Will BioWare Change The Mass Effect 3 Ending?

    March 19, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Mass Effect 3 developer BioWare has been taking a lot of flak over the last couple of weeks, and it all focuses on the highly controversial ending to the much-anticipated game. Without going into too much detail and hitting everyone with the spoiler stick, we’ll just say that by and large, players are disappointed with the choices they are given at the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s saga. Many feel betrayed, and have complained that the final sequences fail to live up the the standards set by the previous games in the series.

This frustration is widespread. A poll on BioWare’s social site now currently sits at 60,000 votes cast – and 91% voted that the endings “suck.” This disapproval has led to petition groups gaining traction on Facebook. “Retake Mass Effect,” on of the biggest groups advocating for an ending change has amassed over 41,000 likes on the site.

Over the weekend, BioWare’s social media team had a bit of a hiccup. The official Mass Effect Facebook page, a post went out saying that BioWare had no plans at this time to change the ending of Mass Effect 3.

Now, they have backtracked on this a little, posting this “clarification” early Monday morning:

We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending.

We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.

Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive.

Now, this obviously leaves the door open for some sort of change to the ending of the story. Last Friday, Mass Effect 3 Producer Casey Hudson posted about the ending and the uproar about the ending on the BioWare social network. He said that Mass Effect has been a “labor of love” for the team and that they always knew that the “scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending.”

He went on to say:

But we also recognize 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.

At the same time, BioWare community coordinator Chris Priestly said that they were listening to all of the feedback and would be “responding when they can.”

We understand there is a lot of debate on the Mass Effect 3 ending and we will be more than happy to engage in healthy discussions once more people get to experience the game. We are listening to all of your feedback.

From all of the posts, it pretty much sounds like BioWare’s position is “yeah, we know some of you are pissed, just give it time, we’ll see.” At least they are leaving the door open for some sort of ending-changing DLC or the like. But right now, it does feel like that door is barely cracked.

What do you think? Do you want some changes made to the ending? Do you think that BioWare will oblige the frustrated fans? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://google charles petty

    I have played all three games more than once, having both male and female shepards, and I enjoyed the first two games very much,however Mass effect 3, while having great game play has an absolutly terrible ending, and I am really ticked that they put so little effort in ending a three game series. I do not know what their motive was in having such a crappy ending other than to try and set us up for game #4. If that is the case they made a big mistake because I for one will not purchase another game.

  • AJ Shepard

    I do believe Bioware can make this right. As someone who has met Casey before, his love for this series he has created is much too strong, and his appreciation for the fans that got it this far is always on his mind. People were going GAGA for Garrus and Tali (myself included) well, we got plenty of them in ME2. Some fans thought Mass Effect 2 dropped too many rpg elements, well they added some of them back for ME3. (If it was enough or not is up for debate.) And dammit, if the ending left the fans Casey and his team worked so hard to get feeling betrayed… you can be damn sure he will fix it. Thank you Bioware, not only for bringing us one of the most beloved gaming series of this generation, but for being there and listening to us every step of the way. Commander AJ Shepard,
    Signing out.

    • AJ Shepard

      Im commander Shepard, and this is my favorite comment on web pro news.

      • FyreFlyeRush

        Ditto. And I’m one of the new ending petitioners.

  • Tim

    There is no way that bioware honestly thought this ending would satisfy anyone. NO WAY!!! It HAD to be done intentionally, probably as a money grab for some future “alternate ending” DLC that will cost everyone $10. The writing team that created the Mass Effect universe are some of the best game writers around, and they have been promising “closure” and “diverging plot lines” ever since ME2 came out. The ending to mass effect 3 provided neither. Any writer good enough to work on the Mass effect series would have known that.

    Somehow, Bioware managed to sour 100+ hours of gameplay and turn their most diehard fans into their most vocal critics with a single, 5 minute cutscene. I’m not sure how they could have accomplished that unless they intended to do it.

    • FyreFlyeRush

      Honestly, when the original ending leaked, they decided to change it. That’s where it all went wrong. The 11th change led to a collosal choke. They should have stuck with the Dark Matter theory. Or, at the very least, they should have said, “Hey guys, we have to delay the game again.”

      “A delayed game iseventually good; a bad game is bad forever.” Miyamoto Shigeru

  • Jesus

    Bioware you have provaided the best games of our time, the mass effect series being THE BEST SCFI OF OUR TIME, Dragon age and so on, So I cant understand how you would end the game with that horrible and bad ending going against everything mass effect is known for, (Choise) the writers must have done this on purpose I cant find another explaniation. No one in thier right mind would say that this game ending was the right one. If you listen before adding tali and garrus as romance, then I hope you will do the right thing by lisiting again. Do the right thing Casey I beg you NEW ENDING and SHEPARD LIVES

