Mass Effect's Producer Promises 'We'll Keep Listening', And New Content That Brings 'Closure'

Casey Hudson, the executive producer of Mass Effect 3, responded yesterday to the boiling-over outrage of longtime fans of the series disappointed in the game's conclusion.

Hudson's full statement is free of spoilers, so worry not about that. In short, it sounds like he is promising extensions to the story, through DLC, that offer outcomes more palatable than the one in the main game that has people in such a lather.

"We also recognise that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers and more time to say goodbye to their stories-and these comments are equally valid," Hudson said. "Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series."

Significantly, Hudson adds that "over the course of the series, Mass Effect has been a shared experience between the development team and our fans-not just a shared experience in playing the games, but in designing and developing them."

It's probably best to just publish the entire statement verbatim and then get out of the way, so I'll do that now.

There's been a lot of discussion and debate about the conclusion of Mass Effect 3, so I thought I'd share my perspective with you here. I'll avoid outright spoilers, but I'd still recommend finishing the game and experiencing it for yourself before reading this.

For the last eight years, Mass Effect has been a labour of love for our team; love for the characters we've created, for the medium of video games, and for the fans that have supported us. For us and for you, Mass Effect 3 had to live up to a lot of expectations, not only for a great gaming experience, but for a resolution to the countless storylines and decisions you've made as a player since the journey began in 2007. So we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a series of endings to key plots and storylines, each culminating in scenes that show you the consequences of your actions. You then carry the knowledge of these consequences with you as you complete the final moments of your journey.

We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending-to do otherwise would betray the agonising decisions Shepard had to make along the way. Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending; in a story where you face a hopeless struggle for basic survival, we see the final moments and imagery as offering victory and hope in the context of sacrifice and reflection.

We've had some incredibly positive reactions to Mass Effect 3, from the New York Times declaring it "a gripping, coherent triumph", to Penny Arcade calling it "an amazing accomplishment", to emails and tweets from players who have given us the most profound words of appreciation we've ever received.

But we also recognise that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories-and these comments are equally valid. Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series.

I am extremely proud of what this team has accomplished, from the first art concepts for the Mass Effect universe to the final moments of Mass Effect 3. But we didn't do it on our own. Over the course of the series, Mass Effect has been a shared experience between the development team and our fans-not just a shared experience in playing the games, but in designing and developing them. An outpouring of love for Garrus and Tali led to their inclusion as love interests in Mass Effect 2. A request for deeper RPG systems led to key design changes in Mass Effect 3. Your feedback has always mattered. Mass Effect is a collaboration between developers and players, and we continue to listen.

So where do we go from here? Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content. And we'll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you'll hear of Commander Shepard.

We look forward to your continued support and involvement as we work together to shape the remaining experiences in the story of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Thanks for taking this journey with us.

Casey Hudson

Casey Hudson on the Conclusion of Mass Effect 3 [BioWare Social Network. h/t Sgt.LulzJager]


    So we can find out why joker and normandys crew AND the love interest all abandon sheperd... That shit makes no sense... The lead writer writes comic books.... Incoming normandy lost comic saga... F&@k sake...

      Joker was trying to get to the other side of the galaxy to film Robot Chicken?

    Or better yet joker saw the future and this is the set up for final destination: mass effect jungle fever :)

    It was such a terrible, terrible ending. I didn't import my saves, did most of the sidequests and still everyone died. It was a huge punch in the face, and it pissed me off. I don't think I can bring myself to play ME3 ever again.

    And if the indoctrination theory is true, then they should have put in the real ending once you get 5000 war effort or whatever. Not hold it back to charge money for it later. Bioware are dicks.

      Well in a way the bonus scene you get at the end with 5000EMS and the supposedly renegade choice

      Could actually be Shepard waking up from Indoctrination

    Yea that writer would in a funny place right now... I think writers learned that storys without closure are sadly not enjoyable... I cant think of any book/movies/tv that left so many things unmentioned.. Mac walters must have loved lost..

    Well at least they listened and answered.

    Cliffhangers work for TV and movies (except for Alias, the cliffhanger endings for EVERY episode became old real fast). I really don't see the problem if it's setting up for a sequel.

    However, if it's to sell further DLC, that's just evil. How could they justify a full price game for a fraction of the content?

    sorry bioware, but the ending is beyond saving. Unless you guys have some serious, almost magical tricks up your sleeve, there's no way to undo how ME3 ignores all of your decisions from ME1. No one complained about ME3 ending on bittersweet terms, which seems to be what you assume was the complaint. We complained about how each ending you choose is the same, save for a colour swap. We complain that the endings take none of your decisions from any previous game, or ME3 itself, into account, and that they are just presented to you as endings A, B, and C, which is something you said WOULD NOT HAPPEN. You said that there would not be a simple 'kill switch' for the reapers, and yet the first ending is exactly that. You cannot patch the major plot hole of why Joker and your crew were suddenly in mass relay travel while the mass relays decided to blow up.

    even if you patch in some kind of epilogue, it's beyond saving. I'll never play another Bioware game again.

      I have to agree with everything you are saying here.

