The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

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Bluecho:

Wicky_42:
I find it amusing that after ragging on Transformers and god knows how many other geek things that were done wrong, Bob defends Bioware when they step wrong. Seems a little ironic/hypocritical. When things are done horribly, are not the fans entitled to complain, or should they just take the blow quietly and be happy for some perverse reason?

Once again, we have knee-jerk reactions that failed to listen hard enough to get the point. Bob never said you couldn't bitch about TMNT or ME3 being a betrayal. He just said that when you storm into their offices demanding that the product be changed to conform to your arbitrary expectations, you're going to do damage to the medium, in addition to just looking silly.

And Bob's critique of the Bay-Transformers films while then defending Bioware is in no way hypocracy. The Bay films warrant criticism because they're crap from a storytelling and filmmaking standpoint, not just because they aren't what the fans wanted. But while ME3's endings deserve their own criticism, that doesn't give the fans the power to force Bioware into changing it because it doesn't conform to their expectations.

Hypocracy means saying one thing and then proceeding to do the exact opposite thing. It doesn't mean taking an opposing stance when the conditions and circumstances change and the issue shifts from one thing to another. In fact, being able to turn around and take the other side when the first position starts supporting a more extreme view is part of being a rational person.

Whilst the extents some fans have gone to to protest against Bioware's ending may well be too far, from his video I took away that Bob was happy for Bioware to do absolutely anything they wanted, and people should shut up about seeing a story that they had sculpted for years brought to a shallow, unfulfilling close. As Bob complained about Bay and his treatment of the Transformers IP, Mass Effect fans complain about the ending for the game.

If his comments were limited to purely to the types filing lawsuits then fine, but the campaign to have the ending changed or extended is still valid; gaming is an interactive medium, people want to have their say. It's not like people have just spent one and a half hours watching thin exposition over explosions, they've spend in the region of 100+ hours being the main character, being told that they are changing the game world with their actions. Should anyone be surprised that they seek to change the ending by their actions too?

I think fans are entirely within their rights to petition and campaign to have the ending changed, or at least expanded and explained. I've seen the footage and it's quite disappointing for the media setup that preceded the game's release. Of course, that's an opinion, and Bioware's well within their rights to stick to their guns but that's not what we've been hearing from their announcements - they don't seem to know whether they intended to make a fuss for publicity or whether they're disappointed by the outcry, whether they're going to change the ending or sell a new one, or just sell more DLC to expand on it. They've not come out conclusively defending the ending as the one that they really wanted to do, as the one that wraps the series up.

Also, you have to remember that games are a medium where the product is never necessarily final; patches and DLC, mods and expansions - game worlds these days are mutable, currently so publishers can squeeze games out on time before they're quite finished, or so they can continue making money off a released product. Isn't it about time that fans were able to harness these publisher and developer-centric mechanics and turned them to their own use?

bringer of illumination:
Bioware lied about Mass Effect 3's functionality by claiming that your choices throughout the game would have impact on the ending, when really your choices had absolutely no impact.

One more time.

Saying that Mass Effect 3 would cure cancer or enlarge your penis, or making a quantified statistical claim about its effect, would have been a 'lie'.

Some marketing people making a vague assertion that it would "reflect your choices" is not a lie. It's an implication, at best. Advertisers and marketers do that all the time by telling you that if you use a certain product your skin will appear visibly clearer or your hair will be up to 15% shinier.

The purpose of advertising is actually to imply things while saying absolutely nothing legally binding. Bioware was not the first company to do this, they will not be the last.

This is grounds for being disappointed in a product, it's even grounds for asking Bioware to change it, but it's absolutely not grounds for believing that you have an inherent consumer right to have it changed to meet your expectations because you bought the original product. That's the line Bob is talking about which you don't cross.

Najal:
The whole Mass Effect thing reminds me of Conan Doyle killing Sherlock Holmes in "the last problem" and then bowing to public pressure and bringing him back. If the fans hadn't stood up for what they wanted, we never would have gotten The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I think fans should be able to talk to the developers, and give their opinion on where they want the franchise to go; Bioware have said they want as much. As for this whole "you can't DEMAND they change the ending" argument, no of course, they can't demand anything and they have no bargaining chips other than not buying more games.

However, it would be foolish for Bioware from a business point of view not to listen to their customers.

Fans don't want the ending "changed" they want it improved. There's a difference.

That's the difference that I think Bob got at, but didn't explicitly say. I'm sure lots, if not all people who didn't like the ME3 ending wished that the ending would have been better, and I'm sure Bioware has gotten lots of constructive criticism regarding their game. There's still a big difference between silently wishing and angrily demanding.

Because even when people offer constructive criticism, the artist can still make a decision as to whether or not they want to listen to it. It's really constructive suggestions, not demands.

ryo02:
"This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C." - Casey Hudson, ME3 Project Director

ending A B or C is exactly what we got.

we were lied to why wouldnt we have a problem with that? why wouldnt we ask for ending options we were promised I.E. not A B or C.

Depends on how you want to take the quote.
Most people are taking it as ending options 1) 2) and 3).

The other way endings went in the past was: Rainbows and Unicorns ending A). A lose or two ending B). Everyone dies ending F). ME2 actually had this type of ending.

If you took it one's own way, than the former would have you feel betrayed by the quote. If it is the latter than Bioware was true to their word.

Always in the point of view.

