The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

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A company like BioWare

Bioware isnt a company it is a label.. a brand name... a shield for EA to hide behind.

All money comes from EA.. bioware does not have its own money. All decisions that would cost additional money have to be greenlighted by EA.

"Bioware" doesnt even have the right to say that they will change anything on the game without EA giving its okay.. because you know... its EAs money that flows into the product not Biowares.

So really this whole "Bioware caved in" is complete and utter BS because it is not their decision to begin with.

As i said time after time.. artistic integrity my ass when the artists themselves dont get to decide jack squat about their own art.

Should game companies stop releasing patches because it compromises the "artistic integrity" of a "finished product"?
Most people don't want a <different> ending, they want it <fixed>, patched, if you will. There is a big difference.

Masterdebator:

Mass Effect as a franchise is a special case in the sense that it's narrative is entirely driven by player choice, so when that choice is inexplicably taken away at the finale of ME3, when it never had been during ME1 or 2, people should be understandably confused and upset, even more so when the ending delivers no sense of closure and makes all there "difficult decisions" and every single choice throughout the trilogy irrelevant.

Choice wasn't taken away at the end of ME3, you just didn't get choices you wanted.

And who is to say that choices weren't taken away from you at the end of ME1 and ME2?

What if I thought Saren had a good idea? Where was my "Side with Saren" option at the end of ME1? What if I wanted to be Sovreign's monkey boy? Why didn't I have that choice.

What if at the end of ME2 I was all like, "Dude Cerberus is awesome, let me be your number 2 guy!" or something like that? Why was I denied that choice?

If failing to deliver what you said you would in interviews and press releases merits and FTC complaint, then you might as well just have an open complaint on Peter Molyneux.

zephae:
If failing to deliver what you said you would in interviews and press releases merits and FTC complaint, then you might as well just have an open complaint on Peter Molyneux.

Oooh, false equivalency. We needed some of that going around.

Yvressian1:
Should game companies stop releasing patches because it compromises the "artistic integrity" of a "finished product"?
Most people don't want a <different> ending, they want it <fixed>, patched, if you will. There is a big difference.

Not that I want to argue that point, but I find it interesting that gamers have developed some sort of Stockolm Syndrome where we now demand patches whereas a few years ago the mere idea of a patch was too horrible to imagine.

I love the way people tend to argue about this subject.

To me, ME3's ending and the FTC complaint and what not is not an art or quality issue. It's more a consumer rights issue. Bioware repeatedly promised shit you did in previous games would have an impact on the ending and be relevant. The ending instead was pretty much the Deus Ex endo-tron three button ending. I'd call that false advertising. They blatantly lied to their fans to maintain the hype of the game. They should be punished for this. The punishment I'd say is the horrible backlash, and hopefully a loss of a large number of fans and future sales. Nothing will probably come of the FTC complaint because when it comes to games lies about features are all too common and ignored.

I object to being lied to about the features of a product I paid 60$ for. The fact that it's common and ignored in the industry doesn't justify or make it alright when a company does it.

Elamdri:

Choice wasn't taken away at the end of ME3, you just didn't get choices you wanted.

IMO, the mark of a skilled RPG narrative is when the developers successfully anticipate most rational choices players will want to make.

Revolutionaryloser:

Not that I want to argue that point, but I find it interesting that gamers have developed some sort of Stockolm Syndrome where we now demand patches whereas a few years ago the mere idea of a patch was too horrible to imagine.

Actually, I don't think much has changed. A patch has always been a good solution to a problem that shouldn't have existed in the first place.
Also, a few years ago, games were still simple enough from a programming perspective that it was feasible to release a game with almost no bugs, whereas these days that's completely impossible due to the complexity of the game design in most triple-A games, as well as the vast amount of hardware compatibility issues.

