Former designers at BioWare and Telltale have confirmed what some of us have always suspected: that most players are overwhelmingly a bunch of do-gooders… even when we're given the choice to play as the bad guys.
Yup. Something like 92% of Mass Effect players were Paragon. And we put a lot of work in to the Renegade content too :( https://t.co/lywwx7n4HyFebruary 19, 2020
In response to a viral tweet that intimated that most of us do the right thing when it comes to morality systems in video games – even when given the option to indulge our bad-boy sides – former Mass Effect cinematic designer John Ebenger said: "Yup. Something like 92% of Mass Effect players were Paragon. And we put a lot of work in to the Renegade content too" (thanks, PCGN (opens in new tab), via ResetEra (opens in new tab)).
It's not just Mass Effect that saw a bias towards the kinder route, either; according to former Telltale narrative designer Matt Boland, the same thing happened in Telltale games, too.
“People always want to be the good guy. The trick was always pitting what they wanted to do against what they SHOULD do. [Mass Effect] had a ton of these too," Boland said (opens in new tab), to which Ebenger replied, "We also always tried getting them to get attached to characters with opposing needs and make them choose who they loved the most. Direct conflict between beloved characters is great!"
In related news, we recently learned the lead writer of the first two Mass Effect games, Drew Karpyshyn, is now the lead writer at Archetype Entertainment (opens in new tab), and he's shared some candid insight into how he got there. In a blog post that updated his followers on his creative pursuits over the last few years, he was frank about his experiences with BioWare (opens in new tab) - a company that he actually left twice, once in 2012 and once in 2018, after rejoining the studio to work on Anthem.
Did we think Mass Effect gave us one of the best games of the last ten years? Check out our pick of the best games of the decade (opens in new tab).