Negatempest:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are totally off the mark their about da Vinci. Let us say that da Vinci was paid by the church to make the last supper. If the church does not like they way they made the last supper than they can have him change it. da Vinci is Bioware. EA is the church. The consumer (you) are the individual who goes to the church. You are NOT the church. (You) did not put in any money to commission ME3. (You) put in money to purchase a copy of the art to make up for the money that the Church (EA) spent into commissioning the game. You may make complaints about the art, but in the end (EA) has the last say, not (You).

So nobody pre-ordered Mass Effect 3? For some reason I seem to remember doing that...

At no point did I say that consumers should get final say over artistic content (or any product for that matter), but let's continue with the da Vinci analogy. Say he was commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa and behaved like a modern game company. He would triple his agreed-upon time frame after being paid (pre-orders for Duke Nukem Forever?)...well he actually did that one, paint a picture of a a different woman (false marketing), give you the "finished" painting and then charge for him to finish drawing the face (DLC), and then make you re-purchase the painting after you have seen it three times (DRM). The man would have been lynched.

I'm sorry but no amount of "get over it" or "move on" or "geez put your energy into something important (by my definition of the word)" is going to make me feel like it's alright for game companies to hold 100% of the rights for their content. They cannot flat-out lie to us and then not expect us to take it personally.

Edit: Just to make it perfectly clear, I don't want a new ending. I take Shamus Young's viewpoint: this ending is horrible, but this is the ending they wanted and now they have to stick with it.

Nimcha:
That's funny, this is pretty much what I think about all those people still whining about the ME 3 ending. I spent some time explaining basic stuff to people but nobody wants to listen anymore. The nuance is completely gone. It's basically coming down to some sort of consensus; 'The ME3 ending was awful and if you don't think so you're WRONG and you can f off'.

Well, if there actually seems to be a consensus about the ending, that ought to tell you something, considering how rarely any internet-community can seem to reach a consensus on anything ever. :P

That said, yes, the lack of civility on either side of the issue is problematic, as is the inability to approach nuance with the thought it deserves. I would still uphold, however, that for the most part, the people defending the original ending seem far more focused on auxiliary issues such as the artistic integrity of the employees in a multi-million dollar company (art via committee) and the perceived entitlement of the fans, etc, instead of the ending itself.

Considering that the precedence has already been set, and patches and DLCs are already a vital part of the game developing process, this seems wilfully disingenuous to me.

Point of order, though: Nothing good ever comes from frequenting the actual Bioware forums. Those people are fucking rancid.

It's ironic how ME fans are saying that you missed their point when they missed your point. I have been embarrassed to be a Mass Effect "fan" since Bioware started making post-ME2 announcements - such as the anime dispute, the statue dispute, the multi-player controversy, the homosexuality controversy, and now the Retake ME bullshit. I don't care about "fan" complaining, especially now. This is nothing new; if it wasn't about the ending, it would be about Vega's anime series (I'm not looking forward to that shit storm of "fan" bitching). The only reason people are mad is because they weren't given the same illusion of their decisions' impacts that they expected - no more no less. Instead, it leaves these impacts up to the players imagination (how dare they) until the next DLC/book/game. This anger also might be in-part that they believe that the entire franchise ends on this game (let's face it; that's not happening). ME1,2,&3 are all good games. The only thing that upsets me is that I'm probably going to waste tons of money on end-game DLC.

Also, this is nothing new. People being pissed about endings has been happening since storytelling. Return of the Jedi was attacked for having ewoks; Lost was hated for the finale. Also, incase you forgot, this is the EXACT SAME SITUATION a few years ago involving Fallout 3. The only difference is that ME has the same protagonist throughout all three games which adds more investment. I'm sure that Bioware will do the same thing that Bethesda did and release DLC which continues the story.

Imperator_DK:
First time I'm in full agreement with Bob.

If you crave originality and progress in your games - the evolution the media - then you're going to have to accept a whole lot of experimentation; Which more often than not leads to failure. Though of course material created by people such as Bay, who've time and again proven patently incapable of creating anything that wasn't the cinematic equivalent to Frankensteins Monster, and apparently have no ambition of ever doing better, can be ignored and allowed to fade away.

As for the whole ME3 ending thingie, unless there's some promise involved that's both extremely specific in what objective features it'd contain (...like, "it'll have raccoons fighting each other over a volcano"-level specific), and extremely important for the average person's decision in buying it, then the whole consumer complaint deal is just silly. You can't complain about subjective stuff.

Agreed. Also, incase you don't know, the ending to ME3 got changed due to leaked info a few months before it got released. I'm expecting the "real" ending to get released via DLC eventually.

Sorry, Bob, I love the Big Picture, but I stopped watching this episode once you've started goinh on about how obnoxious and annoying Mass Effect fans are.
You know what's more obnoxious and annoying at this point? The so called critics and industry proffesionals who can't fucking shut up about Mass Effect fans. Seriously, stop it. Nobody cares already. And if you're so pissed about the fans then just stop talking about them - you won't even notice how fast all the buzz will fade away.

Static Jak:
Wow, that was a cheap swing (and a miss) at the whole ME3 "controversy."

You'd think this was something new. Thing is, it isn't even the first (or last) time this has happened. Public pressure is far from a new concept.

2 gaming related ones come straight to mind. First being Fallout 3s DLC that extended the ending and gave what the fans want. I heard no one from the games media jump at that one.

2nd one not everyone remembers. A particular game called InFamous 2. When it first showed up with trailers, the main character, Cole, had suddenly changed from a grizzle voiced, bald guy with a scar going down his face to a Nathon Drake 2.0s. And the fans went nuts. So what did they do? Changed him into his original look and all where happy.

