The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

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Hannibal942:

RaikuFA:

370999:
So once again Bob doesn't understand the difference between games and movies. And misrepresents the retake ME movement. Standard stuff from him them.

Considering people are demanding donations back, making death threats and making BBB complaints over it, hes a bit justified. Hes just saying those above three make all fans of something look bad.

Aren't we kind of above letting a few bad eggs define the whole group? Isn't that the entire point of the "Gamers aren't basement dwellers, don't let the few 12 year olds on xbox live define us" argument?" If Bob lets the few wackos define the Retake Group, then that's being a hypocritical.

I'm honestly shocked how little Bob has looked into this conflict. He's honestly one of my favorite contributors to the Escapist, but his ignorance in this matter is pretty appalling.

True, true. What needs to be done is the people who are considered the good people of the movement to go "Those people? The ones demanding donations back and such? They don't represent us at all."

Easing up on the personal attacks against people who don't get it(one person told me I'll never get how mad you guys are because I play JRPGs and that somehow makes ALL my opinions invalid)and calling people hypocrytical strawmen just for disagreeing with you dosen't help your cause.

so naturally bob is against movie test screenings that can result in changes to movies right, because that would be changing art.

you've been missing the point for a while. go read some of the things the game makers promised pre release then watch the ending

So far I am split in my decision to change the ending. I should make it clear that I think the endings should not be changed because they sucked (and they really did). The only reason I could justify a change comes from a possibility that I have too little information on to make my decision. That possibility is that there was a different ending planned for dlc. As of right now I have only been able to find internet rumors on the subject. Those rumors are supported by a little bit of the narrative (I am not going to list the evidence, just go to YouTube if you want to know). The truth is though that until someone at the company talks about it, this cannot be confirmed. With all that in mind I have come to this conclusion. An ending change could only be justified if the original story was altered, or written in such a way that the ending originally sold would be made invalid, and as such drive up the desire for a different ending. In other words, if they made an ending that you had to buy an additional part to see the real conclusion, then the forced ending change would be a good thing.

The games as art argument is the most compelling to me for not changing the ending as it stands. If you take that same argument and look at the possibility that they always meant to change the ending, you just had to pay for it, then the games as art argument is strongly for making the company change the ending. It's not a perfect comparison, but what if they cut out the last ten minutes of a movie except for those who paid a little more. It is a form of extortion. Not only that, it was at the detriment of the piece as a whole. If there is a dlc ending, then as it stands we paid full price for something that they deliberately ruined to get more money to fix. This would be the worst example of dlc I have ever seen.

To re-iterate, I have no hard evidence that they planned for dlc originally, or wrote the ending to drive up the desire for said dlc. But, the possibility has been shown to have enough merit to at least think about. And if it is true (or was since the backlash might have squashed it) then the ending deserves to be changed. Not because we are owed it, but because it was wrong to do in the first place.

I don't see why people care about Bob's opinion so much. He's a film critic. Anyone who wants the ending to change, or not change, already has their stance as of now. There is not going to be any conversion.

That being said, I really enjoyed the comparison. I mean, what if they had an origin story where they were aliens, and it somehow turned out to be good? Of course that's riding close on the impossible but you really can't count out anything.

Just have to wait till PAX, see what gets announced, and go from there. Hopefully whatever BioWare releases, it'll be worth while.

Hannibal942:

RaikuFA:

370999:
So once again Bob doesn't understand the difference between games and movies. And misrepresents the retake ME movement. Standard stuff from him them.

Considering people are demanding donations back, making death threats and making BBB complaints over it, hes a bit justified. Hes just saying those above three make all fans of something look bad.

Aren't we kind of above letting a few bad eggs define the whole group? Isn't that the entire point of the "Gamers aren't basement dwellers, don't let the few 12 year olds on xbox live define us" argument?" If Bob lets the few wackos define the Retake Group, then that's being a hypocritical.

I'm honestly shocked how little Bob has looked into this conflict. He's honestly one of my favorite contributors to the Escapist, but his ignorance in this matter is pretty appalling.

But it makes for great advertising. How many ME3 detractors decided to click on the Big Picture for the first time because of his blatant trolling of the ME3 ending detractors?

I don't see Bob actually taking any steps in the near future to make any actual attempt to understand our point of view. He's got the few extremists who have done crazy, stupid, eye-rollingly annoying things, and as long as he can use that minority to represent all of us, he's going to get under our skin for a good long time. What he's hoping this will translate into is that we'll try to pick apart his opinions and video's, then get the site buzzing with arguments about him and his shows, and have him all over the place.

Basically he's hoping we give him free advertising and get his name out there in a wider circle. Even if it's bad advertising (MovieBob is a hypocrite!) it's still advertising, and he might just find a wider audience because of it.

This one gos out to MovieBob to help clarify what retake ME is all about, ME is a product like a TV or a microwave, if you use the product and it dos not preform the task, then you as a consumer have a right to complane.

here ya go Bob, resurch helps preventing hate on such levels as others may or may not have for you right now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SE7lMfTsSI&feature=share

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

Ye. Gods. The sheer level of smugness in that video is STUNNING - and please keep in mind who's saying that.

Auteur theory can't apply to video games because they're team-efforts? So is film, which is where the medium the phrase "Auteur Theory" was originally coined for. "Staff of fan-fiction writers?" The same tired "these people have no qualifications!" trashing of game journalists? "You're just praising 'art games' to sound smarter?" Give me a break.

Two things;

One, I didn't think anyone could hate Bastion, that game was awesome.

Two, what if all of this really was a plan? If so, I highly doubt they wanted this much negativity, but what if it was their plan to amend to change the ending or whatever? What happens then? Will this all blow over? Will people care anymore?

Though, at this point, I doubt BioWare is going to admit to anything.

Tono Makt:

The Gentleman:
I have said it before and I will say it again: What was so bad about the ME3 ending?

