Mass Effect 3 Ending Frustration Spawns Social Media Campaign

    March 13, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

There’s no denying that Mass Effect 3 is set to be one of the biggest releases of the entire year. BioWare’s epic adventure sold 890,000 in its first 24 hours in North American alone, and they have announced that millions of copies have already been shipped in the first week of being released.

Plus, if you have gamer friends, you probably haven’t seen them much lately, as they’ve been holed up trying to determine the fate of Commander Shepard. And although the critics’ reviews of the game have been off the charts, many fans are pretty upset by the way it all ended. That frustration has spawned a movement to petition BioWare to change the ending – and it’s growing rapidly.

It appears that the movement got its start on the BioWare Social Network. A particular poll became pretty popular, amassing nearly 40,000 votes. That poll links to an explantation of some of ME3 players’ biggest problems. Warning, SPOILERS AHEAD:

User pro5 has a sort of manifesto on the reasons many players feel cheated by the ending(s), the most important of which he says is the fact that no matter what players do, each ending feels like a “failure.”

Bioware, people are complaining so much because you’ve done a hell of a job getting people emotionally invested in the game – which is a great success,” they say. This game deserves a better ending, we know you can do better than this. Please, do not let us down in this way.”

The poll asks how people feel about the endings. As you can see, it’s pretty decisive:

That poll has inspired other polls, some of which have also gained some traction. One user offers his solution to the problem: DLC to give players another option. That poll has over 8,000 votes, with 70% currently agreeing that would be the best option.

And all of this frustration has led to a social media campaing which is using Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube to get the message to BioWare that fans are upset. A Facebook page, Demand a better ending to Mass Effect 3, has already garnered nearly 20,000 likes. Here’s part of their mission statement.

Bioware is a business if we can make them understand that by using the current endings they alienate (no pun) their customers, and destroy the replay ability of the trilogy they are hurting their profits we CAN bring about a change for the better.

They suggest a letter writing campaign as one way to influence the game devs. This Facebook account it linked to a Twitter account with the same message: #RetakeMassEffect. That Twitter account has over 2,500 followers.

@masseffect fans needed the ending of ME3 like a krogan needs a kick in the quad. #RetakeMassEffect 1 day ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

What do you think? Have you gotten all the way through ME3 yet? How do you feel about the ending? Let us know in the comments.

  • Kirt Dankmyer

    I’m one of the 2% who liked the original ending(s). I’m fine with others being added, so long as you can still have the original endings as well, but I think Bioware’s energy is better spent elsewhere.

  • Exolon

    Thanks for the unbiased view. All the coverage throwing insults is just becoming tiresome. I don’t mind the endings, personally; when I first completed them I stared blankly at the screen, thinking I did something wrong. Then I hated the endings, and I still do; I still believe that the writing involved is terrible unless one of the theories regarding the ending proves correctly.

    But when the idea that the ending “was all a dream” is actually plausible because of the sheer amount of inconsistencies… Well, that’s a pretty major problem right there.

    I accept them for the most part now, but I still liked the page. If there’s a chance for a slightly better written ending, why not?

  • Jon

    Gotta say that I felt kicked in the teeth by the endings. They seem so nonsensical. None of them take any of your former choices into account and they all essentially shoot the universe in the head from the point of view of making new games. I didn’t want all sunshine and flowers but I did want a continuation of the larger story.
    I wanted to see the announcement of a fresh trilogy at next years E3 with a new set of main characters fighting a new threat in the rubble of the post-reaper galaxy.

  • Troy Anderson

    I feel the endings were atrocious. Most people didn’t spend hundreds of dollars and 100+ hours scanning planets, forging alliances and trying to make all the right decisions to not even have a chance at a good ending. No, if you had said during the first game that in the end all your work and decision will culminate in a choice of death or worse for pretty much all the characters and places you care about….Oh but wait you do get to choose the color of the galactic explosion….most people would have said yeah I think I will quit while I am ahead.
    Further, for those fans who did like the ending I can’t see why given other fans a choice(which is what Mass Effect is supposed to be about) would hurt you in any way. You could keep this ending if that is what you like. Why begrudge the rest of us some closure and happiness with the story? On the bright side if you like the current ending and they give us more in pay to play DLC you won’t have to buy it:)