So did the games media go on about artistic integrity or any of that? Course not. Actually, one of the IGN guys has been very loud about all this is. Colin Moriarty, who has gone on about how it goes against the artistic integrity and how people shouldn't demand this or that and entitlement this and that and rabble, rabble, rabble.

But skip back to when this happened with InFamous and suddenly:

"But with the new Cole design, Sucker Punch heard loud and clear what fans of Infamous wanted, and they delivered. Infinite amounts of kudos to them for doing right by their community. Fans of Infamous won't soon forget it. Sucker Punch is one of Sony's most valuable developers. They are tuned-in with the PS3 faithful, and it's things like this that prove it."

Hell, the this aint uncommon outside of games either. Sherlock Holmes was killed off by Doyle and for 8 years people protested for a change and eventually gave in. This gave us some of the best Sherlock books.

Blade Runner, a great sci-fi by Ridley Scott had its whole ending changed after early preview showings.

Go back far enough and you see that Beethoven revised his opera Fidelio multiple times at the behest of his fans, cast members, and creative peers. I dare someone to say Beethoven lost his artistic integrity.

How many forms of completely interactive art is there anyway? We've even gotten to a point where we a consumers are funding game projects. Which is wonderful.

Gaming can't be just lumped into one category of "art" and then leave it as that as some form of blockade.
Art can change depending on the audience, depending on the demand and so much more. Again, this is hardly the first time this has been done or ever will be done. Just the biggest highlighted one by gaming media.

This whole "entitlement" accusation just need to stop. If you can't back away from that kind of attitude, we eventually pass the point of having meaningful dialog on this topic anymore. Then neither side is listening anymore. Everyone has made up their mind about not only the ending, but about everyone who disagrees with them as well.

If you liked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a crybaby whiner who has nothing better to do than throw fits about video games. If you disliked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a judgmental douche that's either too stupid to understand why the ending sucked, or too far up EA/Bioware's a**es to acknowledge it.

There can be no middle ground anymore at that point and are no longer allowed to have different opinions. Then comes the name calling and things you generally see from 10 year olds.

Very nice post. It bears pointing out that some of the criticism over the fan protest stems from their actions - donating to charity to show commitment etc. The fact that people are looking for other ways of showing their support than merely adding their name to a petition or writing angry messages on forums should not be used to discount the motion but should add credit to it, surely! If people think a decent ending is worth $80,000, does that not say more than people complaining that the main character of Infamous not looking grizzled enough on forums?

jecht35:
Oh and that FTC complaint was just one person, I heard he got flamed on the bioware forums for doing that, lol.

I actually read that he had a thing signed by somewhere around 200 other people before he went ahead with it.

Wow, this did hit a nerve for you didn't it?

Bob, I have limited respect for the "Artisitc integrity" arguement. I know what you're getting at, but have seen it used by too many whinny fanfiction writers as a way to ignore criticism and act as if only their opinon matters to not acknowledge there's an element of being an asshole within it. We may not own these properties, but we do fund them and as such moves that are less "we'll try something new and see if they like it" and more "fuck the audience, they'll have paid up front anyway" are a great way to have you're artistic career involve saying "do you want fries with that" a lot. On TMNT, I'm inclined to think Bay has no idea what he's talking about, but am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt so long as he has a plan and isn't just wrapping some alien movie he wanted to make around a known property. ME3 reeks ao much of an artist going rogue on some artistic vision to the point of arrogance so much that it supplimented things that make more sense for the medium and marketed features.

Is it all overblown? Potentially. I think fans regret not being able to bitch soooner about things like Hector Hammond being the big bad of Green Lantern over Sinestro or the direction of the prequel trilogy so feel their opinion should be made ASAP so that directors can aski if they're making a choice important enough to justify pissing people off. In gaming, the inferstructure exists to change the ending, so it's probably boldened by the possibility of happening whereas 10 years ago, we just had to accept Raiden over Solid Snake. But acting as if artist's rights and wills are absolute in media already heavially based on fan wishes made through e-mail, blog comments, sales records, focus groups, ect, is just arrogance.

Wicky_42:

Bluecho:

Wicky_42:
I find it amusing that after ragging on Transformers and god knows how many other geek things that were done wrong, Bob defends Bioware when they step wrong. Seems a little ironic/hypocritical. When things are done horribly, are not the fans entitled to complain, or should they just take the blow quietly and be happy for some perverse reason?

Once again, we have knee-jerk reactions that failed to listen hard enough to get the point. Bob never said you couldn't bitch about TMNT or ME3 being a betrayal. He just said that when you storm into their offices demanding that the product be changed to conform to your arbitrary expectations, you're going to do damage to the medium, in addition to just looking silly.

And Bob's critique of the Bay-Transformers films while then defending Bioware is in no way hypocracy. The Bay films warrant criticism because they're crap from a storytelling and filmmaking standpoint, not just because they aren't what the fans wanted. But while ME3's endings deserve their own criticism, that doesn't give the fans the power to force Bioware into changing it because it doesn't conform to their expectations.

Hypocracy means saying one thing and then proceeding to do the exact opposite thing. It doesn't mean taking an opposing stance when the conditions and circumstances change and the issue shifts from one thing to another. In fact, being able to turn around and take the other side when the first position starts supporting a more extreme view is part of being a rational person.

