Why I’m Glad BioWare Might Change Mass Effect 3’s Ending For The Fans

Why I’m Glad BioWare Might Change Mass Effect 3’s Ending For The Fans

Today people got angry about Mass Effect 3for a new reason.

Today, people said that the people making the game were doing something “dangerous.”

“Respect lost,” one fan said.

“This is dumb” another complained.


“This is absurd”

“You think we could work in porn?”

Oh, that last one wasn’t about Mass Effect 3. It wasn’t part of this new anger that was sparked when the co-founder of the studio that made the game said his team is working on some sort of clarification (modification? change?) to the controversial ending of the game.

These were all things people Tweeted at me after we reported that BioWare was reacting to complaints about their ending and introducing something in April — new content — presumably, that would improve the game’s conclusion.

People were sending some of their anger my way, because I shared my own opinion on Twitter: “And there was hope that maybe video games can truly be interactive…”

That’s right. I’m all for BioWare doing something with the game’s ending, and not just because they want to. I’m glad they seem to be making some sort of change because players of the game have asked them to.

Before today’s anger came the anger about the ending. (See the endings here. Warning: they’re full of spoilers.)

Many people complained about the Mass Effect 3‘s conclusion because they felt it was abrupt and distressing, that it didn’t properly pay off this multi-year saga and didn’t let players feel closure with the many characters they’d adventured with across three games. They say it throttled the series’ trademark freedom of choice.

Now people are complaining that, if BioWare messes with that ending, the company is surrendering their artistic integrity.

Readers have told me that this is a slippery slope. They’ve said that acquiescing to fans — some of them rude or overly entitled — who petition and Tweet and make a huge commotion about how a work of fiction ends undermines BioWare’s position as independent-minded creators.

“It’s not about which ending we get,” an aspiring game designer named Jason Ragatz wrote to me on Twitter, “it’s about the total disrespect and destruction of the artistic integrity of gaming’s best.”

BioWare is failing to stand their ground, I’ve seen people say. They’re doing something we wouldn’t respect — or even expect — in other forms of entertainment. Among the comparisons I’ve seen: What if the people who made The Sopranos buckled and changed that series’ notorious ending? Shouldn’t the creators of Lost have undone that series’ notorious final season? Should the Mona Lisa get a boob job just because some viewers of the painting loudly demand it?

What if, indeed?

What if games weren’t movies, TV series or paintings? What if, I keep saying — even to some of my Kotaku colleagues who shout at me that I’m out of my mind — games were interactive? What if they were truly interactive?

I don’t consider the content of video games to be sacrosanct.

I love video games. I respect their creators. And I do not consider those feelings to be inconsistent with my belief that games are malleable works that benefit from improvement and transformation. Look, I’m the person who thinks it’s kosher to listen to podcasts while playing repetitious parts of video games, so be prepared to not take me seriously, if you haven’t reached that point yet. I’m also a person who has seen games patched and tweaked for years. I’ve seen games modified when re-issued. I’ve seen series upon series designed to take into account fan feedback. Games are often not static.

More than one smart game developer has described the medium as a conversation between game players and game creators. The devs make a game. We play it. We react. The devs make a new game that answers those players and so that cycle continues. That conversation doesn’t — and for a long time hasn’t — occurred simply between the release of one game and the next. It’s happened during the lifespan of a game. It happens with MMOs. It happens with shooters. It happens all the time.

I struggle to see what’s invalid about a game developer hearing a complaint from its fans and reacting. But it’s about the story, people have said to me. You can tweak the balance of a shotgun or maybe open the ending of a game up so players can do the sidequests, but story is different.

I disagree, and I do not buy the argument that story, often considered one of the least game-like elements of a video game, deserves to be treated differently than the elements of a game that are integral to making it a game.

Caveat: We don’t know how BioWare is going to change their game. If they flip their story around, if they decide to end their narrative differently, I do think they’ll look silly and I’ll wonder how they could have abandoned in weeks a plotline they developed for years. But if they tweak it. If they add to it. If they show us some extra scenes. Then what problem will there be?

And if they present an entirely new ending… will we say they’ve lost their standing as artists? Or will we recognise them as artists of a malleable medium, artists who could create a cool new ending every other month if they had the time, the budget and the desire to engage with their fans that way?

Customers sometimes are right (and, yes, I know, sometimes they’re also obnoxious). We don’t speak with one voice at Kotaku, and some of our own writers have bristled at the manner and the merits of the change-the-ending campaigns. (We’ve also published writers’ takes both for and against the current ending.)