Another thing that bugs me to no end is that crass text prompt at the end of the credits that says: "Good job, skipper! Now buy some DLC!" This is also what makes me think that this has all been a ploy to release a "real" ending as DLC in order to milk a few more dollars. While it might make sense from a short-term financial perspective, it's completely unacceptable, and is the kind of thing that might actually make an FTC complaint make sense on the grounds that consumers were promised a complete product, but were withheld a crucial part of it and made to pay to get it.

infinity_turtles:
To me, ME3's ending and the FTC complaint and what not is not an art or quality issue. It's more a consumer rights issue. Bioware repeatedly promised shit you did in previous games would have an impact on the ending and be relevant. The ending instead was pretty much the Deus Ex endo-tron three button ending. I'd call that false advertising. They blatantly lied to their fans to maintain the hype of the game. They should be punished for this. The punishment I'd say is the horrible backlash, and hopefully a loss of a large number of fans and future sales. Nothing will probably come of the FTC complaint because when it comes to games lies about features are all too common and ignored.

I object to being lied to about the features of a product I paid 60$ for. The fact that it's common and ignored in the industry doesn't justify or make it alright when a company does it.

Cellphone providers are currently able to provide "unlimited" plans which actually contain data limits and have not suffered any sanction from the FTC. Now that is more blatant false advertising than the much more subjective assurances made by Bioware. Even in cases where advertised features weren't included in the final product, the reality of production schedules means that the only the advertisements that really matter are those that are on the product itself, and even then it would be limited to fundamental features, not content.

When you feel cheated, you write an angry e-mail and then you get the other people you know not to buy products from that source. What you don't do is claim a right to creative content and take frivolous legal action to try and get it.

zephae:

Cellphone providers are currently able to provide "unlimited" plans which actually contain data limits and have not suffered any sanction from the FTC.

I find this objectionable as well, but for those you sign contracts that clearly state what you're getting. In the case of entertainment media, short of spoilers that often detract from the purpose of the product, you have no knowledge of false claims regarding the product. If the advertisement for a cell-phone plan lies, I'll know before I pay for it.

zephae:
Now that is more blatant false advertising than the much more subjective assurances made by Bioware.

Some of the false claims are certainly not more subjective. They're blatantly false.

zephae:
Even in cases where advertised features weren't included in the final product, the reality of production schedules means that the only the advertisements that really matter are those that are on the product itself, and even then it would be limited to fundamental features, not content.

Informing consumers about changes to a product when you've advertised features that have been cut is always an option. The fact that it's unthinkable to expect a company to do this is a problem with the industry that I believe should be fixed.

zephae:
When you feel cheated, you write an angry e-mail and then you get the other people you know not to buy products from that source. What you don't do is claim a right to creative content and take frivolous legal action to try and get it.

Anyone claiming they have creative rights over it is an idiot. As a consumer though, I should have the right not to be lied to about major selling points of a product I paid for, and any company that does so should suffer some sort of consequence. I don't think Bioware should be forced to rewrite the ending. I do however think they deserve some sort of noticeable loss in revenue.

Ugh. I find the REACTION to the fandom demanding a new ending to mass effect 3 sickening myself. No one is claiming that they have more a right to the series than the creators. They're saying that they don't like the ending and they would like for it to change. Whether or not the creators decide to change the ending as a response to costumer opinion is their choice. I find it strange how many people think NOT changing the ending is somehow inherently better than changing it. If the creators don't want to change the ending, THEY WON'T CHANGE THE ENDING. Peoples opinions influencing them isn't some horrible thing that will change the way stories are told forever.

This whole affair boils down to rights when you get down to it and no one is denying anyones right to do anything. The fandom will complain and the developers will react as they see fit, which is probably not at all.

Use_Imagination_here:
Ugh. I find the REACTION to the fandom demanding a new ending to mass effect 3 sickening myself. No one is claiming that they have more a right to the series than the creators. They're saying that they don't like the ending and they would like for it to change. Whether or not the creators decide to change the ending as a response to costumer opinion is their choice. I find it strange how many people think NOT changing the ending is somehow inherently better than changing it. If the creators don't want to change the ending, THEY WON'T CHANGE THE ENDING. Peoples opinions influencing them isn't some horrible thing that will change the way stories are told forever.

This whole affair boils down to rights when you get down to it and no one is denying anyones right to do anything. The fandom will complain and the developers will react as they see fit, which is probably not at all.