Whilst the extents some fans have gone to to protest against Bioware's ending may well be too far, from his video I took away that Bob was happy for Bioware to do absolutely anything they wanted, and people should shut up about seeing a story that they had sculpted for years brought to a shallow, unfulfilling close. As Bob complained about Bay and his treatment of the Transformers IP, Mass Effect fans complain about the ending for the game.

If his comments were limited to purely to the types filing lawsuits then fine, but the campaign to have the ending changed or extended is still valid; gaming is an interactive medium, people want to have their say. It's not like people have just spent one and a half hours watching thin exposition over explosions, they've spend in the region of 100+ hours being the main character, being told that they are changing the game world with their actions. Should anyone be surprised that they seek to change the ending by their actions too?

I think fans are entirely within their rights to petition and campaign to have the ending changed, or at least expanded and explained. I've seen the footage and it's quite disappointing for the media setup that preceded the game's release. Of course, that's an opinion, and Bioware's well within their rights to stick to their guns but that's not what we've been hearing from their announcements - they don't seem to know whether they intended to make a fuss for publicity or whether they're disappointed by the outcry, whether they're going to change the ending or sell a new one, or just sell more DLC to expand on it. They've not come out conclusively defending the ending as the one that they really wanted to do, as the one that wraps the series up.

Also, you have to remember that games are a medium where the product is never necessarily final; patches and DLC, mods and expansions - game worlds these days are mutable, currently so publishers can squeeze games out on time before they're quite finished, or so they can continue making money off a released product. Isn't it about time that fans were able to harness these publisher and developer-centric mechanics and turned them to their own use?

I disagree that players are within their rights to petition, etc, to have the ending changed. Well, maybe not "within their rights", because they always have the choice of doing so, but do I think it's okay to do? No.

Bob wasn't saying that you had to be okay with the ending, which was what that entire segment about TMNT was about. He's saying that you're perfectly okay to complain and bitch and moan all you want, but as soon as you start writing angry letters to the developer and signing petitions to the artist to change their work, that's when you cross the line. There's a line between "not being happy" and "entitled".

Anyways, while yes, gaming is an interactive medium, I'd argue that the player's actual freedom in the game is limited. The creators are still telling you a story, interactive or not, and you don't have complete freedom in how that story goes. Now it may be a choose your own adventure story, but the artist is still in control. You only have freedom insofar as choosing the options that the artist gives to you. The only games I can think of that the player has complete control over the story are games like The Sims, and even then you're limited by the tools the artist gives you and what you are and are not allowed to do within the rules of the universe.

Klitch:

Negatempest:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are totally off the mark their about da Vinci. Let us say that da Vinci was paid by the church to make the last supper. If the church does not like they way they made the last supper than they can have him change it. da Vinci is Bioware. EA is the church. The consumer (you) are the individual who goes to the church. You are NOT the church. (You) did not put in any money to commission ME3. (You) put in money to purchase a copy of the art to make up for the money that the Church (EA) spent into commissioning the game. You may make complaints about the art, but in the end (EA) has the last say, not (You).

So nobody pre-ordered Mass Effect 3? For some reason I seem to remember doing that...

At no point did I say that consumers should get final say over artistic content (or any product for that matter), but let's continue with the da Vinci analogy. Say he was commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa and behaved like a modern game company. He would triple his agreed-upon time frame after being paid (pre-orders for Duke Nukem Forever?)...well he actually did that one, paint a picture of a a different woman (false marketing), give you the "finished" painting and then charge for him to finish drawing the face (DLC), and then make you re-purchase the painting after you have seen it three times (DRM). The man would have been lynched.

I'm sorry but no amount of "get over it" or "move on" or "geez put your energy into something important (by my definition of the word)" is going to make me feel like it's alright for game companies to hold 100% of the rights for their content. They cannot flat-out lie to us and then not expect us to take it personally.

My gamer friend, you are still missing the key point I made. You are not the comissioner. You did not put in money for the creation of the product. You put in money for the copy of the product so the real commissioner (EA) can make a profit from the artist. EA paid Bioware X sum of cash, credit, etc. to make a video game. Bioware made the video game so consumers would purchase it and EA would get X amount of cash from it. At no point in time have you, the consumer, put money directly into Bioware to make their games....unless your a stock-holder.

For me, the Mass Effect Suit is much like the Man suing Apple over Siri suit. It seems completely stupid to me, however if something was advertised as doing something.. and it doesn't... that's wrong.

Now, not being a lawyer, I had to see what False Advertising details. I got this

"Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities" (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. 1125(a)).

Proof Requirement

To establish that an advertisement is false, a plaintiff must prove five things: (1) a false statement of fact has been made about the advertiser's own or another person's goods, services, or commercial activity; (2) the statement either deceives or has the potential to deceive a substantial portion of its targeted audience; (3) the deception is also likely to affect the purchasing decisions of its audience; (4) the advertising involves goods or services in interstate commerce; and (5) the deception has either resulted in or is likely to result in injury to the plaintiff. The most heavily weighed factor is the advertisement's potential to injure a customer. The injury is usually attributed to money the consumer lost through a purchase that would not have been made had the advertisement not been misleading. False statements can be defined in two ways: those that are false on their face and those that are implicitly false.

Now, your personal feelings aside: The man who is suing (SLICKK) says this

For those who didn't read, he basically cited what was said during press release and developer updates, saying that those promises of game play did not make it into the final product. To offer those, we go to this page here

Oddly enough, I can't get to the first link, as I think Bioware took it down once they realized that, yeah, it makes it seem like we fudged the truth.

Those are the facts. Through definition of false advertising, do your opinions still hold up? I'm relying on those who read the same blips and then played ME3 as I haven't.