      I think the part that pissed me off the most was the reasoning behind the reapers existance and the 50,000 year cycle. A synthetic race decides that all advanced organic life needs to be brutally wiped out because at some stage in their history they create a synthetic race and go to war with them? and this somehow benefits organic life? The whole time I played through the mass effect trilogy, that senario never came across my mind....probably because it doesn't make any sense! How about two civilizations were at war, one created reapers to wipe out the other by absorbing them to make more reapers etc, then the reapers turned on their creators and wiped them out. Because they can only 'reproduce' by using organic matter, they decide to go into hiding and wait for 50,000 years to harvest more life to bolster their numbers. A senario like that makes more sense to me.

      Another problem with the story is the citidel itself. The synthetic star child is the citidel and controls the reapers, which means everything that happens on the citidel he/she would be aware could the construction of the crucible remain secret to the reapers for so long? Is the star child more like a traditional 'god' figure who gives his creations free will and will not directly influence anything?

        indeed... the issue with the ending was not what actually happened (aside from the normandy madness o_O ) but the fact that nothing i did really felt like it had an impact on what happened... at the end of ME2 every choice i made throughout the final missions was stressful and was hard to make... the choice at the end of ME3 was still hard but it ignored everything that came before and was the only choice you had to make... and regardless of what you picked the result was ultimately the same... why was the same amount of care that went into ME2s ending not put into ME3?

    Lol ok, more dlc to finish the game, properly? Hope the dlc is free, or cheap because $10 for 'from the ashes" which is around 30 - 40 minutes, was not worth it. Some parts of Mass effect 3 was very lazy, they make a whole new character for some IGN chick, and give Tali some photoshop stock image, cool story.

    Join us kotaku ... You know want to.

    I'm treating the the ending as though it was non-canonical since it made absolutely no sense and didnt tie in with the lore of ME. Like what jesse said, unless Bioware can pull a magic trick out their collective arses, IMO they ruined a fantastic IP.
    Lets hope this whole indoctrination/hallucination rumour turns out to be true...

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this was planned from the very beginning. This here is the very best chance to squeeze EVERY dime out of consumers by promising "Closure" that somehow makes up for the lack of a decent ending. Smooth EA, smooth... (Also, I don't blame bioware. I believe that EA's cold black heart was completely responsible for the ending.)

      If they do that, I will pirate the DLC. I've been a huge fan of ME from the start and bought all the DLC for ME1 and ME2.
      But for them to do this, I'm not going to throw my money at them any more.

      agreed. EA is the vampire of the gaming industry. icy cold to the bone, promises much to game companies they shows its fangs when they least expect it. many franchises and companies have suffered from their money grabbing ways. this just looks to be another casualty

    These comments by ME3 devs are nothing more than an attempt at deflection. Particularly Casey Hudson, who might be a nice guy in person and is obviously passionate about his creations, but who always reminds me of a used car salesman when he's talking about his games. Multiple endings my arse.

    I don't think a DLC ending will solve anything. I think both us as consumers and bioware/ea are going to have to come to terms with the fact that they made an unbelievably crappy ending to a good game. It can't be taken back or fixed really, and anything changes now are just an exercise in futility. Mass Effect 3 will now become the benchmark against which crappy game endings will be compared.

    I guess we should all know by now that even though the article doesn't contain spoilers, the comments do!
    But yeah, if you want the FULL story you have to BUY the real ending! I love those ethical practices.

    I'm not reading this article or any of the comments as I haven't played Mass Effect 3 yet, and want all of it to be a surprise.. but please be more careful with the titles of posts because it's now obvious to me that the normal ending doesn't bring "closure". Small spoiler I know, but I'd prefer to go in completely fresh. Ta

    Pretty smooth how he said;
    "We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending-to do otherwise would betray the agonising decisions Shepard had to make along the way."

    Totally smooth, working as intended.

    Beware!!! *spoilers*
    its nice to know that they listened and thats really what i wanted. i don't need closure on every character i saved or met, that would be asking to much. i just want the same thought put into shepard's end as mordin's or thane's. yes i would love for shepard to live, to show that his struggle wasn't in vein but i have to be reasonable. look at masterchief. he didn't need to sacrifice his life to end the flood but it was still a dramatic and satisfying ending. we knew he wouldn't go back to earth but they provided closure on one of the best trilogies available. it can be done and you don't need to leave some fans hollow and empty inside. yes it was dramatic but in no way was it worth taking that path

    You know a company is in damage control when they start quoting outside so called third party magazine remarks such as the New York Times and talk about how great their feedback as been in statements. And its also quite obvious when you have purposely left content out especially in this case in this game to sell off later for extra $ when you start contradicting past comments you and your company have made about how complete and how great and satisfying a conclusion this game was to bring to the trilogy then soon after start referencing future dlc that will bring more closure series.

    Don't need to play ME3, def ain't buying it and didn't read this article. But every non-spoiler comment everywhere regarding the game has proven beyond all doubt that Mass Effect 3 is the biggest pile of shit to ever disgrace a great franchise name this side of Star Wars.

