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BioWare founder hints at possible Mass Effect ending changes

BioWare founder hints at possible Mass Effect ending changes

The ending of Mass Effect 3 could be re-written or expanded following fan backlash, BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka claims.

BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka has responded to the backlash generated by the ending to the Mass Effect space opera trilogy, indicating that he's proud of the team which created the game but that criticism needs to be accepted.

Before you read any further: we guarantee this article is free from spoilers, so don't worry if you haven't reached the controversial ending just yet.

Shortly after the release of Mass Effect 3, the first complaints regarding its ending began to appear. In BioWare's defence, it's undoubtedly difficult to create an ending to a trilogy in which players have invested potentially hundreds of hours which will be satisfying to everyone.

The backlash, however, is surprising in its strength and vitriol: some gamers have been so angered by the ending they have started petitions in an attempt to convince BioWare to release a patch which alters it from the company's original vision.

'As co-founder and general manager of BioWare, I'm very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we've yet created,' Muzyka claims in an open letter to fans (follow the link with care - the site contains spoilers.) 'So, it's incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game's endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.'

Defending games as an art form, Muzyka claims that players have 'the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism,' while also defending the artistic choices made by the development team. Muzyka claims that his team has been reviewing the reaction carefully, reading everything posted by fans on Twitter, Facebook, forums and printed in the industry press to find out exactly what form the criticism takes.

'Building on their research, executive producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey,' Muzyka claims, opening up the possibility that future downloadable content will provide alternative endings to the series. 'You'll hear more on this in April. We're working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received.'

Despite his message of hope for fans feeling let down by the game's finale, Muzyka warns of the risk of constructive criticism turning into destructive anger. 'Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example – has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive,' Muayka claims. 'We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.'

Muzyka also confirmed that BioWare is looking to produce more full games set in the Mass Effect universe, despite Mass Effect 3 representing the official end of the trilogy-spanning story of Commander Shepard. Details of what form these games will take, however, has not been forthcoming.

'The Mass Effect team, like other teams across the BioWare label within EA, consists of passionate people who work hard for the love of creating experiences that excite and delight our fans. I'm honoured to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback,' adds Muzyka.

21 Comments

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XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 13:19 Quote
" proud of the team which but that criticism needs to be accepted." Say what?
Apocalypso 22nd March 2012, 13:19 Quote
"he's proud of the team which but that criticism needs to be accepted."

I think that sentence needs revising.
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 13:21 Quote
I think I just said that :)
Shirty 22nd March 2012, 14:00 Quote
I chuckled at the ad at the bottom as I was reading your comments.

http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n482/shirty101/Lulz.jpg

Gareth Halfacree 22nd March 2012, 14:16 Quote
Whoopsie. This is what happens when you change part of a sentence last-minute... Fixed, ta!
greypilgers 22nd March 2012, 14:47 Quote
Absolute crock of sh*t. If they think that people are really going to be believe different endings weren't already planned in for DLC then they really do need their heads examined. So we are moving towards a business model where you buy a game, but then have to pay extra to get the actual endings? What next? Pay extra for the beginning of the game? Or for Graphics options and Control Configurations?

What a total bunch of a*se.
Baz 22nd March 2012, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Absolute crock of sh*t. If they think that people are really going to be believe different endings weren't already planned in for DLC then they really do need their heads examined. So we are moving towards a business model where you buy a game, but then have to pay extra to get the actual endings? What next? Pay extra for the beginning of the game? Or for Graphics options and Control Configurations?

What a total bunch of a*se.

I'll still pay it though. I am Bioware's bitch.
Hovis 22nd March 2012, 15:22 Quote
This would not be the first Mass Effect game to have a post-script available as DLC, look at the 'Arrival' DLC for Mass Effect 2. Also the continuation of the Mass Effect mythos post-Shep means that there will be answers.

I think what disappointed people is that the end is, however you read it, not a satisfying closure to the story. I think all of us going into ME3 wanted an end. We got more questions.

Providing questions rather than closure is what is referred to in TV writing as 'A Dick Move'.

I dunno. There's still a certain type of RPG that Bioware will always do best. The question is can I be bothered to play any more of that Bioware style of RPG? Meh. Bioware games for me used to be a must-have. However lately I've ignored SWTOR, I didn't finish Dragon Age 2 and I can't see myself getting Dragon Age 3. I can see myself falling out of love with the Bioware style, and the sense that I get from talking to other players is that I'm not alone. I don't think they need to change their formula, but they need to do better.
Fizzban 22nd March 2012, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
This would not be the first Mass Effect game to have a post-script available as DLC, look at the 'Arrival' DLC for Mass Effect 2. Also the continuation of the Mass Effect mythos post-Shep means that there will be answers.

I think what disappointed people is that the end is, however you read it, not a satisfying closure to the story. I think all of us going into ME3 wanted an end. We got more questions.