Artists don’t lose their shine in my eyes if they decide that they care to entertain their audience by sometimes changing their work. Artistic integrity may be a virtue, but humility is not a vice. Nor is it a vice to be willing to change positions, to bend or to adjust or to evolve or to improve. That is something I cheer in my game developers as much as I do in my political leaders.

I understand the frustration I saw on Twitter today. There are game creators from whom I wouldn’t expect the kind of note that BioWare sent today. I would never expect Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, for example, to hop online, apologise for not meeting his audience’s standards and then promise a tweaked Bowser boss battle for Super Mario Sunshine. I expect some game creators to hold steadfast, to say, “This is my creation and I want it to stand as is, perceived flaws and all.” Today we learned that that’s not BioWare’s philosophy.

One of the pre-eminent game development studios dedicated to player choice is now clearly established as a studio of updatable work. To me, it fits.

None of us can fully judge BioWare’s decision to clarify or modify the ending of Mass Effect 3 until we’ve seen what they’ll do. (And not without knowing their business plan — a BioWare spokesperson declined to comment today when I asked if this clarified ending content would be paid or free. More details in April, he said.)

What we can decide today is where we declare a limit in how flexible we want the people who make our games to be. Do we want patches and updates? Do we want multiplayer tweaks? Do we want improved graphics? Do we want new quests? Do we want them to let us romance a character they didn’t initially let us romance? Do we want them to let us play an alternate ending? When do we want game developers to listen to us? And when do we want them to refuse to react?

I think people want to know that the thing they’ve played is the thing. They want to know they played the Mass Effect 3 that counts, the one that was intended, the one that may have been hard to swallow but was seasoned that way intentionally.

I believe that the Mass Effect 3 that BioWare wants us to play is a changing creation, something that is more organic than The Sopranos, Lost or the Mona Lisa — something that’s more ephemeral, that doesn’t exist just at one moment in one way but has had its own life and experienced its own changes.

For me, games are a malleable art. That’s why today’s Mass Effect 3 news didn’t distress me at all.


  • The thing is – I can’t help but wonder if BW/EA knew they would polarise the player base with the ending of ME3 but still released it as they had a new DLC ending in the works already.

    • Every journalistic source says they decided on the ending as part of an artistic vision back in December 2011, not as some kind of conspiracy to sell more DLC. They just didn’t expect it to be *this* polarising, and I think they underestimated the investment fans had with the universe.

      • And this I think is the crux of the problem. December 2011 they decide on the ending, March 2012 they ship the game. Not enough time, stuff either got cut or rushed out without enough eyeballs on it. I suspect they’ll keep the endings as-is but flesh them out, fix some of the inconsistencies and maybe add an epilogue for each choice explaining the outcome. I’d be pretty cool with that, but I didn’t think the endings were that bad in the first place.

        • Mate if it takes you 4 months to sort out the ending then something is wrong with your development schedule. Games are made from start to finish in 6 weeks on smaller platforms. Your statement that you need more than 4 months for 1 section of a 40 hour saga says. “They are doing it wrong”

      • And thats why the intentionally polarizing ending makes a lot of sense. Remember, the game was meant to be shipped late November.

        • the premise of the endings was fine i agree there,( though i still feel in a game like this we should have been given a choice where shepard lives not just a small cutscene) but the execution of the endings was poorly done. it was cut and pasted missing crucial, though insignificant facts to casual gamers that would explain and develop the ending. they ran out of time and it showed. it can off as being forced, jilted and out-of-place.
          I do still feel the ending was compromised for the sake of the franchise to effectively create a single outcome for the lore of the universe. could you call that artistic expression when your work is compromised by the penny pushers?
          this could go either way though. i am in support of a change in the end but a am truly disheartened by the comments from the for and against groups, not all of them but those that are abusive and detrimental. if BW truly understands why people are upset then they could address it accordingly. if like a lot of people misinterpret this criticism as the ending was bad because “shepard died” then i see this as being a complete flop and further alienating fans of the series.

  • It really is tricky to make any real commentaries yet as the comments made by Bioware are about as vague as it comes.

    Realistically a series of epilogues that chronicle the outcomes of the characters [sort of like at the end of movies where it flashes through the cast and one of them always ends up dying of cancer] that was effected by your choices in the game would do plenty.

    More than anything though I’d have liked some indication of what the broader effects of the final three choices have. Whilst it raised a few interesting conversations between me and my friends it would be interesting to see how the creators interpret it.

