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BioWare defends Mass Effect 3 ending, welcomes feedback for DLC

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The final moments of Mass Effect 3 aren't sitting well with some fans, but according to director Casey Hudson, stirring up controversy was part of BioWare's mission all along.

"I didn't want the game to be forgettable. Even right down to the sort of polarizing reaction that the ends have had with people - debating what the endings mean and what's going to happen next, and what situation are the characters left in," he explained in an interview to Digital Trends, adding, "That to me is part of what's exciting about this story. There has always been a little bit of mystery there and a little bit of interpretation, and it's a story that people can talk about after the fact."

The comments are in response to a vocal group of Mass Effect 3 followers who have taken BioWare to task over an ending they believe provides little closure and falls short in honoring the player's choices. Some fans have even gone so far as to set up an online petition demanding an alternate ending for the Mass Effect Trilogy that offers long-time players a “more complete explanation of the story events” and “a heroic ending which provides a better sense of accomplishments”.

Hudson gave no indication BioWare is even considering a rewrite, but did say future DLC would be governed by fan feedback, explaining, “It’s very important to us and we will always listen to feedback, interpret it and try and do the right thing by our fans…We have some really great multiplayer content and some really great single-player content coming over the air, and their feedback will become part of how we design that.”

Addressing other issues, Hudson noted he's happy to see common sense prevailing in the From Ashes DLC controversy, and equally pleased at how fans have reacted to Mass Effect 3's expanded relationship options, adding, “It’s also a learning experience and I think we’ve learned a lot about how people perceive their experiences with our characters and what they wanted out of them. Some of these things that we’ve added or changed about how we view this is in response to things that we’ve learned or feedback that we’ve had from them.”

Where do you stand on the trilogy's final moments? More importantly, does BioWare even owe fans an explanation?

Above: This is one of the endings to the game. SPOILER WARNING. You have been warned.

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139 comments

  • Ironarm - March 18, 2012 6:31 p.m.

    This reminds of me of the fan feedback after the LOST series finale.
  • Alestia - March 18, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    ok ive play all three endings and im on my forth play through. the renagade ending which is what is shown here is the right and best choice, its not exactly the renagade ending i got but its ok. i tend to be a completionist and i end with over 7000 on my war prep score. but if done right u see shep is alive in the end and drawing a breath on earth like it was all some kind of bad dream....at least that what i think as for the other two endings the paragon and nutral ending require self sacifice to save the day and r not what i would call good endings bitter sweet maybe. this game made me wish i had never given up World of Warcraft.
  • biplav32 - March 18, 2012 3:44 a.m.

    In other words, we created bad ending (as if there were any difference between endings) because we want to you to buy good endings in dlc. I would usually play mass effect games at least 3 times but me3's endings makes me not want to play it again.
  • TheHowetzer - March 17, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    Well lets see here, I've had a few beers, and I have NOT yet played Mass effect 3, so obviously I am ready to comment on this whole thing here guys, let me lay it down for you all. First off, full disclosure here everyone I have only played PS3 and so far that means only ME2, and I did play it through twice, but not as many times as alot of the "hardcore" players have. I have read all of the comments here as of 2 days ago and the ones at the top of the list tonight before I write this, so from what I gather alot of people dont like the fact that they feel their choices didnt matter enough, and that it "doesnt make sence", hopefully I am getting a good enough grasp on these complaints so that I am a viable commentor in this arena. I have watched alot of the endings via youtube,and this article so thats as far as my expierences here will take me, but I would argue that I didnt need to see any other ending than the one shown on this article (which is interestingly enough called the "worst ending") to be able to honestly say it is a great ending for this game. I want to also say that I am not wishing to enrage anyone with this take on the endings or anything like that, but that I really want to simply share my opinion on the matter. Ok, it is times like these that I wish I had software that would convert my thoughts to type, because its going to be a much more difficult road getting to where I would like to bring you all through the medium of type. I do however hope enough of you will understand where I am trying to take you, also sorry about any typos guys, Ive had like 6 beers now. On a side note, I know I am going to get done typing this and I am going to get the recaptcha wrong and somehow lose all this.../sigh c'est la vie. First impressions are amazing, I have not even played the game and I am emotinally envolved in the ending, also I find myself asking questions and at the same time rejecting answers only later to accept them. Who could ask for more in an ending? If I am bioware, I could not. Now on to concerns, peoiple feel their choices should MATTER more. I would say this, what does it matter that you spent the last four years of your life on earth working out and preparing your body for hard work when you step out onto 5th ave one morning and are run over by the 6:15 am buss that was running 10 minutes late on it's route? It doesn't matter. You would die. ALL of you decisions up to that point that you stepped onto the road would mean NOTHING. The end result is still death. To think some choices you have made years ago or even much more recently will even matter in such a situation is Naive at BEST. Lets all step back for a second and REALLY look at whats at stake here, and whats actually happening. You are in a position which has been forced to help decide the future of the entire KNOWN universe, would one be remiss to think that these kind of decisions will not carry much weight? This is NOT about retiring to the desert island with your umbrella drinks here people, this is life and death on a grand scale. Stop acting like you as an individual should even matter. If we take whats been hapening at face value, the universe has been culling the heard so to speak for who knows how long to avoid synthetic life destryoing organic life. How does this not make sence? If someone can explain that to me I would gladly be all mad at bioware with you, but it makes sence to me. Maybe a little fuzzy when it comes to who has made this deceision etc, but the end result is still a good result. So this "race" has been taking out the advaced races who pose a threat to themselves because they have a desire to create something that will ultimately want to destroy the creators. What does this mean ultimately? It simply means that civilizations are curently under a restriction in the level they can reach...once they reach the level to be able to create, they are subject to being uncreated. Is this wrong? Is this right? Is there another choice? Guess what people you get to decide. Anyways, I gotta get another beer but you tell me how rong I am, theres more I could type here , but this gives the basics to my thoughts. Later.
  • jennyleezy - March 18, 2012 10:28 p.m.