If you've said it before, and you're saying it again, then you really aren't looking for an answer. You're just looking to piss off the people who are annoyed with the ending.

Seriously dude, this is a trolling post. 100% troll post. There's nothing else to it. Sure, it's slightly higher quality as you aren't insulting all of us who dislike the ending, you aren't blatantly looking for a fight, and you've spelled everything correctly.

But by this time to ask "What was so bad about the ME3 ending?" can only be a troll. There are dozens of articles - even on the Forbes magazine website! - about what people think was wrong with the ME3 ending which are reasoned, researched, dispassionate and make absolutely no mention of settling down with Tali on Rannoch, and there are at least a dozen threads on the Escapist itself which are full of rational and mature discussions from both sides, that to ask the question at this stage, and on these forums, is merely a higher class of trolling.

I ask again because no one gave me an answer that justified the outsized response that this ending has garnered. I don't go out of my way to Forbes or the NYTimes for them to explain it to me or read the "dozens of articles" about it. I want to read, in their own words, why each player has a problem with it. So far, all I've gotten is: it wasn't conclusive enough, it ends abruptly/goes in a odd direction that disrupts the plot (I disagree with this one), and my decisions earlier didn't matter (also disagree).

Here's the thing: All of that could be said about DeusEx:HR, but it barely registered a blip. Why are people in arms around ME3 to such an extent?

And here's my big problem: why is it bad? It's cliched and really predictable in its general scope once you're about 2/3rd through the game (you know there's definitely going to be a choice between control and destruction at the end, Shepard is dead no matter what happens, and the Reapers will no longer be a threat). That's not the same as being bad.

jamesbrown:

The Gentleman:
I have said it before and I will say it again: What was so bad about the ME3 ending?

I don't know whether or not this has been replied to, but thank you for being polite :)

The main reason this whole debacale occured is because of an built up emphasis on YOU and YOUR CHOICES thoughout the series, ME3 ending though doesn't emphasize YOUR CHOICES insted it does something really weird and makes all of those choices moot and kills the universe at the same time, thus the ending (it is also the climax) is non-reflective of the 130+ hours piece of art that is Mass Effect.

So, what choices are not addressed from ME1/2 that is not addressed in ME3? ME3 is not written as a stand alone game, it is a third act all its own and the entire game consists of Shepard wrapping up those decisions from prior games, from the romances to the lives saved. What is missing then?

jamesbrown:
All the fans are doing is telling bioware they can make it amazing, and giving them the chance to fix it; sometimes quality trumps artistic integrity; which is why you never could sell a picture of stick figures- even though you think it is the best picture in the entire world

But that is not how this works nor is that how it should be. The precedent set if Bioware capitulates to you guys would be one where all creative control is lost to the mob. What's the point of being a game writer if everything you wrote (and, more importantly, the most essential element of it: the conclusion) could be rewritten by the mob outside because they didn't like it?

jamesbrown:
Analogy:
Books: building a great story, then just as the climax happens; an astroid hits

Upton Sinclair's original printing of The Jungle had the character joining the socialist movement in the first real sign of uplifting glory at the very end. In the original publishing, it ends with a single sentence where the protagonist is arrested the next morning.

jamesbrown:
Movies: Just as the hero is beating up the bad guy or getting the love intrest, an criminal comes up to him and kills him, then it shows the L.I with someone else, or the bad guy robbing a bank; CREDITS

Martin Scorsese won an Oscar for a similar ending in The Departed. The last five minutes is just people getting shot in the head almost randomly.

jamesbrown:
Painting: Just as the masterpiece is finished the artist puts a stick figure over a central part of the painting

Can't remember the artist nor the artwork (I saw it ten years ago), but one gentleman painstakenly repainted the Mona Lisa by hand, and then, when finished, created a print of it over which he Sharpie'ed over the painting various crude and rude things (mustaches, cigarettes, messing with the background, etc.). Originally taken as a cheep rip off by critics, an analysis by experts revealed the true nature of the painting.

Draech:

dragonswarrior:

Draech:

Snippers

Snips

Then why the heck are people trying to force someone to rewrite something?

This is no different than censorship. The fans are more or less shouting "we dont like it! Make it not exist!". It is funny how fast ones own audience would turn on you when you dont pander to it. Takes one bad ending and we are no different than the people who decided that "you cant do that in games! I dont like it!".
Worse than that some fans believe they own it, while some only believe they should own it.

Aiieee how can you compare this to censorship? That is silly. They aren't telling Bioware to censor the ending, they are telling Bioware that the ending was bad and it needs to change. It's about the actual quality of the work, not about the philosophy involved in it.

Unless you mean that people who were expecting something good that are then given crap can't say "hey, you promised us something good, could you kindly please deliver now?". If that is censorship then yes, yes it is no different.

And again, your whole "the fans are just butthurt and entitled and whiny and blah blah blah" argument falls flat because, as I have stated before, there have been many intelligent, researched, and considered responses to this ending. They're easy enough to find if you want to verify it, some of them are pretty long though. Hence, intelligent and researched.

Here is one. It's long but completely proves the above point. And trust me, there are plenty more out there like it. http://www.themetagames.com/2012/03/why-you-enjoy-art-and-one-problem-with.html

And again, you attribute these silly economic ideas to something that has nothing to do with economics. Creation, imagination, creativity, intelligence; when the hell did ownership ever factor in to all this? What does "ownership" have to do with a story? Or a game? Or a painting? What does ownership have to do with an idea?

If you argue the above point you're being too capitalist. Capitalism has no place in good art, yet always ends up mixed up in it anyway ('cause artists gotta eat dontcha know). I would ask you to take a step back and reexamine from a more humanist standpoint. (if I'm using humanist correctly there, I might not be, I've always been pretty lousy knowing which labels go where...)