    • yeah, I feel the same. he was way too vague. they will be offering ‘clarification.’ Whatever that is. Will it be an epilogue to show us what happens to all of the races? Will it show what happens to the characters you know and love? Will it show how your choices in ME2 and ME1 affected the galaxy in the long run? Will it explain why Joker and crew were in a mass relay jump when the relays went boom?

      “Clarification” could mean anything. It almost sounds condescending, as if Bioware is acting like we didn’t understand the ending cinematics. What the hell. What was there to get? Just different coloured explosions, Normandy crashes, Reapers either blow up or fly away.

    • *SPOILERS*

      You also have to remember that a lot of people were incapable of grasping the concept behind the Matrix’s ‘Architect’. In fact, it’s the first thing I thought of, on seeing the ME3 end. Th e Catalyst is like the Architect, explaining how the destruction of Zion/Organic life is part of a cycle performed to preserve humanity/organic life overall, to prevent them from dooming themselves permanently.

      It’s a really simple concept, and just because you don’t like it or agree with it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. (Ignoring the obviously tacked-on/pandering bullshit with the Normandy. That shit made no sense, but let’s please focus on the important stuff. Y’know. The stuff which affects the course of the entire fucking galaxy.) And you know what? Not knowing how Galactic Civilization is going to cope with the loss of the Mass Relays is actually a good thing. What did people want? “Oh, it’s cool guys, they totally figured out FTL without the relays and everyone was able to go home and see their homeworlds again.” Really?

      As far as the personal relationships:
      I don’t understand the complaints about not having closure… You got to say goodbye to everyone =through the course of the game=. The game WAS the closure. You weren’t really meant to survive. This was supposed to be Goodbye. You saluted, you hugged, you made brave speeches about sharing drinks when this is ‘all over’. Bam. Now you’re dead. You won, but no-one gets to go home. That’s your closure. Closure does NOT equal happily ever after. It does not NOT equal telling off your abusive ex and getting a hot new partner. Closure, in this case, was saying goodbye over an open casket.

      • ++++++++++++ eeeeeexactly, although i’d like to make one point and that is that I thought most ships had FTL drives, otherwise the Normandy wouldn’t have been able to travel across nebulas to other star systems, I think its just that the mass relays allowed you to get to any point in the galaxy pretty damn quickly, which means that the mass effect universe is now more like star trek voyager, everyone will be stuck in their local star clusters unless they want to spend a couple of hundred years travelling across the galaxy.

  • And so I then ask this…

    What happens when this new apex ending of endings AGAIN doesnt live up to peoples expectations?

    Do we change it again?

    And again?

    And again?

    Its a slippery slope that’s for sure. Its nice to see Bioware operates via focusgroup though… O-o

    • As long as it makes sense I’m sure people will be fine with it, it just has to tie up loose ends and give some sort of closure. Most people don’t have a problem with the content of the ending until it stopped making sense – see shepard ascending on random platform-. So I’m not too worried.

    • No, it’s not a slippery slope at all. How frequent in the future is this level of outcry going to be? This is once in a blue moon sort of stuff, and in a way Bioware is lucky to have fans that care so much that they’ll lobby to have the ending change.

      Suppose a new ending were to come out and somehow still fall short of fans’ expectations. Are the fans going to ask it to be changed again? Perhaps some will, but my guess is most will just give up on the game, and give up on Bioware. Thus Bioware has 1 chance to get this right.

  • I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet so I can’t comment on it’s ending itself, but regarding games as malleable art I totally agree.
    So many games have been re-released with tweaks here and there, even the might Nintendo released things like Ocarina of Time: Master Quest.

    What’s more Bioware games tend to let the player dictate their story as much as anyone, so if they did something like ‘new ending for players that did X, Y and Z’ then suddenly they have added content without removing everyone else’s ending. To me that seems like the best option.

  • I’m on board with this stance. I raised similar points in a post a day ago on Reddit:

    One thing a lot of people ignore about Mass Effect 3: it’s a jointly-authored narrative. Bioware create the storytelling framework for players to weave their own narrative for their own Shepard. Audience and reader input is not a factor with film or novels – it is impossible for people to alter the narrative of the primary source. Sure, they can step back and create their own fan-based works but that’s never recognised as canon. Mass Effect works in tandem with players to create a story as dictated by both Bioware and the player themself. There’s a shared authorship going on that means that players have a greater investment in the story and narrative that other mediums wouldn’t permit. Step one for dismissing disgruntled fans is to call them entitled without understanding from where this entitlement stems, apparently.

