BioWare Working On New Mass Effect 3 Ending

Calling criticism of Mass Effect 3's ending "incredibly painful", the co-founder of BioWare, the studio behind the game, said today that changes for the game's conclusion are in the works.

He promises an update on those plans next month.

"Since the game launched, the team has been poring over everything they can find about reactions to the game -- industry press, forums, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few," BioWare's Ray Muzyka said in a post on the company's official forums. "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.

"To that end, Exec 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. 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. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue." [Emphasis added by Kotaku]"

Many Mass Effect 3 fans have been complaining about the game's ending just about since the game launched earlier this month. (See the endings here. Warning: they're full of spoilers.) They've complained that it failed to give the multi-game, multi-year saga closure. Opinions have been sharply divided, even among writers of this site. One writer was for it. One was against.

Some fans started a petition, imploring BioWare to change the ending. Others complained to the federal government.

Muzyka's statement highlights the conundrum BioWare faces: maintain the artistic integrity of their work or accede to fan demands. It's possible in an interactive medium that the two are not incompatible. That's what BioWare will have to figure out now.

Muzyka didn't just extend critics of the ending an olive branch. He also had a word for those who have gotten nasty:

"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. 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's full note is worth a read. It's gracious but not a full acquiescence. It reads like the note of someone who's felt some hurt about this and wants to improve his team's game while maintaining a positive relationship with fans. Is there a way that everyone can win? We will find out in April.

We've been asking BioWare for at least a week to comment on the ending. We're happy to see them break their silence.

TO MASS EFFECT 3 PLAYERS, FROM DR. RAY MUZYKA, CO-FOUNDER OF BIOWARE [BioWare blog]


Comments

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        No you sir. Don't discredit people just because they disagree with you.

          Defending zero substance posts, aw yeah.

            If Jake responded in a civil manner, I wouldn't have said a thing, but when someone puts forward an opinion and someone else responds with "fuck off", yeah, I'll defend "zero substance posts". This community is built on civility regarding all topics, no one is
            ever told they're wrong, they just have a differing opinion. I for one don't want people to respond to others, show some respect.

              Sorry, last sentence makes no sense, I don't want others to respond to each other if they cannot understand or respect someone elses opinion.

                Peoples opinions don't always deserve respect. This idiotic notion that because someone thinks something that that something deserves respect and consideration, not just outright derision, is a farce.

              He said "Kindly fuck off", at least he was being semi polite :P

                "No offense man, but... ."

              To be fair Rowan wasn't exactly polite with saying people who disagree with him can "suck it"

            Shiggy is right. Everyone is welcome to disagree but it's important we at least *try* to not let the tone of our discussions fall into the gutter, because when that happens what's the point? No one hears anyone and we're all just abusing each other.

              My comment gets reported for telling somebody who wrote "suck it" to fuck off. And I'm the one being uncivil. OK.

                Look, you could have said something more civil than what you said. That's the point here or you could have ignored him completely. There was no need to respond in the way you did.

                  I agree. I definitely could have said something more civil than that. I also believe my choice of words was justified when responding to the above post.

          Nighthawk! Hows it going?

      Bioware should take a lesson from Todd Howard who admitted the ending of Fallout 3 was messed up and they fixed it with the Broken Steel DLC.

      Ray's statement is a step in right direction as we consumers expressed our disappointment in ME3's ending. People can call it art if they want but it just makes the current ending of ME3, bad art then.

      No, it's called listening to your consumer base. It's happened before. I don't know if you remember an Anime called Evangelion, but the ending to that was so incredibly terrible that they ended up releasing an alternate ending in a movie (end of Evangelion).

      I haven't seen the endings yet, but from what I've heard they are pretty dissapointing, and I would support a change - something more varied.

        The original ending was crap because they had no funding. They didn't change the ending because the fanbase said it was crap. They knew it was crap, so, when it became financially viable, they produced End of Evangelion

          And it was still crap and no one understood it so now they're redoing the whole thing so they can make even more cash off it. It's not a bad comparison at all.

      It was a bit disappointing endding for such a great game! red,blue, green mass effect relay with the same video clip WTF!, Bioware never should of got focus on the multiplayer side of mass effect its shit. I want a MMORPG of ME!

    Don't change it to appease the f**kwits. Expand upon it? Absolutely. But don't change it outright for f**kwits on forums.

