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Developers reaffirm BioWare’s right to leave Mass Effect 3 ending as it is

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 03:34 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Irrational Games boss Ken Levine and Mythic creative director Paul Barnett have both defended developers’ creative right to tell stories as they choose – regardless of community backlash.

In a question and answer session at the Smithsonian American Art museum, as reported by Vox Games, one audience member asked Barnett and Levine what they thought of call for BioWare to change Mass Effect 3′s ending.

“If computer games are art than I fully endorse the author of the artwork to have a statement about what they believe should happen,” Barnett said.

“Just as J.K. Rowling can end her books and say that is the end of Harry Potter. I don’t think she should be forced to make another one.”

Levine said he felt the discussion came at “an important moment” and argued that gamers wouldn’t be satisfied with a changed ending.

“I think if those people got what they wanted and [BioWare] wrote their ending they would be very disappointed in the emotional feeling they got because they didn’t really create it,” he said.

“I think this whole thing is making me a little bit sad because I don’t think anyone would get what they wanted if that happened.”

A fan campaign to pressure BioWare into creating a new ending has raised over $74,000.

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21 Comments

  1. alterecho

    My thoughts exactly! Godfather wouldn’t be Godfather If it had a different ending.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Aimless

    It’s really a more nuanced argument than can be tackled in a sentence or two. I’d encourage people to give this article a read as it gives a pretty good overview of the situation.

    Personally I’m for BioWare altering the ending, but also believe they should stick to the direction they chose. In other words a director’s cut where they edit the finale to better realise the developer’s intent with the ending, because as is I feel it’s very half-arsed and I can’t imagine everyone at the company is happy with it either.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. bugmenot

    The Godfather sucks. Mass Effect sucks. They’re about on the same-tier. Ego-inflating kitsch. A harmful distraction from solving real-life problems. :) ;)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. BubinTheElcor

    I think this article makes a good point, a good unbiased read http://www.mediumdifficulty.com/2012/03/20/consumer-demand-entitlement/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=consumer-demand-entitlement

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Sini

    you bitches want your own endings? make your own fucking game.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. diego-rbb-93

    @1, Alterecho:

    Godfather ending was brilliant for the movie, just the perfect hit that make you see how the movie just worked on you to arrive to that point.

    Mass Effect 3 has nothing to do with that for the moment.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Froseidon

    @ 1 & 5 – Too true.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Malmer

    It is certainly their right not to change anything. It is also their right to not listen to the majority of the fans (not a vocal minority here). It sure is.

    But then again, it is their “right” to not sell any additional dlc, since the ending makes it so that nothing matters. It is their “right” to sell fewer copies of dragon age 3. It is their “right” to make any spinoff in the mass effect meet a wall of resistance. It certainly is their right.

    But is it the smart move?

    Fans have legitimate concerns over the ending. An ending that makes no sense at all if you think about it more than five minutes. Making an optional other ending could fix some of that.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    Their is no legitimate concern, their is no nuanced argument. The fans want to see their hero run off and live happily ever after with their fuck buddy of choice. That is it.

    Please don’t dress it up as anything else.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Vapsyvox

    Sure, some players would like to see their Shepard and his/her partner move to some cute bungalow in the ass end of space, but please don’t hastily assume that it’s what everyone wants. Those who actually played the game and took the story seriously know that their Shepard probably wouldn’t survive, and they are okay with that. But they are not okay with some tri-colored, half-assed ending that is riddled with plot holes and no conclusion whatsoever.

    Casey Hudson promised 16 different endings where the player’s choices from the previous games mattered. What we got was cheap space magic, Jake Lloyd and three endings that differed only in color.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. endgame

    Well, it’s hard to act on this matter. I think both parties are right about something. I as a gamer and a massive Mass Effect fan think that the ending (my ending) was maybe not bad but certainly incomplete. What happened to all of my friends? What happened to Garrus, Tali, Grunt, EDI, Jack, Samara and so many others. I would like to know. On the other hand I wouldn’t want them (Bioware) to create a new ending. What’s done it’s done. Just move on. Or maybe release some free cinematics-only DLC showing us what happened to them. What I would really love would be high-res textures. The game looks horrible. And now Texmod doesn’t work with masseffect3.exe which means that the modders can’t help us anymore.

    Anyway, one thing is certain. There will definitely be more Mass Effect games in the near future. If not, than the ending is not only incomplete but bad as well. :)

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Malmer

    I have no problem if shepard dies. Let him die. In pain and agony tortured by reaper spiders. Whatever. But I want to see Liara grieve over it. Or Tali get killed. Or Wrex killing husks. Something. Some closure. And the whole premise, kill organics now so synthetics don’t do it later. And Shepard is just fine with that. Seriously?

    That’s our problem. Not that we didn’t se shep eith blie babies. And why not? Why don’t have that as one of many possible outcomes? Sidequests in the game are better written and with more different outcomes.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. strikkebil

    the whole thing is just embarresing… change the ending cos u didnt like it? if the game wasnt finished or glitched out yes, there would be reason for refunds. but just cos u dont like it?! that gamers even suggest changing the ending, instead of asking bioware for dlc to explain more says alot about them as a group. and yes i said them, cos i dont wanna be assossiated with gamers anymore.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Vedexent

    Let`s distance the issue from video games for a second. Lets talk about cars.