Providing questions rather than closure is what is referred to in TV writing as 'A Dick Move'.

I dunno. There's still a certain type of RPG that Bioware will always do best. The question is can I be bothered to play any more of that Bioware style of RPG? Meh. Bioware games for me used to be a must-have. However lately I've ignored SWTOR, I didn't finish Dragon Age 2 and I can't see myself getting Dragon Age 3. I can see myself falling out of love with the Bioware style, and the sense that I get from talking to other players is that I'm not alone. I don't think they need to change their formula, but they need to do better.

Bioware are going down the path of trying to please as many people as possible (more cash), and that sadly means catering to those who want games with less options, less controls. They want easy mode. This I think comes from the console generation. As it sure doesn't come from their old skool PC fans. People complained that Dragon Age was too hard, too long and there was too much talking from the characters. I mean wtf? So we get DA2 which was more watered down.

And look at ME3..there is the option to turn off having to make most of the choices in the game. Why? Because (some) people don't want to think for themselves, they just want a brainless squad-shooter. Thank **** BW gave us the option to have full choices on, and thankfully that was the standard setting.

I've always been Biowares bitch like Baz, but I'm starting to lose faith in their direction. DA2 wasn't what it should have been. Neither was SWTOR. And the last 15mins of ME3 was soul crushing. I always pre-ordered without needing to think about it. I suspect I will pre-order DA3..but if they mess that up, it will be the last time I buy anything from them at full price.
greypilgers 22nd March 2012, 18:04 Quote
Controversial/cliched/boring... Whatever, but For me Bioware have been on a downward slope since BG. They may well have released good games since then, but definitely a downward slope.
XXAOSICXX 22nd March 2012, 19:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Controversial/cliched/boring... Whatever, but For me Bioware have been on a downward slope since BG. They may well have released good games since then, but definitely a downward slope.

BG2 - best game I ever played to this day.
rogerrabbits 22nd March 2012, 22:52 Quote
They are obviously geniuses who have been tought well by EA. I need to learn these lessons for my job too.... provide an unsatisfying product to my customers so that I can charge them again for something better.
The_Beast 23rd March 2012, 00:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Bioware are going down the path of trying to please as many people as possible (more cash), and that sadly means catering to those who want games with less options, less controls. They want easy mode. This I think comes from the console generation. As it sure doesn't come from their old skool PC fans. People complained that Dragon Age was too hard, too long and there was too much talking from the characters. I mean wtf? So we get DA2 which was more watered down.

And look at ME3..there is the option to turn off having to make most of the choices in the game. Why? Because (some) people don't want to think for themselves, they just want a brainless squad-shooter. Thank **** BW gave us the option to have full choices on, and thankfully that was the standard setting.

I've always been Biowares bitch like Baz, but I'm starting to lose faith in their direction. DA2 wasn't what it should have been. Neither was SWTOR. And the last 15mins of ME3 was soul crushing. I always pre-ordered without needing to think about it. I suspect I will pre-order DA3..but if they mess that up, it will be the last time I buy anything from them at full price.

I think it's more of EA's greed than it is Biowares
Hovis 23rd March 2012, 03:51 Quote
The thing to consider with recent Bioware games being less hardcore, is they are trying to appeal to new players, and this is a laudable activity. I mean you sit somebody who has never gamed before in front of the original Dragon Age, or Baldur's Gate, they might never get into it. Mass Effect, especially the later two, is immediate, it is accessible. It grabs you. I like that. I like that there are hundreds of thousands of new gamers thanks to this kind of consideration.

Let's be honest, most of us here, we've got how many years of gaming behind us? We're usually the sort of folks who can see a game for the systems behind it within a matter of minutes, reducing them down to numbers like Neo in the Matrix. For a game to challenge us, for it to test our skill set, that game is going to crush an uninitiated player.

A lot of folks forget that. We're a rare breed, but we're getting more common. And we're getting more common because of games like Mass Effect, World of Warcraft, Skyrim and so on that are shamelessly accessible and that draw in an audience. They are gateway games and we need them. I know plenty of hardcore gamers grumbled about how soft and easy Skyrim felt after Morrowind, but I also know plenty of people for whom it is literally the first game they have played in years, or even ever, because you can pick it up, see what is going on, figure out the controls easily and run with it.

Gaming is huge, it will get bigger, but for that to happen it cannot be a closed shop.
ModSquid 23rd March 2012, 12:51 Quote
Are we really still blaming consoles and their owners for the dumbing down of PC games? Might as well blame Disney or Psygnosis (for Lemmings). There is a place for both console and PC gaming and, that aside, aren't we all gamers together?

I can understand the rivalry between console owners, but willy-waving between PC users and console owners is getting tiring. There may even be grounds to suggest that if it wasn't for the lucrative console markets in the first place, the PC would never have seen the likes of Gears and Mass Effect.