      Bioware's target audience in a nutshell.

      $$$$$$$$$$$

    The song and dance continues...

    A. This was planned. We all know it. Let's just stop talking about it already.
    B. 'Artistic Integrity' shouldn't enter into this discussion because of "A" and because the 'ending as it was presented', simply was not. The problem was not that it was a 'sad ending', or a 'depressing ending', but instead that it was, in both structure and content, not an ending to the story that was being told for 2.98 games... Also, "A"...
    C. Just to avoid confusion and further pointless arguments, I must stress the points made under "A" and "B"...

    That's all.

      That's a nice conspiracy theory you have there.

        The Truth is Out There ;-P

          I totally agree with B though.

            B is probably the more important of the two when it comes to "I wish more people would get this", to be honest.

            But I also think there's a good case built in support of the 'conspiracies', at least the ones about how "EA/Bioware planned to amend/extend the ending of the game through paid DLC packs"... if you look at the ending(s) as the first half of a two-part finale, it makes a lot more sense. "To be concluded..." and whatnot...

        You're seriously doubting the guys who removed content from the game to sell as day one DLC to not having planned this?

        PS: I have played the prothean DLC. It is increasingly obvious that it was meant to be a part of the main story (especially if you take him with you on certain missions)

          An addition to a game, as DLC. Thats fine.
          Taking "on-disc" content from a game and selling it back as DLC is a heinous, greedy act.
          Why arent more people enraged about that? Forget the so-called bad endings. Plenty of games have bad endings (although people dont usually play 3 games, over many years, to find out)

          Also, the fact that you need to play online to get the "best" ending in the game (to increase your readiness above 50%) only adds to my cynicism.

          Sorry, but this paranoia is ridiculous.

          You think they'd *deliberately* cause an internet crapstorm, to the point that developers have been abused on about forty-six forms of communication, solely to rip off fans with a paid ending down the line?

          Bioware's marketing manager got incredibly upset that fans were reacting so badly. Some of the writers had crazy abuse on Twitter. It's taken a personal statement from the head of the company and the game's director to calm people down.

          They. did. not. plan. this. Thinking it's part of some grand conspiracy is... nonsense.

            Even if it's not obvious in every way that it's done, the big publishers are diming us all over and over again. Sometimes, it's done with more or less tact and is more or less severely obvious. EA did what they've always done, but this time, they just pushed it too far.

            It's not some ridiculous conspiracy. We know, as a fact, that they aren't above this kind of thing. The difference this time is that EA simply made a mistake and pushed the boundaries too far in a market all ready hostile towards them in the Dragon Age 2 fallout.

            I would put forward that EA (I doubt Bioware themselves organize what becomes DLC and what doesn't, which is why I keep asserting that it's EA like that) planned to bleed all the pennies that they could by providing a lackluster ending and planned DLC that "fixed" it. What I don't think that they expected is the sheer magnitude of the fallout over that pre-fix ending, which has ended up dashing most of the advantages of that planned DLC.

    Wonder if i should wait to see if its a good ending or not till i finish the game. Im surprised they even listened to the people.

      This is the reason I also believe this was planned (or at least that they had been prepared for it). Don't like the ending? Wait for some paid DLC!

    It's an easy choice for me when it comes to having the odd 'bad' ending for a game/book/movie/whatever vs having crowd sourced 'good' endings voted by fans.

    I keep hearing all this nonsense about artistic integrity. What garbage! This game is a commodity, designed to appeal to the broadest range of people possible. Why should the end of the story be any different?

      Let's talk about artistic integrity...
      I commission an artist to paint a portrait... based on the paintings they've done previously.
      If they turn in something that isn't a portrait, or they've suddenly decided to go to a cubism style which is different from their previous works, am I as the customer not entitled to get what I asked for, paid for, and expected?

        I agree that a commissioned work can have changes made by the customer but you didn't commission Bioware to make this game, none of us did. They made a product and released it for sale. One can buy the game or leave it on the shelf.

        Still there is precedent for fan pressure causing major changes to fictional and artistic works. The most notorious probably being the resurrection of Sherlock Holmes seven years after his death at Reichenbach Falls. Some fans are often a problem for successful works of fiction. One of Stephen Kings best books, Misery, is a terrifying study into the mind of once such rabid fan. Having read a lot of the comments about this issue here and on other sites it's pretty clear that there are a lot of Annie Wilkes' in the real world.