Bocaj2000:
Incase you don't know, the ending to ME3 got changed due to leaked info a few months before it got released. I'm expecting the "real" ending to get released via DLC eventually.

erm, not quite? http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/310619/20120307/mass-effect-3-ending-leak-spoilers-review.htm Those look like the same endings to me. In case you didn't know :p

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

It's apparent that you really haven't researched into the whole Mass Effect 3 debacle, so be prepared to hear that the Mass Effect series is a special case, BioWare didn't deliver on ANY of their promises, and they pretty much slapped their own IP in the face in the last 5 minutes of their game.

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

I've researched it as much as I care to (which is more than normal), and this is what I've come up with:

All the reasoned debate about the ME3 ending:

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I'm sure there's things about "special case", half baked "NO PROMISES DELIVERED" anger, and hyperbole to go all around as well as "THEY KILLED THE IP" (it was supposed to end here, you know), but it was all drowned in the screaming.

So yes, excuse me if I'm flippant about the whole thing and don't take you guys seriously.

Najal:
The whole Mass Effect thing reminds me of Conan Doyle killing Sherlock Holmes in "the last problem" and then bowing to public pressure and bringing him back. If the fans hadn't stood up for what they wanted, we never would have gotten The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I think fans should be able to talk to the developers, and give their opinion on where they want the franchise to go; Bioware have said they want as much. As for this whole "you can't DEMAND they change the ending" argument, no of course, they can't demand anything and they have no bargaining chips other than not buying more games.

However, it would be foolish for Bioware from a business point of view not to listen to their customers.

Fans don't want the ending "changed" they want it improved. There's a difference.

Sorry, but I don't see the difference. They sure want it to be different (to change it), and they think they [the fans] know the way to make it better than them [Bioware].

The Doyle example is pretty relevant, and sad at the same time. No matter how great "the hound..." was (as it doesn't matter how great Mass Effect 4 might be), the bottom line was that a writer that worked on a fiction couldn't say his story the way he wanted and had to bow to public pressure because people wanted more Sherlock Holmes... To bow to public pressure is something no one that creates something should aspire to.

Under those terms, why can't we have Romeo and Juliet 2? or Kill Bill Vol 3? I believe the end of Fight Club was not epic enough, so we should all force Palahniuk to make a sequel. I also believe Indiana Jones wasn't clear enough, so George Lucas should work on a 5th one. Why not? It worked great with us fans clamoring for a better ending for Watchmen (now we have a different ending in the movie, and several comics to continue the franchise). Someone already mention how this public lynching was getting close to the villain of Misery, which sounds like a fair comparison too...

Aprilgold:

Static Jak:
Wow, that was a cheap swing (and a miss) at the whole ME3 "controversy."

You'd think this was something new. Thing is, it isn't even the first (or last) time this has happened. Public pressure is far from a new concept.

2 gaming related ones come straight to mind. First being Fallout 3s DLC that extended the ending and gave what the fans want. I heard no one from the games media jump at that one.

2nd one not everyone remembers. A particular game called InFamous 2. When it first showed up with trailers, the main character, Cole, had suddenly changed from a grizzle voiced, bald guy with a scar going down his face to a Nathon Drake 2.0s. And the fans went nuts. So what did they do? Changed him into his original look and all where happy.

So did the games media go on about artistic integrity or any of that? Course not. Actually, one of the IGN guys has been very loud about all this is. Colin Moriarty, who has gone on about how it goes against the artistic integrity and how people shouldn't demand this or that and entitlement this and that and rabble, rabble, rabble.

But skip back to when this happened with InFamous and suddenly:

"But with the new Cole design, Sucker Punch heard loud and clear what fans of Infamous wanted, and they delivered. Infinite amounts of kudos to them for doing right by their community. Fans of Infamous won't soon forget it. Sucker Punch is one of Sony's most valuable developers. They are tuned-in with the PS3 faithful, and it's things like this that prove it."

Hell, the this aint uncommon outside of games either. Sherlock Holmes was killed off by Doyle and for 8 years people protested for a change and eventually gave in. This gave us some of the best Sherlock books.

Blade Runner, a great sci-fi by Ridley Scott had its whole ending changed after early preview showings.

Go back far enough and you see that Beethoven revised his opera Fidelio multiple times at the behest of his fans, cast members, and creative peers. I dare someone to say Beethoven lost his artistic integrity.

How many forms of completely interactive art is there anyway? We've even gotten to a point where we a consumers are funding game projects. Which is wonderful.

Gaming can't be just lumped into one category of "art" and then leave it as that as some form of blockade.
Art can change depending on the audience, depending on the demand and so much more. Again, this is hardly the first time this has been done or ever will be done. Just the biggest highlighted one by gaming media.

This whole "entitlement" accusation just need to stop. If you can't back away from that kind of attitude, we eventually pass the point of having meaningful dialog on this topic anymore. Then neither side is listening anymore. Everyone has made up their mind about not only the ending, but about everyone who disagrees with them as well.

If you liked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a crybaby whiner who has nothing better to do than throw fits about video games. If you disliked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a judgmental douche that's either too stupid to understand why the ending sucked, or too far up EA/Bioware's a**es to acknowledge it.

There can be no middle ground anymore at that point and are no longer allowed to have different opinions. Then comes the name calling and things you generally see from 10 year olds.

Woow.... THANK YOU FOR THAT! You hit it so hard on the head that everything around it automatically nailed itself in perfectly.