Stalydan:

neoontime:
REALLY BOB, REALLY? *Cough* Going Green Part 2 *cough*

Oh yeah, I had a Twitter debate/argument with Grey Carter (one of the critical miss guys) and pretty much ending with HEAT because, if nothing else, that's the closest thing that Bob has covered to Retake Mass Effect. And I don't remember him saying it was a bad thing. HEAT is to comics as Retake Mass Effect is to games. It's hard to support one without supporting the other as they practically stand for the same things.

I called HEAT "the biggest, longest, most preposterously powerful act of fanboy pissing and moaning in the history of fanboy pissing and moaning." If you read that as "not a bad thing," I dunno what to tell you ;)

MovieBob:

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

Ye. Gods. The sheer level of smugness in that video is STUNNING - and please keep in mind who's saying that.

Auteur theory can't apply to video games because they're team-efforts? So is film, which is where the medium the phrase "Auteur Theory" was originally coined for. "Staff of fan-fiction writers?" The same tired "these people have no qualifications!" trashing of game journalists? "You're just praising 'art games' to sound smarter?" Give me a break.

"Smugness" sounds a touch ad hominem...

Who is saying that? A guy on YouTube, who is saying he is smug, a guy on the Escapist, that lives at home with his parents? I mean, why even play that game? I think we all have a lot of respect for you Bob, it is why we support your work. Be above the argument man.

Now barring that, good call on Auteur theory... though I think in his context, he is referring specifically to Casey Hudson, and or higher ups at Bioware... who may, or may not have much, if any influence on the creative process. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Maybe he got involved in the process at the 11th hour? Who knows?

I'm not sure people took all the pre-release PR to mean a "Total Recall" Philip K. Dick scenario, loaded to the brim with Matrix and Battle Star homages... shrug.

As far as Mass Effect goes... methinks what was done was pretty edgy (bordering oft times on the sophomoric)... almost but just "maybe" the closest to an M. Shyamalan moment yet in video games. The exposition just really let it down. Very Cassandra Syndrome, Hesiod Trojan War-Trojan Horse, Zeus Achilles and the Fates, that video games have ever come, and may ever come... shame really.

It just wasn't finished. For the love of DLC maybe?

Taste bad I guess...

Ya got time to put Jessica Chobot of IGN in the game?

It all begs a sense of credulity, much of what one would expect in Jody Foster's "Contact".

Which is exactly what is in the box. A messianic "contact" moment, which you mention, without directing it specifically at Mass Effect, nice slight of hand! ;)

Clearly part of the design of ME was to generate this sort of buzz... With a Mass Effect movie in the works... all press is good press... I think that's what they say in Hollywood.

It is all just a game anyways... from the bottom to the top. Vestment is really just a matter of choice, though people that play games, are interested in games, and those that invest dollars into them (from the bottom to the top) are watching this pretty closely.

It's neat. It's better than the game in the box. :D

The Gentleman:

Here's the thing: All of that could be said about DeusEx:HR, but it barely registered a blip. Why are people in arms around ME3 to such an extent?

Mostly I'd imagine because Human Revolution wasn't the epic finale to a beloved trilogy that many gamers have spent the last 5 years heavily emotionally investing in, but rather the prequel to an already concluded story from a decade ago. The excitement and hype surrounding the Deus Ex franchise had already died down, and I expect many players of Human Revolution had never played the original anyway. Moreover, being a prequel, there were only so many ways for Human Revolution to end and still have the original Deus Ex make any kind of sense, though that is far from a flawless excuse.

I really liked the last line, bob. Yes, I was disappointed by the Mass Effect 3 ending, but if that's all I have to worry about, then I'm doing pretty damn good. And I am. I mean, I don't have to worry about clean water, food, heating, education, violence, war, political repression or most things a lot of people have to worry about, day in, day out.

I like Mass Effect - I like the series a whole lot. And yes, I am disappointed by the ending. I am disappointed by how slip-shod, short and illogical it was. But that's life - sometimes things end poorly. Sometimes a book ends badly, a movie ends badly or a game ends badly.

Can we accept that it ended poorly and move on like adults? Could we? I agree that it ended poorly! I agree that it ended badly! I agree that it could have been done a whole lot better with even minimal re-writing! I also don't think it's something to flip my gourd over, because I actually have a life outside of video games.

It ended poorly, and we need to accept that. If you really don't like the ending, feel free to write your own and imagine that to be the ending.

Yes the ending wasn't what was promised by BioWare. Yes, we know they could do better. Yes, it hurts that the ending to such a good series ended so poorly. I understand that. But:

THAT. IS. LIFE.

No, I'm NOT talking about "Downer endings are good because that's how life is!". I'm talking about how sometimes you will be disappointed. That really is life. And you have to get used to it.

Disliking the ending is NOT irrational or bad. I disliked the ending. What's scary is the sheer amount of anger, hatred and vitriol being hurled around. I have had quite a few books that I've liked end poorly. I've had a lot of films I've liked end poorly. I've had even more games that I've liked end poorly - but I don't lose my mind over it.

When ME3 ended for me, I was sad. Disappointed. Annoyed. Even upset. For perhaps 3 hours, then I did what adults do and I moved on with my life and I went back to studying for my medical degree, talking with friends, reading other books, playing other games, going out for walks in the park, playing with my pet dogs, looking at a nice sunset and in general being sane.

Calm down people. It's a bad ending to a much loved series. I really enjoyed Mass Effect. I played through the first game 6 times, the second 4 times and I did buy all the books and I read all the codex entries and I played the hell out all of them. I even got Mass Effect 1 twice - first on the Xbox, then on the PC. I even bought a copy for my brother. I like the series just as much as anyone else.... BUT:

It is a video game series. A. Video. Game. Series.