  • jimbyjimb

    I personally felt cheated. After a 3-game saga and well over 100 hours invested into the most immersive fiction ever told I get a cop-out ending that answers few questions that BioWare posed to us throughout the series. We get no real choice as our actions throughout the series appear to have no real influence on the ending we receive. It was just plain horrible writing, and an undeserved end for a loyal fanbase. BioWare’s carrot on the stick was that we would get a say in how the game ended. We could play a certain way and the choices on that path would have a profound and direct influence on how the game ended, therefore making it possible to lose or win or anything inbetween. That is not what we got, not even close. An unfitting end to an otherwise Sci-fi thriller masterpiece. Too bad the end defines the experience and if BioWare doesn’t do something to make this right, even if I have to pay a little extra for it, I’ll be trading in my copies of the game and will no longer purchase any title with their moniker on the box. We really deserved better.

  • Marko

    I believe the ending we all played was absolutely correct and quite frankly brilliant. This ending might go down in history as one of the best. I suggest you all take a second look at it and realize perhaps that things are not as they might seem.

    The reason everyone hates the ending is because we have not yet seen the ending.

    • Gibblets

      So a real ending that will be packaged up and sold as DLC? How is that okay?

      • Marko

        That is a legitimate argument, and I agree that extra cost is bad, however the relevant point is from the point of view of the story.

        I believe the story telling in the 3rd game in particular is brilliant and the strongest by far. It seems extremely far fetched that the writers would suddenly enter a brain lapse and forget about the end of such a game in 5 minutes. The fact that over 90% of people hate it and actually believe that that was the ending is evidence enough that Bioware is as good at indoctrinating you as the Reapers would be.

        • Nilo Feliu

          When we purchase a product we hope to get the entire product, not half of it. If I purchased a car and only got the tires and seats I would complain about it . Or in the matter of artistic creativity, what if you went to the movies only to find out that if you want to watch the end of it, you have to wait another year and pay extra? ( Movie series not included since we know from the start what they are)

          Your excuse if just a poor attempt to refute our claims which are valid. The game that was delivered at purchased is supposed to be complete, with a beggining, a middle and an ending (or many in some cases). And even if this was the case of a PR stunt of some kind, it was disgracefully done, and only managed to infuriate and alienate the playerbase..

          Regarding other concerns, the game is a good one, but far from the masterpiece many claim it to be. It has many glitches and plot hols, while conversation is poorer and watered down, though there are more hours of converstation. The problem here is that the RPG element has been slowly removed from the game since the 2nd game (in comparison to the original) as we had an “improvement” in the combat system.

          Also, the hours and effort used to to creat the MP side and other technologies such as the use of kinectis, would have been better applied to a more finished and polished final product. Just because the Mass Effect saga has had such a huge impact on players (me included) it is no excuse to deliver us a half finished product and try to force us to accept it without us voicing our dissatisfaction about it..

    • Crawford

      The ending to Mass Effect 3 was horrific, but the more I ponder it I realize this was just a tasteless technique to extort funds out of devoted consumers. Bioware knew that the endings would generate an outcry by the Mass Effect community. I know Bioware is a company which like all companies want to generate a profit but I was flabbergasted by this underhanded technique. It is a shame that Bioware would tarnish the Mass Effect name just for a few more bucks.

  • Kayleigh

    I think my biggest problem with the endings were that they were all the same. What is point of having all of these choices and decisions for three games running, when in the end Bioware essentially threw them all out the window and went “look at this pretty cut scene that has nothing to do with any of your choices! Congrats.” My husband played through the game and as soon as we played through the first ending we went back to his last save file and picked one of the other ending, curious how it could have turned out. It felt like such a huge kick in the teeth when it was the same thing we’d just played through in a different color.

    • Kevin

      If you read into the ending enough and take into account the ultimate ‘Shepard lives’ cutscene, there is evidence to suggest that what you see in the endings is not real (a product of indoctrination or hallucination. If Bioware is planning on releasing DLC to bring about a ‘happier’ ending with more closure, it makes sense that all the endings are the same, regardless of your choices. We are left with a difficult decision at the end of the game, and most people probably don’t know which one was the ‘right’ decision. But if this all turns out to be a lead-in for that happy ending, wouldn’t you pay $10 to see it? I know I would.