I wouldn't say perfectly but anyway, the biggest issue out of all this is everyone (even myself) are way too eager to assume what everyone else thinks. "Oh this is what he actually meant" or "what they're really arguing about is this or that." No, stop that.

Every last person who even assumes to know what someone else or even worse, what a large group wants or thinks or "demands" or any of that without clear proof to back it up is making this way worse. Not one guy whose writing in to the FTC represents "everyone" for one example.

So far I've heard that people want a new ending for different reasons:

They want a whole new ending because they believe they are owed it.

They want a new ending because they feel like advertising/marketing for the product was false.

They want a new ending because they believe it is against what made to series great (add particular reason for that here).

They want an ending that extends and gives a proper epilogue.

That they want an ending that takes their decisions throughout the game into account.

And nearly every time people push the idea that this is the "real" reason. Like it's the default reason. And rarely if ever do I see anyone even ask if that person would pay for this new ending, be it a replacement or extension.

There is way too much sh*t being flung around for any real discussion because when that crap starts, people start taking sides even though we all have different opinions on the subject, be it minor or larger differences.

Taunta:

I disagree that players are within their rights to petition, etc, to have the ending changed. Well, maybe not "within their rights", because they always have the choice of doing so, but do I think it's okay to do? No.

Bob wasn't saying that you had to be okay with the ending, which was what that entire segment about TMNT was about. He's saying that you're perfectly okay to complain and bitch and moan all you want, but as soon as you start writing angry letters to the developer and signing petitions to the artist to change their work, that's when you cross the line. There's a line between "not being happy" and "entitled".

Anyways, while yes, gaming is an interactive medium, I'd argue that the player's actual freedom in the game is limited. The creators are still telling you a story, interactive or not, and you don't have complete freedom in how that story goes. Now it may be a choose your own adventure story, but the artist is still in control. You only have freedom insofar as choosing the options that the artist gives to you. The only games I can think of that the player has complete control over the story are games like The Sims, and even then you're limited by the tools the artist gives you and what you are and are not allowed to do within the rules of the universe.

RoseArch:
Mother of god.

Bob, do some research on these damned things.

1) The turtles are New Yorkers. Born and raised in New York. If they're going to be Aliens born in New York, then why bother making them aliens? And, it has been confirmed that they are meant to be aliens. Now, here's the name of the franchise: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mutant and Turtles, two things WRONG with the title if the Turtles are aliens. And what about Splinter? How does he fit in? Just, so many things utterly wrong with that one statement, that fans are in their right to bitch and moan about it. Which brings me to

2) The Mass Effect 3 ending was NOT what was promised to the fans. BioWare promised a fulfilling, questions answering, plot thread ending EPIC which turned out to be a badly written mess. Again, the consumers are in their rights. This time, because they were bloody LIED to.

Umm the threads are ended, everything either got exploded or destroyed or turned into synethetic post people.

Sure it didn't wrap up every single thread, neither did sopranos. And consumers are lied to all the freaking time, their marketing and final product does stand legal scrutiny, sure its unethical as hell.

But the trade off on any media consumed is your taking the risk on purchase and you lessen it by doing a tiny little bit of legwork.

Again anyone complaining about this had the chance to wait and find out about it and passed that chance up, you brought it on yourselves, deal with your bad choice at this time and choose better next time.

At least Bob was more respectful this time. His tweet I saw posted was pretty bad.

Bob made a few better points here, but he is still not completely right. The goal of most art and most artists is to make money. I am sure there are some who love to do art for the sake of art, but we all need to earn a living to survive. So in order for said artist to earna living we need to buy his art. If we don't like the art, we don't buy it. if we are mislead we will be pissed off. In both cases we likely don't come back to this artist and try something else.

Risk is good and important, but it also must be calculated. Everything needs a return on investment. Odds are a game about riding horses isn't going to sell as well as a game about shooting people. There will likely be a market for horse games, but not as large, therefore it cannot justify as big a budget. Plenty of games started out this way thinking there wasn't a market, and suddenly became huge (or music or movies, etc). After that they get a bigger budget.

I don't know enough details on the litigation going on with fans over ME3, but it does sound to far. I do however have no problem with people demanding a fix or change to a game. If enough people want it then the company either ignores them and risks lossing their customer base, or spends the money to fix it and keep them. This is economic power, and is a good thing for the masses.

I personally hate a lot of the samey churned out games and the fact that so many people buy them. We don't need 12 WW2 shooters released every year. I wish there was more diversity so I could have more strategy games and RPG and action/adventure or puzzle platforms, but until the masses stop buying them it isn't going to happen. SO in my mind anything that influences games designers to make better games is better for the industry as a whole. and only we as the mass consumer have that power.

Teenage mutant ninja turtles? Don't you mean the movie ninja turtles? Bay let out a tweet telling everyone that they've dropped the teenage mutant part... But it's still the same. No honestly. He just did about an hour ago. As for my take on mass effect 3 ending, I am getting a feeling this is about something else. Sure the end is rubbish, yeah lies where said and promises broken, but it's not the worst offender in that regards. The fable games are still head and shoulders over that. I feel the ending is the last strew from a lot of things dating back from dragon age 2.

hermes200:

Najal:
The whole Mass Effect thing reminds me of Conan Doyle killing Sherlock Holmes in "the last problem" and then bowing to public pressure and bringing him back. If the fans hadn't stood up for what they wanted, we never would have gotten The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I think fans should be able to talk to the developers, and give their opinion on where they want the franchise to go; Bioware have said they want as much. As for this whole "you can't DEMAND they change the ending" argument, no of course, they can't demand anything and they have no bargaining chips other than not buying more games.