    Drawing straight-up comparisons to literature or cinema, or even to other linear games (been seeing the gayem jurnelsists writing articles stating such absurd things as YOU WOULDN’T PETITION THATGAMECOMPANY TO CHANGE THE ENDING OF JOURNEY, AMIRITE) is disingenuous as well – they’re not apt comparison. In a game like Journey, you are a passive observer on a linear path. You are not presented with any choices that influence the state of the game world. Now, that’s not saying it’s a bad game in any way (loved it), but it’s an entirely different game from something like Mass Effect.

    We’ve also got pundits suggesting that Bioware amending the ending (either from fan pressure or via their own discretion) is a completely untenable notion because there is no precendent for such a change. “You wouldn’t blah blah author change ending of blah blah novel”. Games are not books, they are not movies. They are not unmalleable, static constructs. They are, in fact, constantly in flux. Developers amend and alter their games all the time. Rebalances via patches, new story content presented through DLC, etc. According to the GAMES ARE ART crowd, fans pressuring Bioware to change the ending is some kind of affront that precludes games from being art, but fans pressuring to change the other systems that comprise a game does not. A game is the sum of its part – it isn’t just its narrative and story (again with the books). Moreover, the idea of digitially releasing an altered or extended ending after the game ships is not a completely new one. We need to stop resting on the laurels of other mediums when treating games as art and think about how our medium can stand on its own.

    Final point: I actually don’t care if the ending gets the change fans want. I’m not averse to a Bad End. As Dante observed in Clerks, “That’s what life is: a series of down endings”, and without glorifying such a pessimistic sentiment too much, I’m inclined to lean on the side of the gloriously depressing. I’m not in the same camp as those who’re petitioning to swap out Bioware’s ending with some saccharine fluff that sees Shepard (alive and well) reunite with their love interest, running into each others arms in slow motion presented behind the vaseline smear of a daytime soap lens. Mass Effect has routinely been touted as a series wherein Your Choices Matter™. My issue with the ending lies with the disappointing fact that the trilogy’s Choices logline is completely discarded in the game’s final ten minutes. There’s no resolution. All the choices you made and were invested in leading up to this moment are ignored. The game doesn’t acknowledge or follow-up such huge choices that were in the spotlight throughout the entire series, such as the Genophage and Quarian/Geth conflict. And that’s where Bioware start stepping on my toes – those choices were my contribution to the story. I may be an entitled piece of shit, but I don’t particular like being told that my contribution doesn’t amount to diddley-squat.

  • Weren’t we just get all mad at Roger Ebert for claiming games are not art? Well I’m pretty sure this would help his argument. Not that it matters.

    I don’t want Bioware to change the ending. Oh sure they could expand upon it with dlc and expansions and shit but these “fans” should just put up or shut up.

    Hell I’d like them to change the end of Fahrenhiet (aka Indigo Prophecy) but that’s not going to happen, deal with it. What people don’t seem to realise is that these things they don’t like, occur in HINDSIGHT – only once you have come through the experience do you realise your displeasure, instead of wasting time trying to relive it better, move on to something else.

    • No, it wouldn’t help his argument. Also: do you think Mass Effect, by itself, pleads a good case for “games are art” in the first place?

    • Why? The guy is a film critic, films new endings to films is commonplace, original endings are cut, original endings are put back in, extended endings are added, endings are rewritten, endings are revised or extended. If anything this makes games more like film or writing.

  • I can’t believe it really. All these people saying that the ending sucked and that they wanted it changed. Now most of those same people are saying that Bioware is evil because this DLC must have been planned all along… Really no matter what they do they can’t win.

  • I really really really don’t get this consumer mindset that creative mediums don’t alter at all. Books and film go through sometimes hundreds of edits before they are released and many continue to be altered post release, Bladerunner anyone? Sanderson’s Warbreaker?? And that’s only post release. I challenge you to find a single author that claims the story they originally wrote wasn’t altered whether by them or by their editors in some way shape or form, sometimes it will be in small ways, sometimes entire endings are changed, this idea that creative writing is somehow static boggles my mind.
    I think Tycho put it quite well, if a little briefly last week.

    I’m not sure I agree on the timing, the reasoning or the way this particular change is coming about, but for me the real question is not one of should, or one of creative integrity (again don’t see why this is just a given, it should be something that is earned and can be lost, like respect), the real question is how in god’s name did the ending we saw get past any kind of editor in the first place.