    Wow. Not stoked about this hey, now every time a video game has something wrong with it and people of the interwebs complain they will expect that their input is gold and that the studios need to listen to them and change it. Let the studio tell their story and if you don't like it suck it up sweetheart, make your own video game.

      wow, read around, its the plotholes, alot of them, i wouldn't care if Shepard died if everything else made sense.

        It'd be nice if folks could actually show where these plot-holes are. I count the escape of the normandy, and that's about it. I've watched the 'Indoctrination Theory' video which poses about two dozen questions at the end, which it claims are inconsistencies and plot holes, evidence of something wrong.

        Every single one of those questions is easily explainable without reaching for suspension of disbelief.
        "Why are there trees from your dream, near the beam?" Seriously?

          ^^ I couldn't agree more.

          In fact, most of the 'plotholes' i have seen people cite, are actually explained or make sense.

          The normandy is about the only thing I can agree on.

      Movies do directors cuts, why not video games?

        Yeah. I'm sure you'd buy a copy of, "Terminator 2: The Whiny Nerdrage Cut," or "Godfather 3: The Pretentious Film Reviewer Cut." Why not, "Memento: Easier to Understand Edition"?

          You seem like a a bit of a hipster so I'm surprised you've never heard of Blade Runner.

            It's my experience that hipsters are unfamiliar with Blade Runner. Maybe I've been exposed to a select breed, though...

        Video games try so hard to be art.
        If you want it to be art, then you need to accept that it is the result of the immutable creative vision of the artist. Be that good or bad.

    Is the ending changed or are they doing something about the indoctrination theory? cause some of it makes sense..

    And please do tell where does it say they r working on a new ending?
    All it says is that they are working on clarifying the ending for players.

    This means they will add to the ending... How isnt this obvious? If they change that terrible 'jungle fever" plot line il be happy ;)

    I'll be happy if they keep the current ending and explain exactly how a few of the plotholes happened - why was the normandy in ftl, and how did people on the surface get up there. It's those things that need to be explained, not the entire ending changed.

      Reading between the lines of what was written, that's pretty much what they're going to try and do. Which is good, most sensible people weren't asking for them to change the ending, but flesh it out so it made sense. I'm predicting a better video montage at the end.

      That's all they really need to do! Remove the things that don't make sense, or edit things so they do make sense! A happy ending isn't needed, one without plot holes is.

    I wonder if they will change it completely or just add to it…? I thought the dream theory was really interesting, would love to see if this was true. I was kinda enjoying reading through all the conspiracy and indoctrination theory threads, lol.

      Oh man, if it ends up as a dream I will rage worse than when I saw the ending to LOST :P

      Indoctrination theory, however...

        Oops yeah, that's what I mean, indoctrination theory is what I thought was interesting/would be cool. :)

      I read the indoctrination theories before finsihing the game and to me it makes the most sense, when you look at the ending and parts of the game as a whole. It certainly gives Bioware an easy "out" if that's what they claim. TBH, I wasn't really all that bothered by the ending, as the game was more about getting there than the ending itself.

    I liked the ending but am happy about this. All the whiney babies can now stfu and go away.

    Hopefully they'll do the same as the director of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series did when he started receiving death threats and demands to change the ending, create a new ending that's even more fucked up XD

    I haven't played this game yet, but am hoping this is 'free' DLC like a patch/update, rather than paid content.

    I haven't finished yet, but I look forward to seeing the end as the writers originally wrote it. All this nerd rage iritates me... if these wingers can write a better story they should go write one and sell it, then wait for the backlash when they write a sequel.

    This is worse than the whining about the end of The Sopranos, and I am sure Bioware would've given more closure than that... (I actually liked the ending of Sopranos if fit nicely with the rest of the series, on reflection... had me sitting there mouth agape for a few minutes untill it sunk in)

      Another person that doesn't get it. IT'S NOT THE ENDING ITSELF, it's those damn plot holes so big a reaper can fit through that we dislike.

    From a creative standpoint, I'm against this. But it does mean more content..

