BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

March 21, 2012 -

BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka has written an open letter to the community about the ending to Mass Effect 3 and what the company plans to do in the future to make fans feel a little bit happier. In that lengthy letter posted on the BioWare forums, Muzyka admits that the company's first instinct is to defend the work they have done on Mass Effect 3, but at the end of the day he has to acknowledge the will of the fans who were clearly not satisfied with how the game ended.

Muzyka called the feedback he received from fans about the ending "incredibly painful" but said that the company is listening and has some ideas that should appease players while at the same time allowing BioWare to maintain its "artistic integrity."

You can read the post from Muzyka on the BioWare forums or you can simply read it below, in its entirety.

To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare

As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.

I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism. At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3’s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.

Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us. This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. We’re already working hard to do that.

To that end, 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. 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 honored to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback.

Building on their research, 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.

The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and we’re planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, I’m proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.

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.

If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team – we respect your opinion and want to hear it. We’re committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can. In return, I’d ask that you help us do that by supporting what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted. I urge you to do your own research: play the game, finish it and tell us what you think. Tell your friends if you feel it’s a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damndest, as always, to address your feedback. As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support.

Thank you for your feedback – we are listening.

Ray

Source: Vox Games


Comments

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

Bioware has always sucked at endings it almost like a Bioware trademark. It doesn't matter the game they always sucked.

Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age Origins are examples of endings that were sort of decent.

What developers have to realize is that they have paying customers. You can't start throwing out bad products and expect your customers to support you. You pissed them off have Stanley Woo drive them away you're going to lose money.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

I can't help but feel that, even though there's some legitimate issues with the ending (the Normandy is running why, exactly?) and minimal closure (some DA1 style epilogue screens, if nothing else)...

Even though there are these legit issues, the forums have kind of blown up into this NERD RAGE thing, where they're dissecting everything anyone from BioWare has ever, ever said, looking for signs that they were promised their particular set of ponies and rainbows ending, or what have you.

I mean, I'm not thrilled with the ending, but the sheer amount of effort and vitriol here just astounds me.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

At least you guys got a response, unlike those of us who felt that Mass Effect 2 was a betrayal of Mass Effect's promise.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

He bases his outlook of the game on what industry critics are saying, yet any smart gamer should know that many industry critics who work for companies like IGN and GameSpot are nothing more than corporate suits who get paid to make up bullshit so that the company gets more advertising revenue from the games publisher.

A "professional" review is no longer an article on what the writer thinks of the game, but on what he thinks the publisher wants him to think. The fact people still suck this dribble down amazes me, frankly.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

Well, I'm glad at least that Bioware is listening and acknowledging the fan outcries with respect.

That said, though, I still don't think they should give into them.  Maybe I've only seen the more extreme reactions, and to me that would be like caving-in to to a 5-year-old throwing a tantrum; that kind of behavior shouldn't be rewarded.  Glad that Dr. Muzyka seems to think that way, it seems though.

Honestly, I don't know what else they could do to change the ending or add to it, short of showing little title cards under a still of each character al la Animal House (Niedermeyer was fragged by his own company in Vietnam.  Brother Blutarsky became senator.  Etc.)

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

When you get past the surface of angry, entitled gamers, that's really all that's being asked for. Closure, maybe some extra scenes to fix some of the glaring plot holes, and only if they really want to do it, an ALTERNATE ending that doesn't feel like a complete cop out.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

True in a lot of instances. From what I see the main thrust of it is needing some sort of tangible link to the choices you've made in each game. If someone were to start ME1 today and play through to ME3, they may as well just pick their actions randomly as it makes no significant difference to the endings. Choice in the game has become moot. As a matter of fact, I dare say very few people would complain about the ending if Bioware never implemented choice in the series in the first place and just made it a straight adventure game with one path.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

I doubt that ( the ending does reek of a giant Deus Ex Machina cop-out) but it wouldn't have been nearly as bad as what it has been.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

I get a little frustrated with the gripe "the ending was a DEM" when the ENTIRE GAME is spent BUILDING THE CATALYST.

I'm just saying, it's not like that thing came out of nowhere.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

You are correct it wasn't a Deus Ex Machina, it was the End-O-Tron 5000.

"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

They're not asking you to CHANGE the ending, just expand on it so that it fixes some of the glaring plotholes, gives closure to your squadmates, and maybe, MAYBE, another ending.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: BioWare Addresses Complaints About Mass Effect 3 Ending

You know, I have little faith in the notion that they will actually listen.  Given their track record of censoring critical forum posts, I don't think they're really all that inclined to change their pattern yet.

 
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