    As my as the theory it was all planned so they could change it with DLC sounds paranoid, I can’t help but wonder. I think I’ll reserve judgement to see if they actually do charge for the altered ending.

      • Absolutely right on the Bladerunner example. Maybe we’ll get the “Mass Effect: Director’s Cut”. The Witcher did it! All kinds of movies get released with alternate endings on DVD as well. If they just offer at least some more information about the consequences of the player’s actions, I’ll be happy.

        I’m thinking that it’s possible but unlikely that DLC was designed to be post-ending. DLC was/is more likely to consist of more missions, like the re-taking of Omega that was hinted at in the leaked script and the pre-ME3 comic.

      • Games, gamers, developers, all three of them, to an extent, look up to film. Film is essentially video games big brother. A visual/audio form of art or entertainment.

        Which is why I think it’s odd people would get mad at Bioware for being willing to change the ending. Movies do it ALL THE TIME. They use focus groups to find out how people react to an ending of their movie to make sure people will like it. If they change it, they often include the alternate ending on the DVD release. The original Clerks ending had Dante getting shot to death by a robber, but it was considered too depressing. The original ending of the I Am Legend film with Will Smith was in line with the book ending, but test groups didn’t like it, so they changed it.

        film makers change their endings to make sure it’s something the audience will like.

        The Sopranos ending was ambiguous, but it was not BAD. It was handled the correct way. Intentionally leaving the viewer wondering what happened, it’s still up for debate.

        The Lost ending was not ambiguous, it was obvious. But it was BAD. The writers left too many unanswered questions in the lore, and too many plot holes ignored.

        The ME3 ending is more like the latter. They promised ‘wildly different endings’ depending on the choices you made through THREE GAMES. But no matter what you chose in all three games, there are still the same three endings to chose from in ME3. And to make matters worse, those three endings barely discern themselves from each other. Any fan of the series would have told them this was bullshit before they released it.
        Hell, people DID tell them it was bullshit when the script leaked.

        • The Sopranos ending is up for debate… as long as you’re not one of those retards that thinks there’s a Godfather-esque shooting because a dude walked into the toilets.

  • Im going to draw your attentions back to February…


    Is it becoming clear, yet? Bioware intended this from the very beginning. Anyone who has finished the “5000 EMS” ending, picking the “option on the right side of the road” knows full well that we aren’t done yet. We haven’t seen the ending.

    All this rage over the game’s ‘end’ is seriously misdirected. If people are going to get angry, then they should be peeved over the fact that it looks as if Bioware have intentionally sold us an incomplete game with the intention of selling us the conclusion at a later time.

    There is your rage. Now quit calling it an ‘ending.’

    • if it is indeed true it is misleading. they have claimed that this is the end of shepard. if they are doing a ME4 why not just announce it? would stop people like me complaining if there is more to his story. i wont read much into it because it is speculation, unsubstantiated at that.

      right now i will focus on ME3 being the final game. if its a final game then the ending is lacklustre to say the least. if its not there is still the feeling that the scenes and dialogue felt cut and pasted. even if there is ME4 there is still a cleanup needed in the final moments of ME3

    • No. Embrace the Collective. Visit every youtube video that exists for every game in the series and spam comments posting the Indoctrination Theory (“THERE WERE NO TREES! PROOF!”) and several screaming comments about how, “YOU PROMISED!!! *cries*”

  • The endings were so shit, they really go beyond any need to be debated. It would be like telling a kid with a cleft palate that not fixing his face is honouring what God intended. If someone says that you just laugh, punch them in the throat and go on and fix the poor kid.

  • Posted this in TAY, reposting it here:

    I didn’t actually mind the ending I got but in this case I have to say, screw artistic integrity. If people weren’t happy with the ending and want more closure and BioWare is happy to give it to them I think it’s wrong of people to look down their noses on both parties because artistic integrity isn’t being upheld. Stories go through changes all the time both pre and post production at the behest of the author and few complain about artistic integrity then, though they may complain about other things. It’s because it’s fans asking for a change rather then BioWare just doing it themselves that people are complaining about artistic integrity being broken but what those complainers fail to realise is that because of it’s nature Mass Effect has been a story that’s been as much shaped by its audience as it’s writters and as such the audience who have had influence over the story before should be able to have influence over it again in the same way any solo artist would have over their own work.

