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Mass Effect 3 ending still open, BioWare "has ruled nothing out"

Mounting fury over Mass Effect 3's ending (or lack thereof, according to some), has motivated BioWare to re-evaluate the way it left its space-faring trilogy. Today, the studio issued a statement to fans insisting Commander Shepard's final moments are not set in stone, and that it is open to suggestions.

“We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending,” wrote BioWare on the ME3 Facebook page. “Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive.”

The message follows earlier statements by producer Casey Hudson, who defended the ending to Digital Trends, saying, "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."

The controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3's finale(s) began almost immediately after its March 6 release when a significant number of fans stormed the internet expressing frustration over BioWare's decision to conclude the trilogy with a limited number of scenes which, according to them, failed to provide suitable closure. While this can be said about any number of games, those angry at BioWare allege the Mass Effect team betrayed players' loyalty to the series by not adequately taking into account their decisions, and therefore failing to live up to one the franchise's biggest selling points. One fan has recently gone so far as to file an FTC complaint against BioWare and EA for false advertising, claiming, “After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims.”

The idea of BioWare changing its ending based on negative feedback raises a number of concerns. For one, if BioWare amends its ending – be it through DLC or a patch – it's likely the studio will face another wave of outrage from fans who had no problem with the way Mass Effect 3 down, but would have to accept the game's canon being altered or extended to appease irate fans. Then there's the precedent it would set for other developers faced with the decision of fixing their final product in response to fan feedback even when it's not technically broken.

In the end, this issue isn't about whether or not gamers have a right to be angry with developers' choices (they do, hence the word “right”), but to what extent a studio is responsible for acting on those criticisms or defending its original vision. How far do you think BioWare should go?

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112 comments

  • Wyldwraith - April 4, 2012 8:09 p.m.

    I'm just a regular gamer, I reached the end of ME3 today, and...without any bias going in (as I diligently avoided all spoilers prior to beating the game) I was very, VERY disappointed. First, the scene with the Illusive Man is almost a carbon copy of the dialog portion of the scene with Saren during the Battle of the Citadel in ME1. Synopsis: Indoctrinated guy tries to justify why he's obeying his masters, and Shepard (through use of Paragon dialog choices) convinces the Indoctrinated Guy to stop fighting him the only way they know how. Ie: Putting a bullet in their own head. Second, the "Star-Child" dialog options, or lack thereof was OFFENSIVE. I spent multiple hours ending a centuries-old war between a synthetic race and their creators, to such a positive extent that the Geth have embraced the Quarians with open arms and are rebuilding their civilization on Rannoch and their immune systems just to be nice guys. I don't even get a CHANCE to try and raise this very meaningful series of events as a reason to disagree with the absolutist assertion by the Star-Child that Synthetics will always, invariably and inevitably, do their utmost to wipe out all organic life? No. Just no. That's WRONG. It isn't WORTHY of Mass Effect. Shepard would NEVER blithely accept such an assertion in light of such a pivotal life-experience that affected him deeply on an emotional and psychological level for both Tali's (my Shepard's love interest through ME2 & ME3) and Legion's sake. It diminishes and devalues the choices I made in-game and utterly failed to convey a believable reaction on Shepard's part, on ANY level, to what the Star-Child has to say. Next, the gaping plotholes. Even if you somehow interpret/ignore ME2: Arrival and refuse to believe that destroying all the Mass Effect Relays would destroy any nearby star systems, EVERYONE SHEPARD UNITED IS TRAPPED IN THE SOL SYSTEM! None of that interspecies unification means ANYTHING, because in the intervening centuries it would undoubtedly take to invent and propagate an entirely new interstellar-travel-technology, events that happened centuries earlier would be completely irrelevant by the time these races managed to reestablish contact with each other. Don't even get me STARTED about the offensive implications that Joker and Shepard's ENTIRE crew, INCLUDING those who charged into the blazing beams of the dreaded Reapers would somehow a) Abandon him, and b) Turn tail and flee from the fight for galactic salvation. The only way Joker & Co. end up on the unidentified jungle planet is if they're all suddenly traitorous cowards. Lastly, if ripping off the Saren-dialog-events for the confrontation with the Illusive Man wasn't unoriginal enough, the A/B/C 3-color-explosion ending is lifted in its entirety straight from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Right down to the ambiguous cutscenes that followed Adam's decision. ME3 deserved better. **WE** deserved better. ME was about choice and meaningful exploration of some of the deepest emotional and moral issues there are. The three-endings-that-are-really-one-ending DEFILED everything the series had been built into. Artistic Integrity? EA, talk to me about artistic integrity when you can demonstrate you've managed to regain the smallest modicum of ACTUAL INTEGRITY. Over and over you PROMISED in explicit terms that left no room for ambiguity that we would NOT be left with a cookie-cutter A/B/C ending. You lied to all of us. You lied to ME, and you did it out of nothing more than sheer unthinking laziness. A video game has never HURT ME before. Made me feel something, sure. Not make me feel as if I was an imbecile to believe you would end as you began a franchise I'd come to love. Truly love. You don't have to erase "Your" ending. Some people like it for reasons that elude me. Just provide me, and those like me, with a handful of endings we can truly enjoy and be satisfied with. You CAN do it. We know you can. It only remains to be seen if you'll have the Integrity, Artistic and otherwise, to do just that. I hope you do, because as it stands that A/B/C Green-Blue-Red ending has quite literally stained and despoiled the entire trilogy, at least for me.
  • Vader999 - March 21, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    People who hate the ending vastly outnumber those who like it. Bioware will have nothing to lose if they patched the ending to be better. Also, there should have been a Harbinger boss battle. Especially since he spent the latter halves of the second game taunting you.
  • Nauthiz2 - March 21, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    Would like to leave this here and say that i havent even played mass effect 3. www.datacore-bg.com Игри diablo3guideinferno.com/diablo-3-items-the-equipment-of-sanctuarys-warriors-how-where-and-why Diablo 3 Items diablo3guideinferno.com/diablo-3-auction-house-rmah Diablo 3 RMAH
  • RedOutlive. - March 20, 2012 11:14 p.m.