    dude! tl,dr
  • ParagonT - March 19, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    Man, you should go play it first, then comment on the game and your idea's of the ending. After experiencing the game in it's fullest form your attitude and opinions will change dramatically. I really think your whole post is really badly organized, so it's hard for anyone to really reply. Six beers? Come on man, that's what wimps are made of.
  • TheHowetzer - March 19, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    OK, as I said I had not played the game so I had given full disclosure on that matter, however I feel that the endings does still at the end of the day make sence to me, that's what my post was about. The Journey does not matter as much as the destination in other words. I get that up to that point that was basically one of the major draws of the game: the journey, but I argue that when you are dealing with what is being dealt with in this game, those small anecdotes will not, and SHOULD not mean anything. Also I find the premise that some "being" or whatever has taken it upon itself to save all life by eliminating that which threatens it to be acceptable, if a little conveluted and seemingly "sprung" upon the plot. Really all of these issues must be accepted, because that's what happened right? Is there another way to deal with something that happens in life that is not agreeable to you and yet holds alot of sway with your lifestyle? Accept and move on, or what? Complain? Give up? Is it easier for me to do this NOT having played the game? Perhaps. As for the six beers, I do not drink as often as I used to. =P
  • magnetite2 - June 2, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    It's sad when someone who's incredibly drunk understands this ending better than those who've played this game series for over 5 years and hundreds of hours. That there's a deeper underlying message to the ending, rather than if you just take it at face value like all these "fans" have done and demanded that the ending be changed. http://christopherneil.net/2012/06/the-mass-effect-3-ending-why-the-fans-are-wrong/
  • Darkhawk - March 16, 2012 11:47 p.m.

    I literally just finished, and came right on here (without reading the article) to state that anyone critical of this ending is, well, wrong. It pretty much came down to exactly what we should have expected, and you could be forgiven for featuring Buzz Aldrin as the Voice of God. I'd seen (and avoided) all the coverage moaning about this ending, but I'm here to state that it was a wonderful conclusion. What's all the fuss about?
  • samsneeze - March 17, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    "What's all the fuss about?" Well that's a simple thing to answer. It makes no damn sense. And was completely stolen from Deus Ex, though I think that bit isn't as bad as the fact that it makes no damn sense.
  • ParagonT - March 17, 2012 6:13 a.m.

    You should read some of the comments people have made and you wouldn't need to even ask that question.
  • mothbanquet - March 17, 2012 7:12 a.m.

    Ok, if you've avoided all the coverage 'moaning' about this ending then it's clear you have no intention of even discussing the issue. Many people are unhappy with the way the endings played out and are no more 'wrong' than you are for liking them. If I were to take that stance then I could just as well argue that if you liked those endings then you simply haven't been playing the previous games correctly.
  • caravan-cristian - March 18, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    So in your opinion the endings are good right? Just one question, if you don't kill or choose synthesis why do the Mass relays explode? If you choose to control the Reapers they still explode. Whats up with that?! And for the passed 5 years Bioware, has been bragging with the fact that all the players decision in the entire game will effect the ending. For all the decisions you make you get what? NOTHING you get like 5% military readiness. Big Wooping Do, don't know why Bioware insists on ruining one of the best games of all times.
  • Odogx44x - March 16, 2012 7:53 p.m.