  • Even the debate of this makes me sick. I’m interested in the idea that games are “malleable art” though I’m not entirely sure if that’s something that even qualifies itself as art. I see all the blade runner and focus group examples from films but correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t the blade runner revisions made because the film wasn’t in line with the creator’s vision? Not entitled fans? Wasn’t I Am Legend changed BEFORE release? Saying the story is no different than a game mechanic is slightly insulting also. I mean even the one change can upset the themes or even the intended impact. I’m not saying the ending was great but what if they changed the ending to No Country For Old Men because it wasn’t “satisfying”? Isn’t it the same thing? Isn’t it just giving in to mob pressure? Why should any author, whether there is precedent or not reduce their creative work to the form of basic product to satisfy an audience that won’t accept anything outside of what they were expecting, good or bad?

    • I guess it boils down to the extent to which original artistic vision trumps concessions to consumers.

      Given that they’re a business and not an artist’s collective, I don’t think it’s fair to say Bioware should selflessly stick to their guns when it’s actually affecting the reputation of the game.

      As in, attacking them for ‘pandering to fans’ is a bit odd when it’s in their commercial and business interest to do so.

    • Cos it was shit? Artists cater to the public not the other way around, Many artists have changed their art after it was labeled shit by the public 🙂

  • The Blade Runner analogy is funny… In that Blade Runner the movie has absolutely nothing and is at parts completely contradictory to the written work of ART of which it’s based.

    So I guess the same debates just happen over time with different mediums

  • I am one of the veterans of Mass Effect. Been there sinc the first was released. I’m also one of those apparently strange people who get really heavily invested and emotionally attached to characters in a story. Without getting into territory that has already been covered repeatedly I desperately want a different/extended ending for all the known reasons. I haven’t been playing and loving these games only to receive what is, quite honestly, artistic integrity or not, a slap in the face. That being said, the fact that people are now bitching that Bioware is actually listening and cares about it’s fanbase by considering changes just proves what fickle motherfuckers we as consumers are.

  • I am one of the veterans of Mass Effect. Been there sinc the first was released. I’m also one of those apparently strange people who get really heavily invested and emotionally attached to characters in a story. Without getting into territory that has already been covered repeatedly I desperately want a different/extended ending for all the known reasons. I haven’t been playing and loving these games only to receive what is, quite honestly, artistic integrity or not, a slap in the face. That being said, the fact that people are now bitching that Bioware is actually listening and cares about it’s fanbase by considering changes just proves what fickle mother-efs we as consumers are.

  • People saying that the fans are fickle should realize that the people complaining about this probably aren’t the people who wanted this

  • Really wish people would stop with the endings aren’t happy BS that isn’t the issue with the ending

    It’s that they are so freaking plot ridden that for it not to be an indoctrination dream brings large issues of what the he’ll happened here

    Why is the Normandy in space running away from earth.

    Why do mass relays suddenly not blow up sectors of the galaxy when destroyed which was established before me3.

    The starchild is an issue sure but it’s one I could have lived with if it wasn’t for all the other glaring plot holes.

    As others have said they could have ended it with shepherd and Anderson sitting down.

    Because it’s the last point before the plot holes start to arise.

    Sure the bundle of text at the end of DA:O would have been nice. But it wasn’t necessary.

    • I played through the game a second time and turned it off just at the end of the anderson/shepard sequence. The result is the game is far more fantastic. Really as soon as the call comes in that something is wrong it all goes down hill from there.

    • Every single piece of ‘evidence’ posed as a question in the 20+ min Indoctrination Theory video is easily and SENSIBLY explainable except for 1) Why would Shep be immune to indoctrination, and 2) WTF was with the Normandy? I’ll pay those two, but people are =seriously= reaching with the rest.

      Eg: To answer your question: the relays *self*-destructed after their energy was expended – they weren’t destroyed by external influence mid-operation like in Arrival.

    • Yay bioware fixing their screw up, guess ur the vocal minority now 😉 im damn proud of the people not giving in to EA’s shit.

    • what piece?, clarify.
      The bit where people get whatw as advertised seems to be coming back. I think the laws meant to ensure that shit happens.
      artistic intergity? Bioware and EA are companies, not aristic individuals, its in their best interest to supply what they promised and what there consumers want.
      I admit many people went about asking/demanding this the wrong way, but many others did it politely,

  • I don’t agree that this is a good thing, bioware told their story for better or worse and will change it because the minority of trolls screM the loudest. The happy gamer is content and won’t say a thing, only the unhappy speak up. If they give in on this there will be a petition for something in every future release.