And before you start: yes, people who obsess over Harry potter and Dune or even Lord of the Rings have an unhealthy obsession. People who obsess over Star Wars or Citizen Kane or Charlie Kaufman films (and I LOVE Kaufman's films) have an unhealthy obsession - and people who obsess over mass effect to this degree also have an unhealthy obsession. There's more to life than video games or movie/film/book series. Those things are all nice things to have in life, but once they BECOME your life or make up a SIGNIFICANT part of it.... dude, go outside. Go get a job. Study harder.

Passion is good when it's spent on things that REALLY matter - like studying, your relationship, your family, your philosophy and ethics, your life journey or your political ideals. Not when it's spent on pop culture.

Right now we have people literally dying and fighting for their right to live free. The internet has generated more passion for a VIDEO GAME ENDING than, oh, I don't know, the FATE OF THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION. And that's just sad.

DrWilhelm:

The Gentleman:

Here's the thing: All of that could be said about DeusEx:HR, but it barely registered a blip. Why are people in arms around ME3 to such an extent?

Mostly I'd imagine because Human Revolution wasn't the epic finale to a beloved trilogy that many gamers have spent the last 5 years heavily emotionally investing in, but rather the prequel to an already concluded story from a decade ago. The excitement and hype surrounding the Deus Ex franchise had already died down, and I expect many players of Human Revolution had never played the original anyway. Moreover, being a prequel, there were only so many ways for Human Revolution to end and still have the original Deus Ex make any kind of sense, though that is far from a flawless excuse.

This is true, but I find "emotional investment" to be a massive cop-out and a synonym for "it wasn't what I thought it was going to be and am angry because of it."

I find the entire fiasco that has resulted to be very petty in the end. Like I said above, I played the game, I found the ending to be reasonably satisfying if a tad cliche, and I moved on... Not everything, especially in media, will go the way you want it to. The trick is just to get what you can out of it and move on.

Bob reminds us all that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

The ME 3 endings fail as art, a narrative, or as game play. This wasn't a daring choice to take a risk, this was a stupid person ruining a massive collaborative work.

Now the game has this awful ending on it while it's otherwise a very good product. That it needs to be fixed is blindingly obvious to basically everyone that has played the games.

Yeah, Electronic Arts has every right to not change it and to instead leave it as a shitty product. It isn't artistic integrity and the defense of taking 'risk' that would guide them to do so.

Frozengale:
So please forgive me oh wise internet guru, I will now go scourge myself because obviously in your eyes misusing a term is a horrible sin.

1. Person A says something stupid.
2. Person B highlights Person's A stupidity.
3. Person A adopts excessively defensive posture, trying desperately to cover their stupidity with sarcasm and barely-veiled insults directed at Person B.

Tragically, this is a true story.

I'm still waiting to hear why Broken Steel hasn't ruined the industry yet.

I mean, shouldn't have bethesda stood by their ending?

Captcha: public good

First off calling people who are upset with the ending of Mass Effect 3 as "Butt Hurt".
Classy.

For who don't get why people are angry here is a non spoiler version of events.

Mass Effect 1
image

Mass Effect 2
image

The Majority of Mass Effect 3
image

The end of Mass Effect 3
image

Mass effect was ment to be this generations answer to Star Trek.
Build around three core princpiles.
1. As hard Sci Fi as we can make without scarficing story/action.
2. Your actions have consquenseces so don't take what you do lightly. You can ethier work within a system or rail against it.
3. Always fight against the odds.

You know those look like three kick ass messages, kinda like how Star Trek said one day we will go beyond racism and hatard, we will be better people. I like those messages.
It says the following to me.

1. Science matters it's how we understand the universe, you don't have to love it but just respect it, cause it helps you understand stuff.
2. If your going to be good or bad thats going to come around (aka Karma) don't expect to be able to talk people down off a building if there scared of you and don't expect people to fear you if your known for doing good.
3. Is there a glass ceiling F--- that break through it, someone said you can't do something F--- that you can.

The ending I am sorry but it Sh--s on all of that.
1. Somethings you will never understand don't try and make sense of them.
2. Don't worry if you have been an ass your whole life you'll get a chance to choose different at the end.
3. Aim low and avoid disappointment.

But we're just Butt Hurt. This is a joke right? We want our game to mean something, we wanted just a fallout style end wrapping things up and cause we expected better from them were Butt Hurt? Really?

Orcboyphil:
Bob! Please stop being such as arsehat! I generally agree with you, Retake Mass Effect is silly, but stop having such a bitch whinefest over it. If it bothers you so much just ignore it, nobody is making you sit down and read the threads or the tweets or look up the latest picture on deviant art! Just do as I do and ignore it, it real is that simple. Instead you seem to relish in showing your moral superiority and proclaim to the world that everybody else are such children and your the only adult who can show them the way to nerdvana. I don't know maybe your trying to copy Jim Sterling but you don't have the same self mocking that he does and you just come of as arrogant.

As a point of fairness to Bob, he is paid to NOT ignore activities of audience communities. This may mean reading threads and tweets, and finding the latest deviant art pictures. Any presumed superiority is something that he gets paid for as well, as it presents his material in a manner that retains viewers. I VERY often disagree with Bob. I enjoy HOW he presents things, not necessarily WHAT he presents.

More opinion than counterpoint, comparing Jim to Bob is unfair. They handle different material, in unique manners.

oh, bob....

what few respectable journalists in the industry seem to all be suddenly tuning out every single issue people have in favor of throwing the "art" excuse at us. i really dont understand this. the thing i love about bob is that even though i disagree with him on numerous issues, he explains his opinion so thoroughly that i have to respect it.

but now he has done the same god damn thing every other journalist out there is doing, completely missing the point and flying into a hyperbolic tantrum about the apocalyptic future where consumers take issue when they buy something on false pretenses. though the artistic failings are many, THEY ARE NOT THE ISSUE. people dont want the ending changed because they take issue with it creatively, they want it changed because THEY SPENT 180$+ ON A SERIES OF PRODUCTS THAT FAILED TO DELIVER ON WHAT THEY ADVERTISED.

money is involved bob, that makes it a product as well as art, however much you might want to ignore that fact. if we ignore this then publishers will just have a new excuse for ignoring the artistic value of video games, so really, letting the ending stand as it is is just as damaging as trying to get it changed. the fault is bioware's for putting us in a lose-lose situation.