    Sigh. Totillo... How about you change the headline to read "Bioware confirm Mass Effect 3 doesn't have an ending... yet"

    Because if the Indoctrination theory is worth anything (and by god, the evidence is growing increasingly brilliant) then the game is only finished for those who burned through the story in 8 hours, didn't bother doing sidequests, and missed their "Legendary" (Halo hint...) game changer at the end.

    Mass Effect 3 is not over. That much is painfully clear.

    The sad thing is no matter what they do to it, now matter what kind of new ending is added, it's too late. The original endings already managed to ruin my run through, it's alredy left a foul taste in my mouth after what was otherwise a stellar experience. You can't recapture the anticipation and desire to see the ending, that moment is gone for me and I'm honestly sad that I can't go back and experience it all as new. However good these endings are they'll lack that near manic obsession to reach them that I had for my original ending which I finally reached at 3AM because I just couldnt stop playing.

    Wasn't the lack of closure at the end because they wanted to sell more DLC that provided it? Their statements here just seem to suggest that is still what they're doing. It's just that now they're trying to put a spin at it and say it is in response to player complaints.

    I have nothing against the ending, but I fully support this move by Bioware. Redo the ending to appease the fans.

    ...and while you're at it, make it $15 DLC. If people want the change, they can happily pay for it.

      I wonder if any of this was planned by bioware…? SURELY they knew the fans would react in some sort of negative way to the ending… wouldn’t they? :\

      It also is kinda weird the way the remained silent on the matter for so long, and how some of the bioware reps were tweeting suspicious tweets like “it’s not over yet!” “I wouldn’t sell my mass effect 3 copy if I was you…” “I’m not saying the indoctrination theory is not a good one…”

      I'm just interested to see how this all plays out, it's been fun reading all the backlash and conspiracy theories lol, at least bioware and ME3 will go down in history, even if it's for something bad.

        That's a fair assessment of the situation, but I think it took time because they were a bit shocked. They've just released the final instalment of their massively popular trilogy to the world, hoping that people love it...a series that they've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working on, putting in an insane amount of effort.
        The response wasn't a "Yes, we loved it" or a "No, I didn't like it". It was more "Beat the shit out of it with a sledgehammer and spit on the corpse".

        I'm amazed they have the courage to push past all that hatred and offer to change it.

          Can't help but wonder if it was a business decision made by the suits and forced upon the creative team.

          That’s true too… I kinda feel bad for bioware as well, like you said; we think WE’VE invested time and effort into the game, but nowhere near as much as bioware have…

          If baked a cake for someone, spent a huge amount of time and effort decorating it, made it their favourite flavour… only to have them spit in it and throw it back at me, I’d probably cry and then hate them forever, I wouldn’t offer to bake them a new one, lol.

          When I first played through ME3 I will admit I was pretty disappointed with the ending, only because it left me with so many questions, but after thinking about it for a few days and reading through some of the indoctrination theories, it began to grow on me. I think it’s a bit rude the way people are “demanding” a new ending… the sense of self entitlement people have now days is annoying.

            Can you bake me a cake? Please? I like chocolate, and I promise I won't throw it at you. I lurrrve cake,

      A DLC with a "better" ending. Sounds like Bioware is learning things from Bethesda.

    Whilst I can "live" with the ending, I still want BW to fix the plot holes in the ending that make no sense - or at the very least explain them.. Like why Joker, for the first time in 3 games, runs off and leaves Shep to his/her fate on the Citidel and somehow manages to pickup only one of my companions from the last mission on earth and makes it to the mass relay before they are destroyed.

    I finished ME3 with a massive "huh?" a couple days after release.
    Maybe I felt slightly disturbed too.

    I still cant believe the hoopla this has created.
    Oh well its great to know Bioware are listening to their fans. They are a great developer.

    It clearly sucks to be BioWare right now. Rather than rejoicing over this news, instead people have been tearing Ray's words to shreds and gleefully misinterpreting them so they'd have something new to be angry about. Seriously, never read the BioWare forums, it houses some of the worst so called 'fans' I've ever seen and it depresses me more than the ME3 ending ever did.

      It's fairly insane.

      Which is unfortunate, because I think that a constructive criticism of the ending is due.

    I am hoping that they do not make changes so that you can no longer experience the original ending. Not all of us rushed out to buy the game or can afford the game at launch. I would be very disappointed if I purchased the game and it automatically updated removing the original content.

      I just hope they expand on it.

      I literally couldn't work out what was happening.

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