  • Why all the talk about Bioware changing the ending? Didn’t they say “…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” ? That really doesn’t sound like they’re building a new ending to appease the “fans”, but more like they’re going to fill in plot holes with more DLC. Ie. Bioware saw an opportunity to appease fans and make money a the same time – why would they not do this?

  • Another way to look at this is when a game is broken (Fallout New Vegas for example) the developers fix it. And in many of the fans minds the story IS broken.

    • It’s not the entire story of Mass Effect 3 that was broken though, just those last 10 minutes that were filled with “WTF?” (this includes my displeasure at one of the endings resulting the genocide of a race they I bent over backwards to bring in the fold) and various contradictions to previously established lore in the ME universe.

  • I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that I spent most of this article thinking about the Mona Lisa with a boob job.
    Now I want that to happen.

  • I’m unhappy with the ending from Super Mario 3 from when I finished it as a kid, if I harrass nintendo enough I wonder if they’ll change it….

  • It’s worrisome to see Bioware turn back on what it originally made themselves because people don’t like it and complain. Considering how powerful social media is nowadays, this can potentially make other developers bow down to people complaining about their game, resulting in one mainstream, unoriginal idea. We’ve already seen modern FPS take a similar generic direction, because the masses keep buying the same thing, and complain about change, forcing developers to change their artistic direction so in the end people buy their product and that’s it.

    If someone doesn’t understand artwork then they don’t understand its that simple. They shouldn’t turn around to the artist and go “I think this is crap, you should change X and Y because otherwise i’ll never like it”

    This is not to mention i’d expect layoffs to occur at somepoint, and the sad thing is, it was because people turned on the people that gave them the game.

    • I get this argument, but it’s not about “fans not understanding art”.

      If you read Geoff Keighley’s behind the scenes piece on the development of ME3, it very clearly spells out (and even has examples of documents) what the team wanted to achieve with the end of ME3. They only decided on the ending four months before the game shipped.

      The point is not that “people don’t understand the art”, it’s that they’re critical of its coherence, its thematic continuity (who knew ME games were about transhumanism?) and its linearity. Personally, I understand what Bioware were aiming for. I think they missed the mark, and the result is unsatisfying and disjointed.

      I don’t think Bioware should be obliged to change things just because fans demanded it. I think ‘demanding’ anything is misguided. But they’ve been collecting feedback for the game for weeks now, and if they decide to make the endings less ambiguous I’m not going to complain about it.

    • I think the key here is to understand WHY people found the ending unpalatable and completely disappointing, not that they didn’t understand it.

      The last 5-10mins sprung entirely new ideas and upturned the narrative of the past +150 hours across the three games. It replaced concepts such as strength through diversity and hope through unity to pure nihilism. The key feature of choice and their long term consequences, long lauded as the cornerstone of the series, were discarded for a simple Deus Ex rip-off. Finally, there are readily apparent plot holes that contradict known characterizations of NPCs and the very events leading up to the end.

  • I think someone put it in a way that I think is the best way anyone could word it.
    Don’t exactly know who, feel free to look around.
    Simply put, you make games that fans like to play, not games that developers like to play. To be noted, I’m not saying “Damn right Bioware had better change it” or “Stop your boo hooing about it and get a life.” My point is it is nice to play a game where your choices matter, it’s not a book, it’s not a movie, because you have direct involvement in it. A game should make it feel like you ARE that persona you have control of, should make you feel like your the one in flesh-in-blood standing among other characters in the game. For some, reading a book or watching a movie that says, or shows, that this person does this, this person does that, and said book/movie makes you feel like your in it. But with a game, your the one controlling the action, you are the one that goes here, you are the one who goes there. You have more choice on how the story unfolds, not just on the sidelines being a witness after the fact or a spectator while it happens.
    I can understand both sides of the argument about the ending of the game. I too was a little dissapointed, but not because it isn’t a “Yay, I lived through all dat shit and I get to bang the chick with the bag on her head.” Other than it seeming like my choices throughout the entire series matter for naught, or that the only difference between the endings was a different color explosion, I didn’t much care for how they brought in the catalyst character. Granted it gave me some sort of an idea of just how the reapers came into being, which is good because there was always the question of where they originated, but I thought the way he he appeared in the story was very sudden. A deus ex machina if you will. For those that don’t know what deus ex machina means it is as follows:
    Deus ex Machina-a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.
    I’m not saying the child was a bad move, I can see it making sense if I try to “reason” it into the story. But since I am unaware of any part of the story that may have been withheld, or as I hope, there were time constraints preventing everything that was wanted to be added intended added, it bugs me to not know just how precisely the single role plays in all of it.
    As of right now, I can only speculate or read what other people might have figured by surfing the web. There are other parts in the last ending scene of the game that also raise questions, but this was the biggest one that grab a majority of my attention.