MovieBob:
Auteur theory can't apply to video games because they're team-efforts? So is film, which is where the medium the phrase "Auteur Theory" was originally coined for.

What if I just think the "Auteur Theory" is complete bullshit?

The Gentleman:

DrWilhelm:

The Gentleman:

Here's the thing: All of that could be said about DeusEx:HR, but it barely registered a blip. Why are people in arms around ME3 to such an extent?

Mostly I'd imagine because Human Revolution wasn't the epic finale to a beloved trilogy that many gamers have spent the last 5 years heavily emotionally investing in, but rather the prequel to an already concluded story from a decade ago. The excitement and hype surrounding the Deus Ex franchise had already died down, and I expect many players of Human Revolution had never played the original anyway. Moreover, being a prequel, there were only so many ways for Human Revolution to end and still have the original Deus Ex make any kind of sense, though that is far from a flawless excuse.

This is true, but I find "emotional investment" to be a massive cop-out and a synonym for "it wasn't what I thought it was going to be and am angry because of it."

I find the entire fiasco that has resulted to be very petty in the end. Like I said above, I played the game, I found the ending to be reasonably satisfying if a tad cliche, and I moved on... Not everything, especially in media, will go the way you want it to. The trick is just to get what you can out of it and move on.

I wouldn't say that emotional investment means quite that, though you're kind of on the right lines if you prune away the negative perspective. Without thinking too hard about it (it's 6 in the morning where I am, I haven't slept a wink and I have a very busy day ahead so Mr Brain finds this "thinking" idea suspicious and worthy of scorn) I'd say that it's a fairly nebulous concept that a storyteller really wants to instill in his audience because it will amplify their reaction to the story, simply because they care more about it. It's a double edged sword though, because negative reactions will be amplified in the same way, for the same reason.

It's all about gauging your audience, and understanding what it is they want out of the story. Hopefully what the audience wants from the story is the same thing that the writer wants from the story, and if that isn't the case then I believe the onus is on the writer to adjust. It's the same way that a stand up comedian needs to adjust his routine to the audience if he's expecting to get any laughs.

If that didn't make a lot sense (and I suspect it didn't) then I refer you back to Mr Brain, who is currently casting dark glances at Mr Logic and Mr Rational Thought, and sharpening his claymore.

*sigh*
People aren't pissed about the ending not being exactly what they wanted. They are pissed about it being, quite literally, the worst case scenario for the ending, and not living up to the promises that the Devs made.
Why worst case scenario? I'll see if I can find a thread, but one person on the Bioware forums literally predicted this whole thing (Sort of). "Probably the worst they could do is push in some god thing, destroy the mass relays and kill everyone, and not give different endings" were pretty much his words. This is exactly what I got.
Also, before some idiot comes up and says 'I was promised this but I didn't get it' - think about what is actually happening here. Promises were made on a PRODUCT that CAUSED people to SPEND MONEY to PURCHASE said PRODUCT. These PROMISES were NOT MET and people BOUGHT said product thanks to the FALSE ADVERTISING offered by the Devs. There is a reason this isn't instantly refuted, and there are some business and law professionals taking this seriously - this was false advertising, whether intentional or not. It must now be decided whether this was acceptable because it may not have been intentional, or whether it is not acceptable, and you should keep to your promises to fans. I speak for a lot of people here when I say that had Bioware told the truth, and said 'None of your choices will really matter in the end. We'll offer you one ending, with three variations, and no matter what it will really screw things up for the universe, and the choice will be given to you by a godlike AI', we wouldn't have bought the game. The example that I saw of this was that someone was promised a demo who's sales would determine whether a game was made or not, but the demo never came out. That is a completely different case, and if you think they are the same you need to re-evaluate how you would feel if you bought a $1500 fridge that was supposed to have a water and ice dispenser, and compartments for different food types, as well as an attached freezer, but what you got was a fridge that could get its temperature down to 10 Celsius minimum, had no compartments nor freezer, and did not dispense water or ice.

In addition, what would you have us do, all you criticisers of the Retake ME3 movement? Resell all our games on day one and never purchase another Bioware game again? 'cause currently that's the alternative. We are giving Bioware a chance to keep our business because we care about them, and want them to continue existing. For the most part, they have lost our trust though, and had they not rewritten the endings, many would not have returned to them as a company - something they can't afford if they don't want EA to repurpose them to a generic shooter design team or something.
I'm also not going to bother pointing to all the sites with the NUMEROUS literary failings of the ending. You can find them if you want I'm sure, and go 'It doesn't matter, its what the devs wanted' all you like.

Really, the bottom line is that the Dev's artistic integrity is still intact, even if they change the endings. Why? Because they decided to. They could very well decide not to change it, but you know what? We would take our money elsewhere. If you say that is entitled and childish, you may want to rethink that - saying that basically means you think they are entitled to our sales, and that is wrong in so many ways.
Honestly, those who say Bioware changing the endings is a bad think, and criticising them for it, are as damaging to Bioware's artistic integrity as those who demanded they get changed. It was Bioware's artistic decision to change the endings, and just because it was because the fans begged them to doesn't mean the final decision wasn't with them. They could have left the endings, but they didn't. As such, if you're telling them that them changing the endings is a bad move, your doing the same as those telling them that them making the endings was a bad move - you are criticising their artistic decision - but worse than that, you are telling others off for doing the same thing.

krellen:

MovieBob:
Auteur theory can't apply to video games because they're team-efforts? So is film, which is where the medium the phrase "Auteur Theory" was originally coined for.