    EA have messed up big time. But even though it's mostly their fault, there is another group that are just as big of a problem; people who were dumb enough to have bought ME3 and "Battlefield" 3. I'd bet lots of money that the people who purchased these games are the same people who made headlines when there was that issue of people following their GPS's in cars so religiously they ran off the road.

    All signs pointed to FAIL but you bent over, dropped your pants and took it regardless.

      i don't regret buying it but it clearly could have been better. so am i dumb for enjoying 90% of the game? we may complain but its people like you that the passionate people get dumped with, and you haven't even played it. go troll somewhere else

      But the thing is that 34 hours and 45 minutes of the game was absolutely awesome. The other 15 minutes sucked. The game isn't a failure by any stretch of the word; it's one of my favourite games I've played this year. The ending just sucks and that's it.

    Everyone read the behind the scenes app the final hours.. It just Made people go apeshit LOL

    They all step out and a voice comes out saying "This week on SURVIVOR"

    Everyone's ideal fantasy's about the ending is irrelevant. Why? It's quite simple really. If all the bloody Mass Effect relays are down, how does one travel between systems, and therefore back to wherever they wish their Shepard to ideally end up. Honestly, just because the game has a tragic ending does not make it a bad game; just because the ending doesn't have Shepard waltzing off into the sunset like the stereotypical American hero would does not make the endings bad in anyway. Grow up, and stop whining because, honestly, just because Mass Effect 3's endings do not conform to societal constructs put in place largely by American media, it does not make it a bad ending. Have some respect for the artists original creation and stop wishing that the game was exactly as you imagined it just because you want to continue living in that fantasy world.


      That isn't the problem with the ending. The problem is that

      a) The ending cutscenes were essentially three color hue changes with minor variations, and all essentially the same ending, not to mention less than five minutes long. A series six years in the making with so much acclaim deserves better than that.

      b) Nothing you did in the game really matters, unless you care about minor, stupid variations such as Big Ben falling down or whether the Normandy explodes or not. Even then your choices don't explicitly make a difference at all.

      Open your eyes. Nobody is angry that the game ends on a sad/depressing note, I actually didn't think that was the case anyway. It's not the tone of the ending that sucks, the ending just sucks.

        um, most of your choices do not have an effect in ME3. Almost all of them from ME1 have no impact. Did you put Anderson on the council? Doesn't matter, Udina is on the council now because the writers got lazy. Did you let the council die? In ME2 all of the alians complain that you let the council die and flooded the council with humans. In ME3, the council is again, a turian, an asari, and a salarian. That's two choices from ME1 that they reversed for you. Did you kill the rachni queen? There'll still be Rachni in ME3. Did you save or kill Wrex? Doesn't matter. He can't be a squad mate in ME3, and he's replaced by Wreave if he died on Virmire, and thus no change to the story. Kaiden and Ashley have the same dialogue, they're essentially the same character, so which one you saved doesn't change the story.

        Did you save the collector base in ME2? You'll get some different dialogue in ME3, but it won't change anything else. The only things that affect ME3's story is how you handled Mordin, Legion and Tali's loyalty missions.

        After all of these choices, and after all of the events that unfold in ME3 itself, you're presented with three endings, the cinematics within being almost identical, just with a colour swap. None of the things you chose affect these endings.

        Respect the artists original intention? The original intention of the series was that our choices were supposed to have an effect on our story, and even as recently as January, Bioware was claiming there would be 'wildly different endings' based on the decisions you made in all three games. It was all a lie.

        That some idiots out there then go on about how people are upset because the ending was 'sad' because shepard died just infuriates people even more. How can you be so ignorant of how badly Bioware messed up?

    Dude go read behind the scenes.. You will swallow those words and join us :) .. It has nothing to do with art.. Just read it and you will see how much they fucked up

    the more I hear BW/EA respond about the ending - they still haven't explained the holes in the plot - the more I think that they already have an alternative ending DLC prepared - they are just waiting to release it.

      Bingo. Why else would their be a pop at the end saying future dlc to come. Its planned for more $. And as Toasty Fresh sad in their remark above, most people are not upset over the tone of the ending its the way in which the ending was made that has upset many people that and the obvious way that content was planned to be later sold than make a more complete and satisfying end in the begining to not only game 3 but a trilogy as a whole. Its like watching the lord of the rings and just as the ring is about to drop into the lava it ends saying more to follow if you buy the future dlc. Thats the general feeling from most I ve read and spoken to.

    “We also recognise that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers and more time to say goodbye to their stories-and these comments are equally valid,”

    does this strike anyone else as a bit of a wank? like we understand you have no life kind of talking down to us fans? I have a super busy life, played all three games and my life didn't end with mass effect 3's end, doesn't mean the ending didn't totally suck. We don't have to spin this a thousand ways, the end just wasn't written well.

    At least now they're bascially admitting it. Along with hundreds upon hundreds of other people with a little common sense, I saw this coming awhile ago...

    The fact that there was *so much* hate flying around the internet about the ending coupled with the lack of Bioware coming out and saying anything at all for days on end? Pretty much a guarantee that this was all part of the "sell them the ending as DLC" plan.

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