BioWare co-founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka have said the developer isn’t making political statements with Mass Effect 3, reiterating that its games simply offer players choices.
“It’s surprising that people think it’s that big a deal. If you’re creating this kind of content, it’s very natural to provide all the options,” Zeschuk told Kotaku of Mass Effect 3′s inclusion of a gay male romance option.
“It’s a choice based on preferences. If there’s a political bent to it, it’s very Libertarian. It’s like… yeah, we make the choices available. You decide what you want to do. We’re not pushing any particular direction with most of our stuff.”
“We’re neutral. It’s the player’s choice. It’s a role-playing game,” Muzyka agreed.
“We let players take on a role and really immerse themselves on how they feel they want to be playing the game. Be true to that. Be true to your ideal of a game of choice.”
Muzyka said the decision to expand Mass Effect’s array of choices had both internal and external motivations.
“We got feedback from players that they wanted more choice. We respond to that feedback and try to make our games better based on what our players are asking for,” he said.
“A few years ago there was a debate among the team members that, yeah there’s more of an expectation to enable more content so, essentially, our games have to be bigger to enable these choices to occur. You have to have different paths. You have to have different playthroughs.”
That expectation isn’t always easy for BioWare, as the more paths the player can follow, the more expensive and protracted development becomes.
“We are doing it as a service to our fans, because we think it’s part of the expectation of a role-playing game,” Muzyka said of the extra effort.
“It’s part of the expectation of a BioWare game because of the way our games have been for the last couple decades. We’ve had that kind of choice going way back to Baldur’s Gate back in the 90′s. It’s been refined. We think it’s a good thing to offer players. Choice is always a nice thing, when it works. When it’s high-quality.”
Mass Effect 3 launches on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 6 in the US, March 8 in Australia and March 9 in Europe.