  • Zachary Ramon

    Look tell Casey not to continue a new mass effect trilogy or something that follows the same concept. If he does then all of the fans efforts for helping Commander Shepard would have been in vain. You can still do the Indoctrination plot since lots of fans have found evidence that Shepard can be indoctrinated at the end of the game, and that Harbinger is the kid in a avatar form.Read what the fans have found. The see Shepard’s eyes change into the illusive mans/Sarens same exact eye shape when they were indoctrinated.Not to meanchan that the catalyst say if Shepard chose the destroy option that the war with synthetics will happen again,but Shepard brought peace the the Geth and Quarien war,plus you can hook up joker with Edi.So the Catalyst is wrong that there will be no peace,and that Shepard will die if he chose it.Which was bull if you got 5000 and more military strength/EMR that shows shepard is alive.If you say that there are lots of possibility it can end well that is some more bull. Think for a second Case if you just give us more fills why JOKER LEFT THE BATTLE AT EARTH,AND WHY SHEPARD HAD NO SAY IN THE PART WERE HE,OR SHE CAN CHANGE THE CATALYST MIND ABOUT THIS CYCLE then you have lost all sense in the MASS EFFECT STORY. THE WHOLE POINT IS TO DESTROY THE REAPERS NOT CONTROL THEM.Plus IF TIM COULD NOT CONTROL THE RAPERS THEN WHY IS IT THAT SHEPARD CAN CONTROL THEM.Do you SEE SHEPARD can NOT control them because the catalyst will never let some organic Control ALL synthetic life INCLUDING HIMSELF.Can you not see what you are doing here.You are just to obsessed with the other projects you can’t see what you have done to the ending of Mass Effect 3.Trust me if you continue on this path your company will lose the trust of the fans,and they will say “should i buy another game that BioWare made, oh wait that’s right the probably messed up the ending like they did with ME3” you see what I mean.If you TRULY WANT MASS EFFECT TO BE REMEMBERED THEN USE THE ID THEORY BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T THEN YOU WILL HAVE MASS EFFECT BE REMEMBERED BUT AS THE WORST GAME ENDING EVER.Sorry if I was rude to you but hay you asked for this once you decal that it was ready.So listen and read the fans comments on mass effect 3 on SOCIAL BOIWARE SITE please.If YOU ACCEPT the ID Theory I garrenty The fans Will BE overjoyed and relieved it was an test of Shepard’s Morale WILL TO NOT BE INDOCTRINATED. With Best wishes Zach Ramon.

  • Lanay

    I think they’re in a tricky position at the moment. If they come out and apologize for the endings, they’ll be obligated to provide a free fix for them. But depending on how complex implementing DLC to change the ending would be, they might not be prepared to eat that kind of loss. If they create DLC that people have to buy, some fans will be even more incensed, and see it as an attempt to gouge players for more money in return for repairing their own mistakes.

    In my opinion, the best thing they can do right now is to come out and say something like ‘we thought the endings were great, but obviously, we didn’t anticipate the real level of devotion and attachment that some players have invested in the Mass Effect universe. Taking into account the player requests, we will be submitting new DLC endings to help diversify and customize the conclusion of the series to appeal to a broader range of players’. It would be bull – interviews given before the series have them clearly contradicting the content of the ending provided – but if they make it sound like it’s a difference opinion they’re trying to accommodate, and not a mistake that they’re fixing, then they can sell the DLC at least enough to cover the costs of making it. Fans get to feel like they’re being heard, though there will still be some grumblings over the lack of contrition and the cost, and BioWare can make it look as though they’re humouring their player base, and not like they submitted an inferior product.

    Otherwise, they’ll probably just cut their losses and not do anything at all. The people who want a free fix are going to be disappointed in this, I fear, and they have every right to be. But I really don’t see them producing a free fix at this point.

  • Vanguardshep

    I hated the ending becaus the 3 choices were identical in a way. The developers say it was in line with the underlining theme of sacrifice, but I did not play the game like that at all. I played it as selfish as possible wanting to preserve myself and those I cared about above all else. Ultimately I was faced with a ridiculous unescapable end.

  • Locust133

    I’m no fan of the ending either, but
    maybe we all just need to be grateful for what we have. Right?

  • Josh B

    I agree that the endings need to be changed, wether its just giving us closure on the events and what really happened. or an ending that saves everything fans cared about. Either way the endings need something to make the game feel complete.

  • http://bioware.com tyler robbins

    Mass Effect has been apart of my life ever since i was 13. i came into contact with every single possible story output you threw out at the fans, and the ending that you left for “Mass Effect 3” really dissappointed a lot of your devoted fans. Not taking action now will not result in a cooldown, but a revolt and game protests are soon to come. I even predict a decrease income on your company by about 7.4%, along with mass effect fans not buying any other future bioware purchases, unless you change the ending in one of your DLCs of showing shepard asking the ghost child to do it for him, while he goes back to earth and dies with his teammates. but really, he overrides the systems and destroys the citadel, along with the reapers, because of him being the voice behind him. i’s really hope you can find some way to make shepard live, for the sake of your biofans, future fans, mass effect fans, and so many more, i’d really hope you take it to consideration, that.. it can be better, not him being dead, but leave something open for the near future, with james being the new face and shepard being the mentor with it opening up to shepard dying because of reapers and james taking his place.

  • Kosh

    The ending is an insult to the players who thought they were getting another good chapter in the Mass Effect franchise. I have sold my EA stock, and will not be buying ver 4 unless I hear a good review. The Mass Effect ending takes none of in game decisions that were made by Shepard in consideration.Bioware used to be a good Role Playing Co., but the ME3 ending will also hurt their Star Wars Product release. If they screwed up this bad on ME3 I imagine Star Wars is worse. This is a bad postion to be in when considering sales. I got turned off on Ubisoft products, and will never buy another one. I hope EA and Bioware have enought sense to fix the ending If they don’t know how I have several endings that would.

  • Kinoda

    Do I want them to change the ending ? Yes. It just wasn’t anywhere near what I was expecting to happen.


    Though I don’t why’d you’d be reading these posts if you haven’t already beat the game at least once.

    Besides changing the ending because it just leaves way too many stories left open, what about the relays ? Destroying them destroys the universe. There can be no more books, or games, or comics. They are the absolute essential thing to making the fiction work. Who knows what BW was thinking when they came up with this ending ? I sure don’t.