However, it would be foolish for Bioware from a business point of view not to listen to their customers.

Fans don't want the ending "changed" they want it improved. There's a difference.

Sorry, but I don't see the difference. They sure want it to be different (to change it), and they think they [the fans] know the way to make it better than them [Bioware].

The Doyle example is pretty relevant, and sad at the same time. No matter how great "the hound..." was (as it doesn't matter how great Mass Effect 4 might be), the bottom line was that a writer that worked on a fiction couldn't say his story the way he wanted and had to bow to public pressure because people wanted more Sherlock Holmes... To bow to public pressure is something no one that creates something should aspire to.

Under those terms, why can't we have Romeo and Juliet 2? or Kill Bill Vol 3? I believe the end of Fight Club was not epic enough, so we should all force Palahniuk to make a sequel. I also believe Indiana Jones wasn't clear enough, so George Lucas should work on a 5th one. Why not? It worked great with us fans clamoring for a better ending for Watchmen. Someone already mention how this public lynching was getting close to the villain of Misery, which sounds like a fair comparison too...

Misery is definitely an excellent comparison.

Allow me to bring up another example of an artist bowing to popular demand: Inuyasha. Supposedly, Rumiko Takahashi wanted it to end a long time before it actually did, but she bowed to the audience's demand for more Inuyasha. So it deflated for a long time before actually ending, and when it did, it was a giant middle finger to all the fans.

I can see some of the reasoning Movie Bob presented, but I think that the anger (if not the actions) are justifiable.

Yes, over half of the 'retake ME3' thing is bullshit. Raising charity won't go anywhere, and registering a federal complaint was idiotic. But there are very reasonable arguments to having the ending change, not the least, was that it was literally false advertising. It was stated by Bioware that Mass Effect 3 would not be you're generic A, B, or C ending, the idea was even dismissed as ridiculous, that there would be hundreds of different ending varieties. This was not the case. Other arguments, I have seen regularly stated, so I will not even bother the mention.

No matter how you go about it, ME3 players were promised something that they did not receive. They were promised, not just anticipating or expecting, an epic ending. An ending whose result was varied dramatically based upon what they did. What they received was the literally an A, B, or C ending, each one the same as the other save a texture swap or a colour filter. There is avoiding particulars, loose statements, exaggerated personal opinions, and a lot of other shit people use to sell a product. This, this was a lie.

Movie Bob, why not just say that the consumers never commissioned a game? (Kickstarter and Double Fine is the exception) That we as consumers are buying copies of a product that another company put money into to create it? This time being EA. "IF" a consumer commissioned a product than that is direct money lose to that individual. You know what Movie Bob, better yet make a junk drawer episode to explain the difference between commissioned work and buying a copy of the work.

Good show, Bob! Finally, a person with some common sense.

lacktheknack:
SNIP

Wow, generalizing. How very mature.
You apparently haven't been listening to any of the more rational and calm complaints.
Like this, or this.

Hmmm the ME3 thing really is quiet the thing isn't it? Seems like everyone should have an opinion, so here's mine. What we get and what we got is what we will get and what we got. If BW decided to leave the game as it is then that is THEIR decision, it is also their right, it is their property their IP and the flipside of that is that we as the consumer of their product are allowed to bitch and moan and complain.

Of course how much you complain and moan will vary depending upon how retarded you really are, yes you can say they falsely claimed that the game would deliver an ending worth of the multi choice nature, an ending that would give you five dollar bills and pull hooker off the street for you whilst feeding you cotten candy, and because they didn't deliver I am gonna sue your arse.

Doing that not only lowers yourself but lowers everyone who in anyway has anything to do with gaming, seriously, yes the ending may be crap it may not do what YOU wanted and the variants of it may all be the same with a few little choices that have no real bearing on your actions but really did the crap ending in anyway lessen the many hours of 'fun' you had playing the game and its two prequels?

On the other hand if Bioware decided to release a DLC paid for or otherwise it is your choice to pay and download it, yeah it's a wanky move and some may even start conspiracies about how they made the original endings crap to deliberately force their fan base to download the good endings, but despite that would having that wonderful ending suddenly make the 'fun' you had playing the games any more fun? No all it would do is give you a nice wrap up and that's that.

It's Biowares right to do what they want with their IPs
It's your right to moan about, complain about and choose not to support them

but at the end of the day you get what you're given and that's that deal with it or moan, and if your especially moronic try suing someone.

Oh and I've seen two folk saying that DLC for Fallout 3 changing the ending of that game has set a precedent. That's bull, it had f*ck all to do with changing the stories ending, ala the big ME3 controversy, and more to do with the general community wanting to be able to continue playing after they finished the main storyline.

I agree that it is ridiculous to file a complaint with the FTC over a video game ending, and that it is also insane that some people want to return their open (and completed) video game for a full refund, but the blame does not fall solely on the "spoiled self entitled fans."

Part of the problem is the existence of DLC in the first place. Back in the era of "this is your cartridge, it is all you have" it would have been incomprehensible to expect a developer to make alterations to a game that had already been published.

What changed? Well, game developers decided to make alterations to games that had already been published. Map packs, new weapons, characters and even entire quest lines are there for the taking if you want to spend the money.

If a company wants to generate extra content with mostly existing resources and do so without the added cost of pressing, packaging, and general marketing, I think that is just good business.