I don't think this would be such a big deal if all the fans were doing was "influencing the creators". If they had actually acted civil they would have just been ignored by everyone else. As it turns out, a lot of them, if not most of them are acting like a bunch of sociopaths.

Baby Tea:

Geez, I'd be happy with another bullshit 'boycott' rather than this garbage.
People need to grow up. Seriously.

Eh. At least the boycotts serve a direct purpose rather than just talking and whining in circles; it's one of the only real forms of protest that consumers have.

I think alot of people have forgotten the fundamental nature of being a consumer. You have an extremely valuable tool by your side at all times, it is called your wallet. The best thing you can do as a gamer for your medium is to stop buying games on day one. Seriously, this is getting embarrassing. Hell, the game industry is even trying to train you to not rush out and buy it on day one by how they will re-release the game with all the dlc included and sell it at half the cost usually within a year or two.

I didn't buy the game day one because it wouldn't have changed my life if I waited a few days for it or not. I got to research the released copy of the game via youtube videos, reaction videos, and post-release reviews. That combined with the no-steam released brought me to the conclusion that I don't want to buy Mass Effect 3 as it is. I sent them the best message any consumer can; that I won't pay for being treated that way. I won't pay for the privilege of them price-gouging me a major plot point character. I won't pay and be forced to use that god awful Origin software. Origin is not allowed on my computer ever again.

Something that has irritated me about this whole issue is the how entitled/entitlement has become this new curse word du jour for referring to gamers that complain too much. Even for those going as far as people went during this movement, they aren't acting entitled. The entitled mindset disorder is those who carry a sense of narcissistic entitlement that is baseless and unrealistic, regardless of any harm it might cause to others. The only type of gamer that acts in such a way in this world are pirates.

Bob, I really love that last line:
"If this is the biggest problem at this moment in your life you're actually doing really well."
And then we get 18 pages of commenters debating over a footnote comparison.
I just, I don't know anymore...

In other news:
"GRR Martin is not your bitch." - Neil Gaiman

:)

Vortigar:
Bob, I really love that last line:
"If this is the biggest problem at this moment in your life you're actually doing really well."
And then we get 18 pages of commenters debating over a footnote comparison.
I just, I don't know anymore...

In other news:
"GRR Martin is not your bitch." - Neil Gaiman

:)

Because Bob has never never whined about entertainment. Bob certainly is not the type of Person to whine about say Transformers or the like.

And when they do not take that risk you have no right to complain about it even if they lied about it?...whatever Bob....whatever...

Bob i really like your show, and one of the main reasons i like it is because you do very good research. However i feel you are re-acting to all the ME outrage as opposed to researching it.

This ME debacle deserves an episode on its own, and one from varying viewpoints, including that of the invested player.

To echo the viewpoint that we are all whiney fanboys throwing a temptertantrum is a generalisation, not a fact. There are reasons why the outcry is as big as it is, and i believe you could create a very good The Big Picture episode both critiquing these viewpoints and analysing why they came to be.

I love your work bob, and i honestly would be interested to see your informed opinion on this, as opposed to a dismissive one.

I agree with Bob:

Sometimes court cases don't go the way your predefined school-taught script on which races are good and evil says. When that happens, whining about them online like fanboys and calling for the arrest of someone who hasn't been charged (while wearing Skittles around your neck) just makes you look silly to grown-up people.

Seriously, if all you have to worry about is ONE possibly innocent member of your race getting mistakenly killed, your race must be doing pretty damn good!

Oh, wait, this wasn't about the Trayvon Martin case. My bad, dawgs.

Myrmecodon:
I agree with Bob:

Sometimes court cases don't go the way your predefined school-taught script on which races are good and evil says. When that happens, whining about them online like fanboys and calling for the arrest of someone who hasn't been charged (while wearing Skittles around your neck) just makes you look silly to grown-up people.

Seriously, if all you have to worry about is ONE possibly innocent member of your race getting mistakenly killed, your race must be doing pretty damn good!

Oh, wait, this wasn't about the Trayvon Martin case. My bad, dawgs.

At first I was like O.o, but then I lol'd. Well played my good sir, well played! Also, welcome to the Escapist!