    If a series of cars came out, and the 2010 and 2011 models came with a particular feature, and the marketing for the 2012 model talked ALL about this feature being in the that model as well, and you bought one based on that advertising and then found that they had yanked that feature and not told anyone, would you not think that you had a right to complain? Would you not potentially want to return that vehicle? Would you not possibly want to manufacturer to fulfill what they both implied through their past design choices (this car being one of a line), and explicitly stated in their advertising material?

    Any consumer product which is defective, or is substantially different than advertised would receive this reaction.

    Video games are not “sacred”. Game writers,producers, and marketers cannot lie to their customer base and hide behind the classification of “art”

    The book & movie analogies that some people invoke are flawed.

    While we have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to expect movies or books to change to match customer desires, Bioware specifically built a line of games which incorporated customer choice into the game. We didn`t shove our choices at Bioware, they invited them. They asked for them. They told us that we were supposed to be part of the story building process. They relinquished a portion of artistic control in order to more completely engage their audience – and for many fans this is what sold Mass Effect to them.

    Then in the last 5 minutes they decided to re-assert sole artistic control, but still expect us to buy their product and react as if it was still the same interactive story telling? Please.

    Many people have stated that it isn`t about a Happy ending – it`s about a story-consistent ending, which offers closure, even if that ending is still a bleak one (regardless of what IGN and some of the more vitriolic industry paid lapdogs would have you think).

    I can only assume that some of the more vitriolic anti-fan responses here are trolls, astro-turfers, or people who lack the ability to think critically about the fan complaints and evaluate them as CUSTOMER complaints when a manufacturer`s advertising lied.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    @14

    Car analogies suck and should never be used in the context of games. 5 years of payment for a vehicle that you had hopefully researched before you buy =/= a 60$ game that gives you hours of entertainment.

    You need to replay all of Bioware games and start to think critically about the choices being made every single one of them didn’t matter they were all superficial if you think otherwise you are lying to yourself.

    Killing the original council, who you picked for Councilor, what you did with the Collector base, all those ending “choices” never matter hey if you like to drink diet coke and think that its original soda that is your business but that is not the case here. You are fed with the illusion of choice. People have romanticized or hyped the ending to be such a spectacular thing of epic proportions and then reality slapped them across the face and told them “no”. If you actually thought there was going to be so many different endings based on the choices you made throughout the ENTIRE series you were lying to yourself because all the choices you made throughout the series had been answered just not in the ending and those choices were not relevant for the choice being made at the end.

    People claim that this protest is of the vast majority then why in all my classes and work with the people I speak to daily, I have only spoke to one person who seems to have romanticize the ending while totally disregarding Bioware previous game endings.

    Bioware should stick to their guns for the ending. If anything give us an epilogue explaining what happened to the team members, races and galaxy as a whole. I didn’t enjoy WItcher 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, SKyrim’s ending and I know I am not the only one. I have yet to see anyone to throw any protests for those games and two of them are games based on choices. Life goes on.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. absolutezero

    This entire thing rankles because of everyone saying that developers should be untouchable.

    Like Brian Sewell should hang up his jacket because artists are without reproach when it comes to criticism.

    “Its what they wanted to do, who are you to offer ideas, constructive criticism and advice?”

    mmmmmmm logical.

    EDIT, im pretty sure that one of the major decision from the first game (to kill or free the Queen) made next to no fucking difference at the end of the game. Its talking an entire series based around choice and then removing all the choices for the end. Which turns out to be foolish when the end is badly written, poorly rendered and filled with plot holes.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. viralshag

    @15, If the choices you make mean absolutely nothing, why do I see two completely different outcomes at the end of the Quarian missions based upon my decisions?

    Why can’t the same thing be applied to the options at the end?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. absolutezero

    You really want to know why?

    Because.

    Its because they can. No one is allowed to question that either because its in the game and if its in the game then they obviously wanted it to be exactly like that. So sit down and shut up we have some DLC to sell fucker and you better damn well buy it.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight

    @17

    Because the choices throughout the game have all gotten their consequences you are asking for Bioware to collect the 60 different choices made throughout the entire series and make a ending with that in mind. If Bioware was going to do that they would have just dsone the slideshow which people have also hated. They never win.

    @18

    I never said that but the next game I do buy from the companies that had made the games I mention I will know better and not expect anything out of them or I will just not buy their games ever again like the Fable series.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Aimless

    I imagine this will get its own article, but Dr. Ray Muzyka has published a good level-headed open letter on the issue.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. viralshag

    @19, Well I think you will find that’s exactly what people were expecting. Not every decision has to have an impact but surely you would at least expect a difference between whether you’ve been Paragon or Renegade… That’s pretty much what most decisions throughout the game amount to anyway – whether you’re Paragon or Renegade.

    Why could they be bothered to make some decisions change the course of the story throughout the game but then regardless of what you choose you just get three stock options at the end?

    You’re making out like they COULDN’T have done it… even though they already did…

    #21 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]