What if I just think the "Auteur Theory" is complete bullshit?

*reads up on what the Auteur Theory is* ....Yeah...yeah I agree it's BS.

Just because Bioware promised something or other and you wet your panties in anticipation doesn't mean that you raging fans are being less ridiculous.

Joccaren:
*sigh*
People aren't pissed about the ending not being exactly what they wanted. They are pissed about it being, quite literally, the worst case scenario for the ending, and not living up to the promises that the Devs made.
Why worst case scenario? I'll see if I can find a thread, but one person on the Bioware forums literally predicted this whole thing (Sort of). "Probably the worst they could do is push in some god thing, destroy the mass relays and kill everyone, and not give different endings" were pretty much his words. This is exactly what I got.
Also, before some idiot comes up and says 'I was promised this but I didn't get it' - think about what is actually happening here. Promises were made on a PRODUCT that CAUSED people to SPEND MONEY to PURCHASE said PRODUCT. These PROMISES were NOT MET and people BOUGHT said product thanks to the FALSE ADVERTISING offered by the Devs. There is a reason this isn't instantly refuted, and there are some business and law professionals taking this seriously - this was false advertising, whether intentional or not. It must now be decided whether this was acceptable because it may not have been intentional, or whether it is not acceptable, and you should keep to your promises to fans. I speak for a lot of people here when I say that had Bioware told the truth, and said 'None of your choices will really matter in the end. We'll offer you one ending, with three variations, and no matter what it will really screw things up for the universe, and the choice will be given to you by a godlike AI', we wouldn't have bought the game. The example that I saw of this was that someone was promised a demo who's sales would determine whether a game was made or not, but the demo never came out. That is a completely different case, and if you think they are the same you need to re-evaluate how you would feel if you bought a $1500 fridge that was supposed to have a water and ice dispenser, and compartments for different food types, as well as an attached freezer, but what you got was a fridge that could get its temperature down to 10 Celsius minimum, had no compartments nor freezer, and did not dispense water or ice.

In addition, what would you have us do, all you criticisers of the Retake ME3 movement? Resell all our games on day one and never purchase another Bioware game again? 'cause currently that's the alternative. We are giving Bioware a chance to keep our business because we care about them, and want them to continue existing. For the most part, they have lost our trust though, and had they not rewritten the endings, many would not have returned to them as a company - something they can't afford if they don't want EA to repurpose them to a generic shooter design team or something.
I'm also not going to bother pointing to all the sites with the NUMEROUS literary failings of the ending. You can find them if you want I'm sure, and go 'It doesn't matter, its what the devs wanted' all you like.

Really, the bottom line is that the Dev's artistic integrity is still intact, even if they change the endings. Why? Because they decided to. They could very well decide not to change it, but you know what? We would take our money elsewhere. If you say that is entitled and childish, you may want to rethink that - saying that basically means you think they are entitled to our sales, and that is wrong in so many ways.
Honestly, those who say Bioware changing the endings is a bad think, and criticising them for it, are as damaging to Bioware's artistic integrity as those who demanded they get changed. It was Bioware's artistic decision to change the endings, and just because it was because the fans begged them to doesn't mean the final decision wasn't with them. They could have left the endings, but they didn't. As such, if you're telling them that them changing the endings is a bad move, your doing the same as those telling them that them making the endings was a bad move - you are criticising their artistic decision - but worse than that, you are telling others off for doing the same thing.

Thank you wise Gandalf. Exactly how I feel.

Graybeards know what's up.

MovieBob:

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

Ye. Gods. The sheer level of smugness in that video is STUNNING - and please keep in mind who's saying that.

Auteur theory can't apply to video games because they're team-efforts? So is film, which is where the medium the phrase "Auteur Theory" was originally coined for. "Staff of fan-fiction writers?" The same tired "these people have no qualifications!" trashing of game journalists? "You're just praising 'art games' to sound smarter?" Give me a break.

Trashing game journalists seems to be quite popular nowadays. Besides the auteur theory which I don't think I personally agree with, was there anything else you thought was wrong (being smug). That's one point gone out of many without debating the merits of auteur theory itself, somebody else can do that.

I don't think video games are in your area of expertise.

You see the problem i have with the whole "It is Biowares baby, Bioware is the artist, you dont force artists" is that Mass effect is not really Biowares baby.

It isnt... it is EA who owns ALL rights to the franchise... who owns all the assets, who owns every little creative idea that EAs (<- important) employees come up with even... and thats the kicker... IN THEIR FREE TIME.

Bioware does not exist as an independent studio or group of people. Their writers and employees get switched around so often that alot of people that worked on Mass effect 1 arent even on the team anymore for mass effect 3.

There is no real vision here since EA has the last call in EVERYTHING. Maybe bioware gets a tiny bit more independence because of its success compared to any other studio EA bought.

But the fact remains that not bioware has the last word about their "art" its is EA.

And nothing that is owned by a company that is focused on profit first and art maybe... MAYBE last can be called "Art"

That is why you dont call a new mercedes "Art" heck you dont even call a Ferrari "Art"

Aslong as the franchise is owned by a coldhearted uncaring multy million dollar corporation you can not call it art.. because it isnt.

Art is the expression of oneselfe... that is why there are Directors for movies... that is why most novel series are written by one and the same person and not switching authors because the publisher demands so.

Sure they have filming crews and editors.. but only to help them with all the work such a project entails. In EAs case EA simply tells its studio to give them a product with mass market apeal to make as much money out of it as possible.

Art is not art if you go in with a mindset of making money first and art maybe as an afterthought. (that is why the majority of artist have a second job and not every artist can live of his art alone.. unless youre a superstar in the music branche it seems)

Lets take Harry potter for example:

The author owned ALL the rights to her book and the entire story, the publisher ONLY had the right to publish her story.. the publisher did not own the movie rights.. they did not hired j.k rowling to write the books.