And a fine welcome to you too. Please join my new Travianity religion, become a fanboy, get a press badge, and match your uniforms:

image
I shall hold this prole feed which matches my topwear for the cameras, but I shan't eat any of it. You may consume it, ghetto dweller.

On the off-chance that Bob actually reads this (*snrk*), I hope you found out afterwards that fans screaming for a new ending in Mass Effect 3 are only asking for what they were *promised*, that their choices mattered.

It's not a case of "We don't like it, make a new ending" at all :)

If your favourite movie producer promised to recreate your favourite story with your favourite actors and then changed the story, characters and replaced half the cast for the ending, you'd probably rage for ten minutes in a video on the escapist.

Just to.. y'know.. put some perspective on it.

Good episode though, if a bit focused on the wrong people.

Strange, out of all the "Big Picture" segments Bob has ever done, this is the only one where I ended up agreeing with every point he made. I don't know, I don't like fully agreeing with anyone.

Still, good on you, Bob.

Once I realized that Bob would never, ever, ever, ever, say what was politically unpopular with collegiate liberals, I started looking for reasons to disagree with his suppositions even when I generally agreed with his greater point.

(Hey, I hear Rush Limbaugh's got his advertisers and ratings back twofold! Nice to know it was all okay after all!)

Being a comics fan I would think Bob would be more understanding to people who want for this ending never to have happened. I mean, don't comic books get constantly rebooted and canon changed all the frigging' time? I don't really see why game developers shouldn't be allowed to do that. Release some DLC with alternate endings or something, because there's obviously demand for it.

Sure, filing complaints for false advertising is a bit strange. Unless the "advertising" is referring to the specific things that Bioware/EA spokespeople promised prior to release, but if we start holding publishers and developers to their word on things they've said when building hype then we'd have to do something really harsh to Peter Molyneux.

Read Roland Barthes' Death of The Author it applies to films as well as games. Disagree with it or not you have failed to deal with the idea that the author of a text may or may not really exist (That statement does make sense in the context of Barthes' writing.)

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.

Not much more to say than this.

Then again...300 and Sin City were essentially shot-for-panel reproductions of their print counterparts...

Not only did they turn out to be pretty damn good, but they also brought a new generation to the darker age of comics, almost singlehandedly created not one but TWO new form-over-function filmstyles that everyone has been trying to amalgamate into their own works in one way or another, and proved that even indie comics could get a piece of the every-action-movie-that-exists-must-come-from-comics-or-80s-cartoon-shows zeitgeist that has destroyed the training grounds (the local movie theater) for young adults to appreciate good movies and thus become more equipped to vote intelligently with their dollars thereby affecting the production, script, and acting quality, theme, and innovative use of effects in movies yet to come...

[pant, pant]

So, maybe the fanboys do have a point...if only a small one.

Bioware's ending experiment:

1. Give all writers lobotomies.

2. Write ending.

3. Translate ending to Japanese.

4. Translate to French.

5. Translate back to English.

6. Add plot holes.

7. Release game.

Some experiments shouldn't be released.

MovieBob:
Mutants and Masses

MovieBob goes into detail about the difference between artists and fans.

Watch Video

Frank_Sinatra_:
Bad move Bob, very, very, very, very bad move.

Remember: BioWare has stated that their fans are equal creators in the story along with their actual writing staff.

Where? Let's see a source. Consumers do not ever, EVER have creative control over a product that they buy. That's why my car doesn't have jet thrusters and a laser cannon.

Bob, you just became my favourite person on the internet. Ever.

Really Bob its already been established as your out of touch with games stick to movies that is what you specialize in. Still missing the point....... again.

I see what he's saying here and I don't completely agree with it. Yes what he says about risk is true but if you disappoint through an empty PROMISE like Bioware did with Mass Effect then yes you DESERVE all the outrage you get. However Michael Bay has made no such promise not even to mention the PRICE GAP a movie ticket costs Around $20.00 while a game is $ 60.00 and if your out $60 due to a BROKEN PROMSE expect some damn blow back from the fans.

I'm looking at the trailer now.
Turns out it's probably going to suck.

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