      • Aden

        If the ending is as you say, then why did Bioware ship an incomplete game? As others have said, how would you feel if you’ve bought what looks to be a complete car, only to find that once you’ve bought it, that it was missing a vital component like the steering wheel or the handbrake and you’d have to pay extra to get them?

  • Kelsey

    You cannot base a game on choices and consequences, and state that the player can create their own personal experience, and then take it away in the last 15 minutes by giving them three choices (The third if you have enough “Galactic Readiness”) that have zero correlation between all of the decisions you made during ME, ME2 and even most of ME3?

    It’s not as if I expected my Femshep to run off into the sunset with her LI (Garrus) and have little Turian babies, it’s the fact that I didn’t really, truly and freely get to decide the ending to my personal experience with this game because either way it really didn’t matter, they all ended relatively the same (with the exception of the small cut scene from the “good” ending) which goes against everything this game originally offered and was praised for!

    For that reason, I have decided not to purchase any future Bioware games (I already swore off EA a long time ago).

    So thanks, but no thanks Mike Gamble, I won’t be “holding onto” my copy of ME3, nor ME2 or ME1, even if I can only get a few dollars for them, it’s better than keeping something defective and pointless, IMO.

  • Schnizzer

    I was not a fan of them. I invested so much time in the games. I was saddened that you couldn’t get with Tali in the first one, who was almost instantly my favorite companion character. In the second one I was pleased to see this changed. I felt a little cheated in the third one. I’m not always about happy endings but when it comes to something fans have invested so much time in and feel so strongly about on an emotional level then, yes, I would like the choice to live happily ever after with said “loved one.” Not too mention the feeling that all the work I did through out the games, saving races and gathering allies, didn’t seem to affect any of the outcomes. I loved this game but I felt fairly… unfulfilled after all the time I spent with these three games. I don’t think that’s the feeling they were trying to go for.

  • Eringal

    I really hate the endings too, why couldnt Bioware have given at least one ‘happy ever after choice’? After investing so much time and energy in the first two games and making sure I had my saves as good as they could be for a great paragon playthrough in ME3 and a great successful ending.. I was terribly disappointed when I discovered that nothing really mattered, all the time I had spent in the first two games didnt really make an impact on the end and that there is no ‘happy ending’ for the characters I have spent hours and hours playing with and developing..well its absolutely stunned me that Bioware has left it like this.

  • Dylan

    I hate the endings, both because of the thematic/moral/literary reversals that it makes, and because of how lazily made they were (the closing cinematics are almost identical except for the color of the blast).

  • Anderson A

    Finally a proper article on the situation… thank you for that. I was getting very sick of the insults the “professional” websites were throwing at the fans.
    I hope for a change in the ending, Bioware has disapointed me very much with these terrible endings to one of the greatest stories ever told.

  • Sshodan

    I’m a long time gamer and I never trusted any game company more than I trusted BioWare with Mass Effect, if someone told me that I’ll be disappointed by the ending I would never even imagined the actual epic fail of it. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the same people who made the rest of the game did this…
    The one good thing that came out of all the fiasco is this: http://retakemasseffect.chipin.com/retake-mass-effect-childs-play – disappointed fans doing something productive and positive with their energy, you got to respect people who response to being unhappy themselves is an attempt to make someone else’s day brighter :)

  • TheEndingWasCrap

    I was very disappointed by the ending. It basically made a mockery of all the free-will that was allowed throughout the series. In short, be a Paragon or a Renegade, romance who you like and allow whoever you like to live or die. But it makes no difference in the end. Pathetic and LAZY.

  • jemad01

    I myself am disappointed with the endings, for many of the reasons several others have pointed out, so I won’t bother restating what others have already said.

    However, the three basic choices: destroy, control, or merge are not in and of themselves bad ideas. But the results of each choice are basically the same, with minor variations. I thought the merge idea was the best, but why does Shepard always die in that ending when the other two have live and die scenarios? If the endings are basically the same this doesn’t make sense.

    I do think DLC would be good at this point, but it still feels like being cheated a little. But, for now it’s the best option we have.