    I am going to have to give my opinion of this game because like most of you I have played Mass Effect 1,2, and 3 TWICE one with a Paragon and the other as renegade. After all that time. I have to Point out that some good things before the bad Good: The Collectors edition looked great with the artwork and the patch and all that stuff. The Game's graphics and game play were spot on and I was happy I did not have to beat it first to play hardest level because I always play all games on the hardest difficulty. The story was also great until the end. Okay here are the problems that I saw. Music was not as good I actually like the music during Overlord when in battle. For one example. First off I am sorry if I begin to rant but when i stood online to buy the game in the middle of the night and I uploaded my character it could not import the face... Come on Bioware people are very attached to the Shepard they made years ago and I want the Shepard I made years ago with Mass Effect 1. The programmers and management should have known that. Also, I wanted the people I had in Mass Effect 2 on my team to bring on missions.. okay if one died I understand but at least give me the choice. They are loyal to me they should come with me. Okay now this really upset me and I am sorry if I am overreacting but are you serious with Tali's Face? I mean a picture that's all? You could not have a cut scene with her helmet off? That's what we were waiting for that's why most people began a relationship with her. I mean come on... Okay the ending... What Bioware did not understand is that people want a happy ending. I loved the ending of Mass effect 1, and 2. I wanted to fire the rockets at the Reaper I was expecting to blow the Illusive man away and destroy the reapers. So I spend hours in game building my military up to max making nice with everyone and it seemed like it did not matter. The relays were destroyed and no one could go home after I got the Geth to help rebuild with the Quarians! are you kidding? wow.. Okay all in all Bioware should have known better a majority of the players wanted Shepard and his buddies who were alive at the end to live to have peace everywhere. Maybe some cut scenes at the end to show how everyone is doing and if you were in love with Tali have a scene of her our of uniform on her new planet... and Wrex with a kid, garrus still fighting crime this is basic I think this is what people expect. Oh and one last thing WHO CARES IF ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IS GAY IT IS 2012 PEOPLE GROW UP! Odogx44x
  • ParagonT - March 17, 2012 6:16 a.m.

    I don't think people care as much that he lived, but more that your choices didn't matter and there are major lore and plot holes within the last 5 minutes of the game. Also people want to know how their choices effected the universe/galaxy at the end.
  • TreyTable - March 16, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    Not all stories have happy endings. It is what it is.
  • MadmanJack - March 16, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    But to deny a happy ending to everyone after they worked so hard... but you know what? This does have a bittersweet ending if you did work hard. That's not my issue, though I agree I'd _prefer_ survival and Shepard getting some living peace. I can go with it though. My issue is that it doesn't give closure. What happens next? We see THAT it turns out alright, which seems to go against the laws of physics in the Mass Effect universe, but I'll give them their right to make it work. But they have to MAKE it work. Tell us how the galaxy survived being cut off from everyone else. Tell us how Earth and Sol became the new center of government after the Citadel fell. (Shot in the dark there, but every species is there, just about. It seems likely that presuming they figure out how to survive, they'll be the first to try and govern.) Tell us what the hell happened with the Normandy, and tell us what happened to all of the crew we've spent between thirty and ninety hours of our lives getting to know. THAT is what sucks about this ending. It doesn't drop ME3 from 10 to 7 like I told my friend the other day, it really drops it from 10 to INC. Casey has one semester to complete his course work on this game or he fails the course. I'll give him some time though.
  • BladedFalcon - March 16, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    Why the fuck people keep assuming that it's a sad ending, and that's why people are pissed? I am not going to bother explaining how wrong your statement is, play or actually watch the ending first, so at least you can have an idea of what you're talking about.
  • samsneeze - March 16, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    I'm not going to doubt that he hasn't already played the game, but the events of what the ending means probably went over his head. Heck, at first, I was only mad that they stole the ending from Deus Ex. It wasn't until I went back to before the beginning of the mission on the Cerberus Base and had a good look on the galaxy map did my face begin to frown. "THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE!" was my initial reaction, and while I think it was a bit overblown at first, the fact still remains that the galaxy as we knew is no more and all of our choices are pretty fucking limited. I mean, where the heck was my dialogue wheel? Why did Shepard choose then of all times to become some passive person who just accepts the choices given to him? Why the hell does Bioware think I'm going to buy that my crew left me on the Crucible to die? There is absolutely no fucking way Garrus would've left us there. And then there is the part where one of the squadmates you took with you on the final mission, EMERGES from the Normandy like they had been there the whole time. You expect me to believe that the Normandy left the battle, landed in front four or five reapers, picked up E.D.I. and then went back into space to hit the Mass Relay, leaving Shepard behind? Nope.AVI
  • rechnitp - March 16, 2012 4:01 a.m.

    I cannot express enough how disgusted I am with the ending of ME3. Let me see if I have this right: - The entire galaxy's space armada is deployed to the Sol System - 100% of all Mass Effect gateways are destroyed, thus stranding the armada in the Sol System with no method to return to their systems. Since 2 options include saving synthetic life and my iteration saved the Geth, this means the Geth are there. I also saved the spider race as well as the Krogan - Years of my life dedicated to developing and working with my Commander Shephard iteration I wonder how long humanity has left given the above scenarios. I guess we're safe with the Krogan since the only reproducing female is back in the Korgam DMZ and Tularians and Solerians will work fast to wipe them out. So, looks like earth will belong to Spiders or Tularians. Good job BioWare, you're up there with George Lucas on crap endings. What do you have in store for us with Dragonage I wonder, clearly it means death for each story hero, but who will the Champion and Hero synthesize with in that world? Gawd, really???!

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