    If anyone would care to ask questions, my email is provided and would encourage feedback, I am eager to hear your thoughts.

  • I personally didn’t mind the ending. I was expecting Bioware have always finished up there games with one massive choice near the end despite all the choices made during the game. that’s what people have to realise.I wouldn’t want them to change the ending because that’s how they decided to end it, however i would at least like them to put in a similar epilogue to the one they had in Dragon age: Origin s, where they summed up the consequences of decisions in the game

    In the end i think that’s how a lot of people feel, the ending itself i dont think people mind, they just dont like the fact that effects of their personal decisions aren’t clearly shown and that they didnt get any closure with the party members that they love so much and because of that, they don’t feel that sense of closure on a story they got so invested in.

    So to sum it up
    -i personally didn’t mind the ending although i understand why people are maD
    -Bioware shouldnt change the ending but should at least add an epilogue or something like it so people know how their decisions affected their story

    • Dude it was appropriate that Shep died, but the ending made no sense. Answer these questions for me and i’ll be satisfied with the ending too:

      1. How did all my crew fighting next to me on Earth suddenly teleport back onto the Normandy?
      2. If the Normandy crew ended up on a livable planet it must mean they’re in a diff system, meaning that they were in the middle of a Relay Jump when getting hit by the space magic blast. Why did Joker suddenly decide to abandon the battle at its most decisive moment and fly away?
      3. What the hell are the other aliens gonna do now that the Relays are destroyed? Do they just bum around in the Sol system for the rest of their lives? Is the epilogue gonna say “And thus the Great Alien Hobo Age began…”

      • i never said i was satisfied with the ending, when i said i didnt mind it, i meant the ending itself with shepard dying was, like you said appropriate, but bioware’s delivery it was horrible.

        As for point 1 & 2 I would like an answer to those myself, again horrible delivery on bioware’s part i think they were just trying to make it dramatic but somehow forgot to include logic into it. Now is it not at all possible that point 3 could be covered by an epilogue? whether it be a detailed text epilogue or cutscene?

  • I just want to know a few things the about the ending.
    Spoilers….to a point
    If they can clarify what happens to the squad you take on the final mission.
    For that matter, what happens to all the main cast (Wrex, Ash etc) including those that did not stay on the Normandy this game.
    Where the hell the ship ends up at the end of the game.
    If Shep really did kick the bucket on any of the endings.
    What happens to the other races in ALL the different endings ultimatly. Sort of like a short narrative to say hey, the Krogan did this, the Volus did that, the Elkor died out after 50 years etc etc.

    I would be happy with that. I would not like to see them “change” the ending but if they did I would not be spitting my coffee on the keyboard in disgust and chucking a tantrum like a lot of the kids have been doing.

    To tell the truth, a lot of the hate reminds me of Steven Kings Misery 🙂

  • what i gathered from Bioware’s announcement was that they were simply gonna have DLCs that answer the questions left behind, not change the ending.

    Plus, the ending made no sense. I thought it was very appropriate for Shep to die but I still don’t understand how the crew fighting next to me on Earth teleported back onto the Normandy and Joker suddenly decided to abandon the battle at its most decisive moment and fly away. And how do the other aliens get back to their home systems once the Relays were destroyed? Do they just linger in the Sol system and play cards?

    • I wish they had at least given u the choice of whether Shepard lives or dies. I wish there was a choice where u find out that due to ur prothean half u r the one needed to fire the crucible and that in order for it to fire at full power and stop all reapers in the galaxy u need to give ur life. Or u could instead force or trick someone else Into doing it resulting in an imperfect beam that kills all the reapers but also wipes some worlds clean of life. That would have been more fulfilling its a moment where u play God and decide whether u value ur own life above everyone else

  • I don’t see a problem with this. I think it was Mozart, who quite literally changed the endings to some of his symphonies because of fans. It’s not as if changing the ending completely destroys the artistic integrity. In a painting if you don’t like something then you just paint over it to try and fix it. I see no reason why fans becoming a part of that process ruins artistic integrity, as long as it’s kept to moderation.

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