    Unlike others, I’m keeping my copy of ME1 and will have ME2 eventually.I will join others in either returning and/or not purchasing ME3 and other EA/Bioware games unless I know and feel for certain that they are worth my time all the way to the end.

  • Usagi1231

    The problems with the game and the endings have been stated, so my focus is the now complete lapse of BioWare/EA to make a statement. Using your industry pull to get critics in your pocket is actually despicable, but FAILING to address the concerns of your CUSTOMERS is a total breach of all business ethics. Do you think that staying quiet, allowing (maybe even encouraging) industry publications to take pot shots at YOUR customers, and refusing to even acknowledge the complaints is going to win you ANY trust, respect or future business? BioWare and EA, in their utter failure to respond, have shown themselves to be entirely unworthy of the money and faith entrusted to them by the gaming community. They owe everyone, including the “fans” who liked the atrocious crap they paid good money for, apologies and, in the very least, acknowlegement of their extremely poor judgment in this whole situation.

  • MJB

    When I was told that the ending would disappoint me, I waved it off thinking that I could, in no way, be disappointed with an ending from this series. Bioware wouldn’t fail me. Right?
    As many have said, I wasn’t expecting sunshine rainbows and unicorns, but I had expected there to be more to what I was given.
    Promises that were made to the fan base weren’t fulfilled.
    Don’t get me wrong, despite a few glitches here and there, the game was AMAZING. I loved every second of it, but the ending? It ruined it for me.
    I get the “It’s just a dream/indoctrination” theory. (In fact that’s my favorite theory by far), but if that were the case then Bioware, dammit, let us know about it!
    It seems the creators simply wanted to end it quickly in a way that they could branch off of the story without having to bring back our characters. It leaves room for the developers to continue on, but it leaves the fans feeling like they didn’t get closure.
    Never have I felt so emotionally invested in a game. NEVER. Usually I play games as a way to pass the time, but this series was by far the only game I have ever REALLY become attached to.

    On a lighter note I just want to add: Bioware must have been indoctrinated when it came to the end.

  • http://www.newhacksdownloads.in gamehacks
  • Hydralysk

    We also organized a charity for people to donate too to show their displeasure about the ending. It is at this moment around $48,500. It’s a chance for people’s frustrations to be vented in a positive manner while still getting the message across.


  • Dee

    The Side missions were rushed and lazy. The personal relationships were not compelling. The Science of the Mass Effect universe was not built upon. The endings were horrible. The entire game was too linear and souless. No Krogan or Jack on your team. No real Boss fights. Entire team not instrumental in the final mission. Planet exploration was nonexistent. I felt like certain parts like planet doc’s were there to throw a geek a bone instead of doing the work of making planets accessible. ME3 is a fail because Bioware forgot that Adults play it too.

  • Peter Hollo

    It seems you guys watched too many Hollywood films with so many clichés that you have already imagined the “perfect ending” where everybody lives happily ever after. I guess if something is a bit different it can only be perceived as negative.

    It’s a shame none of you can appreciate the choices we are given. The ending was well-crafted and climactic enough, in my opinion. And even if you don’t agree: Should this really be that big a problem to start this fund-raising nonsense? Oh, yes, and the ending should really make Bioware the big evil corp along with the game as something bad?

    Oh, yes, to that guy who mentioned he wished to see a continuation. So you admit you like when companies cash-in on you and you just keep spending all your money on those sequels. Yes, you’re right. Bioware should just go Ubisoft and release a Mass Effect game annually. Long live the franchise!

    Also, honestly: did you believe that ALL our decisions made in previous games and in ME 3 will be put into a final video? So if I romanced Liara they will move in together with Shepard and in case Miranda a different ending will be given?

    The idea was to make sure we get immersed in this wonderfully detailed world. By importing my saves throughout all 3 games I could see how my actions played out: Who cares about the ending? There are thousands of tiny bits and pieces where we can all see different outcomes throughout the trilogy WHILE playing. It’s not about the ending.

    I admit having been surprised but I didn’t start thinking of the endings as unacceptable. But never mind me, haters gonna hate, so will you. :)

  • Gerard Schmidt

    The only good news about the endings is that Linkin Park might do well out of it. On the other boards people are saying its the new ME£ theme, you start laughing cos it just sums it all up