No what they did was pay J.K rowling for the right to publish said books.. end of story.

EA thought owns Bioware and thus the name bioware is just a laber for a certain group of EA employees.

You dont really believe that anything was made for ME3 without getting the greenlights from the higher ups in EA?

So no.. Mass effect 3 is less "biowares" child as it is EAs newest entertainment product.

So both parties.. the people that want a better (not necesarly new but better) ending... and the self entitled snobs who see ME3 as a piece of "Art" are barking up the wrong tree.

It is NOT biowares call to decide about a new ending.. it is EAs.. they decide if there will be more content and how much support there will be for ME3

They are the guys hosting the multyplayer servers... not Bioware.. and they will be the ones to decide when to drop the support for this so called "piece of art"

And you guys know why ME3 is not a comissioned piece of art like the sixtine chapell or a mona lisa or something beethoven wrote?

Because comissioned means you buy the talent... but in this case EA not only bought the talent but every creative idea anyone of their employees ever had. And thats another thing: Every member of bioware is an Employee and not a "hired artist" theres a big difference between theboth. Think about it.

The Gentleman:
I ask again because no one gave me an answer that justified the outsized response that this ending has garnered. I don't go out of my way to Forbes or the NYTimes for them to explain it to me or read the "dozens of articles" about it. I want to read, in their own words, why each player has a problem with it. So far, all I've gotten is: it wasn't conclusive enough, it ends abruptly/goes in a odd direction that disrupts the plot (I disagree with this one), and my decisions earlier didn't matter (also disagree).

Justify the outsized response? That really depends on what you think is justified and not. I think a big upcry about false advertising done by devs is pretty justified personally, but some people think it would require the last scene of the game to be a montage of Hitler's men killing Jews with the words 'Glorious Purity' written underneath for this to be justified. Just curious, what do you think would justify this level of outrage? Really, when it comes down to it, this is just all the hate from each individual player of the game coming together in an organised fashion. Were they able to not come together to do something, the same amount of hate would still be there, but you likely wouldn't notice it as they would have little way to express it - except with their wallets.
As for what was wrong with it?
From a Literary perspective: http://jmstevenson.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/all-that-matters-is-the-ending-part-2-mass-effect-3/
From a consumer perspective: Broken Promises by Devs regarding how the ending would be.
From a player perspective:
-Lack of closure
-Flimsy motive for the Reapers, that doesn't really stand under scrutiny
-The overall rushed feeling of the ending
-Plot holes and character inconsistencies
-Forced Diablous Ex Machina and Deus Ex Machina
-Lack of variety in the ending
-No play of choices into the ending
-Betrayed by Devs who promised things

Here's the thing: All of that could be said about DeusEx:HR, but it barely registered a blip. Why are people in arms around ME3 to such an extent?

Because, look at the type of game Deus Ex: HR is, then look at ME3.
One is a prequel, where the outcome of the ending is already known. Where your decisions don't change much - if anything at all - and weren't promised too, where you play a certain character with a certain background, you just choose whether they're a pacifist or not for the most part, and whether they support implants or hate them.
The Other is a sequel and conclusion to a series with a history of your decisions having an effect on the game, where they were promised to have an effect on the ending - and a rather large one for some decisions - where you play an undefined character with one of 9 semi defined backstories, where in the first game of the series you could choose an awful lot about who your character was - religious views, views on genetic modification, on risks and science, on law, on journalism, on crime, on the value of life. Whilst in HR you did get to do sidequests relating to some of these, Jensen's overall blank personality, and the shortness of the missions and how little emphasis was on them tended to reduce the effect a lot.
We didn't care about closure so much in HR as we knew what happened to everyone we knew about in one ending - they all died - and we had a reasonable base for speculation on everyone else. In addition, we knew how the whole thing turned out in the end thanks to it having a sequel. In ME3, no ending tells us what happened to anyone but Shepard, and there is no firm base to begin speculation with thanks to the destroyed Mass Relays.
In HR we didn't care about our choices mattering as they hadn't really before, and there was no promise they would. In ME3, we had played ME1 and 2 and seen our choices take effect, and been promised they would affect the ending. They didn't. Some things were shown, a lot wasn't, and even then nothing affected the ending other than EMS.
There is also quite a leadup to the abrupt ending in HR. Throughout the game are clues of this overall plan, and then how well done the ending sequence felt added even more to this. The final decision could somewhat be seen coming from a fair ways off. Whilst there was leadup to destroy and control in ME3, there was no leadup to Relay and Citadel destruction, no leadup to the Catalyst, nor its role, no leadup to synthesis, no leadup to Shepard's death until the Harbinger beam (Unless you count that stupid dream sequence near the end of the game) - a lot of stuff came out of the left field for little reason.

And here's my big problem: why is it bad? It's cliched and really predictable in its general scope once you're about 2/3rd through the game (you know there's definitely going to be a choice between control and destruction at the end, Shepard is dead no matter what happens, and the Reapers will no longer be a threat). That's not the same as being bad.

Read the literary link I provided. That is why it is bad. Personal opinions of why it is bad differs from person to person, but from a literary perspective, that post sums up nicely why the ending of the story quite simply didn't work.

jamesbrown:
So, what choices are not addressed from ME1/2 that is not addressed in ME3? ME3 is not written as a stand alone game, it is a third act all its own and the entire game consists of Shepard wrapping up those decisions from prior games, from the romances to the lives saved. What is missing then?

