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.