    Hard to look forward at anything from BioWare these days when dumbing down to the max is what they do to every one of their sequels. Not really enjoying the direction they're going for.
  • Viron - March 21, 2012 5 a.m.

    Care to explain that point?
  • RedOutlive. - March 25, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    Overheating was an interesting mechanic, was scrapped for universal ammo, simplified combat. Mako was totally removed for planet scanning (aka the minigame that bores people to tears) removed any exploration from the game entirely. Fragmented worlds: compared to the 1st game that was seamless, ME2 was much more linear and had zero rewards for just exploring the hub worlds, they simplified the hell out of the whole level design. Scope of missions was lame and stakes were nowhere as high compared to Mass Effect 1, you spent most of the game solving your team's daddy issues then fighting the middle man. The changes ME2 had ultimately promoted a much more cover based shooter game that lacked any diversity the previous had, dumbing it down for a wider audience.
  • baralia22 - March 20, 2012 7:08 p.m.

    First of all the current ending is so abstract that other people have to make a video explaining. That right there should show there is an error with the ending. Second, a fan made the indoctrination videos, not Bioware. So who knows if that was what they were really going for with the ending. Maybe if they released a statement saying, yup, thats exactly what we wanted you to think, then I be more willing to accept it. And finally, I wanted an epilogue showing what happened to the universe! SPOLIER: If the true ending is the one with the red beam and you see a mystery figure take a breath, that isn't an ending at all! This is supposed to be the end of Shepard, they can't just leave us with him "maybe" being alive. We have no idea what really happened if it ends with him waking up from his indoctrination. Let's see a continuation! Does he really stop the reapers or die in the rubble!?!
  • jiodjflak - March 20, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    Having not finished the game yet, I might not have too of a say in this, but from where I stand right now, I can only see two possible endings to the game. either Shepard destroys the reapers or he doesn't and all life is wiped out. Seriously, how many endings were people expecting?
  • TheTrooper424 - March 20, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    I hate this, I am only halfway through the game and don't even want to finish it because I don't want to see what awfulness awaits me.
  • SentientSquidMachine - March 20, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    The game is great, though. Finish it, if you dont get the ending watch this WHEN YOUVE FINISHED THE GAME http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck Then give Bioware a slow clap. Thanks again chomowski
  • ParagonT - March 20, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    Or the bird, whichever comes to you first.
  • SentientSquidMachine - March 20, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    or in my case a raging bird, followed by a .....my bad bro
  • Viron - March 20, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    There is no such thing as an acceptable ending. The only thing that comes close would be a cliffhanger which implies the possibility of a follow up game or a sequel. All other endings are just that, the end to a story, and if you didn't like them there is a likelihood that you enjoyed everything up to that point. And if you did like the ending I would have to guess that you didn't enjoy everything up to that point and are happy to see it end. Either way it's nice to see Bioware back pedal on its choices just to appease its unappeasable fanbase. Way to have no pride in your work.
  • cannon4est - March 21, 2012 4:19 a.m.

    I would disagree. I didn't have a huge problem with the ending personally although I would have liked to have seen more storylines that had lasted through the trilogy come to a more satisfying end so that I might actually know what happened to my teamates, etc. But to say that liking the end of something means that you didn't like the series or whatever the content may be... If I didn't like it, I would've stopped after ME1 or ME2. And while I was always trying to win or get to the end, as is the goal of many games, I still enjoyed the ride along the way. Also, I find it a nice change of pace for a developer to try and work with its fans. Though, you may be right about one thing, those fans may be unappeasable.
  • Viron - March 21, 2012 4:59 a.m.

    But that's not why they are doing it, they're doing it because people cried like babies over the ending and wanted a different one. They weren't talking about new endings when the game came out, it was 2 weeks after. I'm fine with the endings, except that none of them had the Krogan riding into battle on Rachni. Seriously Bioware way to drop the ball on that one. All in all, I would rather they work on more story segments to pad out the last portion of the game.
  • chomowski - March 20, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    one of the best endings and best sci-fi pieces ever created. Well, thanks to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck it's ridiculously good, stop the bioware hate and show some love for some very talented storytellers. I went from "what the hell just happened?" to "holy crap, that blew my mind, this is nothing short of amazing."
  • SentientSquidMachine - March 20, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Thank You for that link.....I was speechless after watching it; ashamed at the fact that I thought I was so smart, and the story apparently went over my head. EVERYONE WHO FINISHES THE GAME MUST WATCH THIS!!!!!!
  • ParagonT - March 20, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    Very good video link. I knew the indoctrination theory was good, but at the same time runs on a lot of assumptions. Occam's razor.
  • Alestia - March 20, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    well to add my two cents worth ive played and replayed ME3 after this last play through ( two times through on two dif Sheps) im tempted to stick it in the closet and forget get about it. screw DLC SCREW BIOWARE and SCREW EA games they can sit and rot for all i care they rushed this stuff out the door and payed more attion to the multi player than to the single player
  • vine1313 - March 20, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    I've played it through twice now, and while I was disappointed with the ending, it certainly wasnt the worst ending I have ever played through. it was weird, but not bad.

Showing 1-20 of 112 comments

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