though the allegory of the Kett and Angara is pretty heavy handed).


Great show, looking forward to more guests like this!


This podcast was super insightful & it spoke to me specifically hearing another brown dude talk about his experiences in the industry. Really hoping that we’ll see even more of these kinds of discussions in future podcasts.


I’ll just add one more voice saying: fantastic episode, I’d love to see more guests (especially ones as cool as Mr August aka King Curry Thunder)


Absolutely fantastic to listen to. While I understand that the nature of the industry is what causes someone like Mr. Heir to go against the flow and appear on a podcast such as this; and I understand that the rarity of someone like Mr. Heir who is willing to speak so candidly is what made the podcast so enjoyable…yeah. Do more of these.

Loved it.

Thanks for all the hard work.