Ok, excluding War Assets, only a few. The decision with Samesh Batier or W/E and his wife's body, the decision with that crime lord chick, and whether you helped her then killed her, or helped her then helped her retire from crime, or whether you helped her and took her money, or whether you didn't help her at all. The Vito decision had nothing on it when I got to ME3. There are others, but mostly minor. The thing is, most people don't count "+50 war assets" as really responding to your decision, much like they didn't like purely emails in ME2. In the ending, we were hoping to see at least some of these decisions come into play. We saw the Tuchanka one, the Geth/Quarian one, and the Destiny Ascension. Each had about a 3 second cameo, or a very short speech. We wanted to see the Destiny Ascension fighting, the Geth save her from destruction. We wanted to see the Salarian fleet fighting if we got their support, and Krogan ground troops charging. We wanted to see Geth protecting Quarians, and Rachni swarming Reapers. Even then, we would hope they would at least change the story. The more forces, the greater the chance of success right? Wrong. You always succeed, unless you hesitate for 20+ minutes or W/E at the Crucible, and the worst thing that can possibly happen is you get the 'bad' destroy ending. There is no promised Reaper victory. Having more war assets doesn't help you stop Harbinger from attacking you. It doesn't give you re-enforcements in the battle in London. Your decisions add up to almost nothing in the grand scheme of things; First they are converted into a meaningless number, then that number is mostly disregarded too. Honoured choices? Nope.

But that is not how this works nor is that how it should be. The precedent set if Bioware capitulates to you guys would be one where all creative control is lost to the mob. What's the point of being a game writer if everything you wrote (and, more importantly, the most essential element of it: the conclusion) could be rewritten by the mob outside because they didn't like it?

Why would you buy a game if you knew you weren't going to like it?
I'm all for Bioware deciding not to change the ending - or I would have been had they been independent. Thing is, they carry an EA label. They made this art as a commissioned piece for EA, promising it would please fans and move sales. It has moved sales, but that has begun to slow, and it has NOT pleased fans. The precedent that this sets is that if you want to sell a product, you make it the way the purchaser wants it. If you care about your art, you don't promise it will move sales, or please people, you don't make it for someone else, you don't make it because you want money. You make it because you want to make it, and because you believe that that's how it should be.
If someone made a sandwich for themselves, or for the sake of making it, I would not go and tell them they put the wrong fillings in - I just wouldn't touch the damn thing. If they told me it had the fillings I liked in it, and made it for me, I would damn well tell them they put the wrong stuff in it if they did.
One other thing to think about is that if you truly cared about your art, wouldn't you want to make it better? It has been pointed out how bad the ending is in numerous ways numerous times. Why would you not want to make your work better? The only reason is because you don't care about the work, you care about how you want the work to be. When you're trying to sell something, this point of view doesn't work, and that is why I will not support ME3 endings in this sort of debate.

I imagine this reply will be swallowed up in this massive thread, but as I've resisted commenting on the other ME3 endings, I need to say something.

Bob, I respect you. Even though there's a 50% correlation between the movies you like and the ones I like, your analysis is always welcome. In my heart, I am also a critic. I like my movies with substance, I believe in artistic integrity, and I tend to lament the nature of pop culture with its blockbuster emphasis designed to squeeze the disposable cash from silly young people. I tend to defend you most of the time.

You're wrong here.

First off, some complaints and attacks done by irate ME3 fans are not justified. Personal attacks should never be okay. I don't support that kind of thing.

But here's the thing that you just seem to ignore - stories can change. Art can change. Directors and writers do it all the time. Sometimes they do it for the money, sometimes for the story, and sometimes because fans rise up and say something. Fans have won extra seasons of endangered TV shows. Fans buy extended editions of books or director's cuts of movies. Fans salvaged Sherlock Holmes from a watery grave when Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to do historical novels.

Do we have a right to demand such things? No. You could argue "but fans don't MAKE them do it." But we do buy the products. They have the right to do what they want, and we vote with our time and money. Here Bioware has a chance to not lose business that movie makers and tv producers don't, thanks to the miracle of DLC.

You also rather seriously ignore DLC, a big money-maker these days. Thanks to DLC, story-based games change all the time. Fallout 3 had its underwhelming ending changed with its Brotherhood of Steel DLC. Did you think that was crossing a line? Most people didn't.

Personally, I don't like the lecture, Bob. We're not all idiots who don't get the idea of creativity and "artistic integrity." I not dropping you from my viewership yet, but consider this strike one.

Mr. Omega:
What people need to get is that he isn't saying you don't have the right to complain. You can complain all you want. But DEMANDING that you get a better ending because it was OWED to you is just plain silly, and the unbelievable extremes the "Retake" movement have gone to to get what they are "owed" are just downright pathetic.

Now becuase this is the internet, and because the "Retake" movement tends to make strawmen of people who disagree with them, I'll spell this out in big letters for them.

Nobody is saying you need to like the ending.

Nobody is saying you can't complain.

But there's a line that can be crossed

And the "Retake" movement crossed it veeeeery quickly.

The thing that Bob neatly jumps over is how Bioware made a truckload of promises to their fans/buyers and then did the complete opposites in the actual game. THAT is why people want a rewrite.

If someone said they were going to make a new Turtles movie, and instead it starred Spice Girls...people would probably be a bit upset. Dont you think?

Its bad enough that ME3 has a bad ending, thats survivable. But the worst part is that its not at ALL what the creators promised. Thats the problem. Actual broken promises, lies, to get us to buy a product. I cant seem to remember Bob talking about that part.

Just this: Teenage alien ninja turtles from space? Now that's yet another ignorant and dumb retcon.

To be honest, I am well over-saturated with all those ORIGINS and THE BEGINNING and other prequel nonsense. It was, in a few cases, quite original and fun, in most other instances it was just annoying, cheap and desperate. No more. Really: No more!

I really just think Bob is treading into Idiot territory lately... He really needs to stay in his realm of Movies and Comics. I mean... on the Mass Effect 3 debate it's painfully obvious that he can't tell the difference between movies and games, and on the TMNT debate... well... Did anyone expect Michael "Optimusprimacide" Bay to actually make a faithful depiction of a pre-existing series? Is ANYBODY SURPRISED?

Really... Bob is a sub-par movie reviewer who 'reviews' mostly on bias and has no place in the game community.

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