I've yet to start ME1 as have still got loads of others to get through, but this business with the ending of 3 has put me off a bit. However, I think having the option to dumb things down should be applauded, as this should cater to everyone. Maybe the future is more in-depth versions of this...
greypilgers 23rd March 2012, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
The thing to consider with recent Bioware games being less hardcore, is they are trying to appeal to new players, and this is a laudable activity. I mean you sit somebody who has never gamed before in front of the original Dragon Age, or Baldur's Gate, they might never get into it.

LoL... I'm amazed that anyone could consider the first Dragon Age to be a complex RPG, by any stretch of the imagination!

:D

I also take issue with the fact that in order to get the 'new generation' of gamers, publuishers have to pander to the lowest common denominator, in a suggestion that when we, the older generation of gamers, first started out, in some way we were blessed with higher intellect and so were able to pick up more complicated games easier. BG was my first proper role playing game, and I got good at it because it had a brilliant storyline, and whislt relatively complex, encouraged further playing and mastery. Dumbing down the game because you think no one will understand it is very belittling and not doing justice to the many people out there perfectly capable of grasping the concept of a proper, in-depth game mechanic.

I like the crash-bang-shock-and-awe of alot of games, but I really don't think that this needs be at the expense of depth and complexity, if only a little more effort were shown by publishers. Since alot of these games are supposed to have 15+ age certificates anyway, I brook no argument that we have to make allowances for kiddies and their supposedly relative lack of comprehension of these mechanics.
Fizzban 23rd March 2012, 16:37 Quote
I could have worded it a bit better. It is not console players as such, all gamers play consoles at one time or another. But the xbox generation of gamers. They are so used to games offering no challenge that when given a game they have to think about they complain it is too hard. How many moaned about The Witcher 2 beginning because it didn't hold your hand?

But yes, I realise the why of it. To get more people playing and more cash rolling in, they dumb it down. It just gets to me is all.
rogerrabbits 23rd March 2012, 22:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModSquid
Are we really still blaming consoles and their owners for the dumbing down of PC games? Might as well blame Disney or Psygnosis (for Lemmings). There is a place for both console and PC gaming and, that aside, aren't we all gamers together?

I can understand the rivalry between console owners, but willy-waving between PC users and console owners is getting tiring. There may even be grounds to suggest that if it wasn't for the lucrative console markets in the first place, the PC would never have seen the likes of Gears and Mass Effect.

I've yet to start ME1 as have still got loads of others to get through, but this business with the ending of 3 has put me off a bit. However, I think having the option to dumb things down should be applauded, as this should cater to everyone. Maybe the future is more in-depth versions of this...

The average old school PC gamer couldn't give a crap about Gears and Mass Effect. I agree it's nice to have both hardcore and casual games, but I think PC gamers get more and more annoyed as years go by because we don't get both. The majority of games these days are casual.
greypilgers 25th March 2012, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerrabbits
The average old school PC gamer couldn't give a crap about Gears and Mass Effect. I agree it's nice to have both hardcore and casual games, but I think PC gamers get more and more annoyed as years go by because we don't get both. The majority of games these days are casual.

+1
thehippoz 25th March 2012, 21:29 Quote
I say the ending goes like this..

your trapped in the shuttle bay with no escape.. the shuttle bay pilot (forgot his name) gets indoctrinated and attacks you from behind! shepard rolls out of the way and dodges a devastating crotch lunge..

now the control is given back to the player.. all of a sudden your beamed onto the planet and your running for the portal up to the citadel.. you step in some dookey and slip getting simultaneously vaporized by a reaper beam.. ok now your in the dream state

it happens like the normal ending we have now.. except right at the end the elusive man jumps out buck naked and tells you it was a dream- yelling wake up shepard wake up! you wake up half baked on the ground.. the reapers have won- everyone is dead and the mobs see you stagger to your feet.. they surround you running in like the zerg from starcraft 2

fade to ending credits =]
ObsCure 1st March 2013, 01:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
I say the ending goes like this..

your trapped in the shuttle bay with no escape.. the shuttle bay pilot (forgot his name) gets indoctrinated and attacks you from behind! shepard rolls out of the way and dodges a devastating crotch lunge..

now the control is given back to the player.. all of a sudden your beamed onto the planet and your running for the portal up to the citadel.. you step in some dookey and slip getting simultaneously vaporized by a reaper beam.. ok now your in the dream state

it happens like the normal ending we have now.. except right at the end the elusive man jumps out buck naked and tells you it was a dream- yelling wake up shepard wake up! you wake up half baked on the ground.. the reapers have won- everyone is dead and the mobs see you stagger to your feet.. they surround you running in like the zerg from starcraft 2

fade to ending credits =]

Now that's, an ending dlc, I'd pay money to play/see.

Should pitch this to EAware :D
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