The developers were the ones who decided that their products were not static, or even finished in some cases. Why should we argue with them? Heck, when we see something that clearly looks unfinished, like the dialog in Dragon Age that basically said "Buy DLC to read what I really say on this line", don't we expect the company to step in with some more content down the road?

To me, ME3's ending was ill fitting and unfinished. I think the only reason so many people believe there should be a DLC epilogue or ending revision is that it feels like the type of thing this company has done before.

There should be a new rule, you cannot discuss the outcry to the ME3 ending until you've played through all 3 games and saw the ending.

Seriously there has to be something wrong when the majority of people who have played through all them are in outrage, yet the majority of the people who have never even played the games go about saying they're being entitled fanboys.

I will agree to the following.

The people that asked for their money back from Childs Play are morons.

Artists are free to seek their personal interpretation.

I will not agree to the following.

Consumers/Fans should not complain about what they purchased.

Artists can do anything they want RISK FREE.

Things I would like to point out.

Generalizations are bad

Consumers asking for a change in the product does not mean OMG ARTISTIC INTEGRITY OF IDEOGAMES RUINED FOREVER.

Judging the outcome of a game before playing/finishing the game is as stupid as the fox news reporters that said ME1 was a sex simulator without playing the fucking game.

Movie bob can be very near sighted sometimes.

Really there's nothing new any of us can add to the whole debate. Very, very few of us are going to come out of this with some kind of closure. Let's just let it die.

Instead, let's talk about Dick Cheney, and how he got a heart transplant when by medical standards he's far too old to qualify for one and there are much younger and more needy patients in desperate need of said organ replacement. They were probably further up the list than he was, too. How about that?

Negatempest:

Klitch:

Negatempest:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are totally off the mark their about da Vinci. Let us say that da Vinci was paid by the church to make the last supper. If the church does not like they way they made the last supper than they can have him change it. da Vinci is Bioware. EA is the church. The consumer (you) are the individual who goes to the church. You are NOT the church. (You) did not put in any money to commission ME3. (You) put in money to purchase a copy of the art to make up for the money that the Church (EA) spent into commissioning the game. You may make complaints about the art, but in the end (EA) has the last say, not (You).

So nobody pre-ordered Mass Effect 3? For some reason I seem to remember doing that...

At no point did I say that consumers should get final say over artistic content (or any product for that matter), but let's continue with the da Vinci analogy. Say he was commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa and behaved like a modern game company. He would triple his agreed-upon time frame after being paid (pre-orders for Duke Nukem Forever?)...well he actually did that one, paint a picture of a a different woman (false marketing), give you the "finished" painting and then charge for him to finish drawing the face (DLC), and then make you re-purchase the painting after you have seen it three times (DRM). The man would have been lynched.

I'm sorry but no amount of "get over it" or "move on" or "geez put your energy into something important (by my definition of the word)" is going to make me feel like it's alright for game companies to hold 100% of the rights for their content. They cannot flat-out lie to us and then not expect us to take it personally.

My gamer friend, you are still missing the key point I made. You are not the comissioner. You did not put in money for the creation of the product. You put in money for the copy of the product so the real commissioner (EA) can make a profit from the artist. EA paid Bioware X sum of cash, credit, etc. to make a video game. Bioware made the video game so consumers would purchase it and EA would get X amount of cash from it. At no point in time have you, the consumer, put money directly into Bioware to make their games....unless your a stock-holder.

Where exactly do you think money from pre-orders goes if not into development costs? So if I own a single stock in Bioware/EA (I don't) I'm allowed to dictate how the game should be made but if I don't have any stock, I just have be resigned with being worked over and mistreated and be satisfied? What kind of logical sense does that make? What about this consumer-funded Double Fine game, should the fans get complete creative control just because they paid the development costs (I say hell no). I'm sorry but whether you paid your money before or after the game was put in stores is not the sole deciding factor that determines if you have any rights to the product you pay for.

And consumer rights is a real thing. There is no medium where the producers/developers have complete control over their products and actions. As I've said before, my big hangup is the outright lies in the advertising. Consumers are protected by law from crap like that. From any legal standpoint the FTC complaint is justified, though I think it's more of a publicity stunt than a real motion.

Producer-consumer relationships are just that, relationships. Producers have an obligation to provide their consumers the product that they promise and consumers have the obligation of paying an agreed-upon sum. This doesn't change just because somebody shouts "art." Am I allowed to pay Bioware $30 instead of $60 because I didn't like the ending? No. Are they allowed to make explicit promises (with full knowledge of their falsity) about the game and then not keep them? For some bizarre reason, yes. This is wrong.

SnakeoilSage:
Instead, let's talk about Dick Cheney, and how he got a heart transplant when by medical standards he's far too old to qualify for one and there are much younger and more needy patients in desperate need of said organ replacement. They were probably further up the list than he was, too. How about that?

Yeah, I didn't get that. He managed to survive for decades without a heart. Why does he suddenly need one now? :P

Aliens huh? Well whatever I guess. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never see the gritty original source material ever brought to life so this doesn't bother me.

Ya know the thing that people should really be worried about with mass effect is how devs are trending towards holding endings for ransom. I can't prove that this was their original intention but it wouldn't surprise me in the least. And the sad part is I'll buy it just like I did Broken Steel.

I totally see where Bob is coming from here. I definitely wish that Bioware HAD made some different choices, but now that the game's here, I don't think that they should change it. Next thing we know, people will be clamoring for a rewrite of the Bible because Jesus dies too early and it's sad [/hyperbole]

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