BioWare Co-Founder Promises Closure For Mass Effect 3

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Mass Effect 2 had a large, diverse cast of well-written characters, with the opportunity to get to know them over the course of the game. The story itself had several instances where player choice had direct, visible consequences.

Mass Effect 3 gave us a handful of Flanderized returning characters and dropped the cameo bridge on the rest. We don't see the final results of any of our decisions, and the last choice of the game actually undoes every single other action we've done in the series so far.

The series' finale was as abrupt and unfulfilling as an "it was all a dream!!" ending. And fans are reacting pretty accordingly.

People being mad about this shouldn't surprise, BioWare. We wanted another Mass Effect game, not Gears of War as written by a slightly more articulate Michael Bay.

Choosing to focus on generic military wank and linear storytelling over character development and player choice suggests to me that Dr Muzyka doesn't know what made past BioWare games compelling.

Hmm, this is actually the first time I've actually felt rather bad about hating on the ending(s) so much. Now that I've had time to think about (and my initial rage over the ending, which I think may have been heightened upon hearing that some people didn't like the endings prior to seeing them myself) the one thing that worries me if Bioware did come up with a further ending to the game, it wouldn't be because they wanted to but perhaps because they felt they had to.

I'd happily wait a decent length of time (such as the time it took for Lair of the Shadow Broker to come along) for something that decently wraps up the series.

Disappointment=(Quality-Expectations)xLove.
or
D=(Q-E)xL!?
Maybe I'm on to something here...

The key word there is Love, the only reason any one is mad is because the game was phenomenal up to that point.

I hope Bioware does hear at least that much though. They should also hear that this is not about a happy ending or about the series actually ending. If they ruined my life with the most tragic thing I've ever seen I wouldn't be anticipating their response to this backlash.

Confusing, inciting, offensive, Deus Ex Machina is probably not the thing to give the intarwebs if you expected rationality and praise over your game.

"...what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted"

Somewhere, in a galaxy far far away, my KotoR character is laughing at this statement (My opinion of course)

At least they've (kind of) put forth a concrete statement on what they plan to do, maybe now people will stop whining and wait for the DLC

The ending of the game was a dream, so they probably intended to add to it all along. They were just waiting for enough people to finish the game before announcing anything.

this is so dumb... you have no right to make them change the ending, if they do then you've all just proved that it is not art, and history will remember it forever.

BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka says it's "incredibly painful" to hear that Mass Effect 3 didn't live up to fans' expectations and suggests that BioWare is taking steps to address the situation.

...because, you know, people, ahahahahahaa, you know, we never thought that, you know, uhhhhhhh, our endings tellling the tale of futility would bring so many baaaaaaaws. Ahahahaaaa. You know...

Seriously. It's the dawn of a brand new era in video gaming - usual parts of game are now officially moved to DLC section. Today it's, ahem, "happy ending", tomorrow - quicksave, quickload and game configuration.

Game developers could as well scream "give us your money bitches or we'll murder Cmdr. Shepard and ruin whole universe of Mass Effect". I don't know how it is called by their standards, but in my book it's "extortion".

I think what blows my mind the most would be peoples reactions to us, the fans, reactions. Even Andy makes it look like we are being silly about this. Thats simply not true. The simple fact is that all three choices (yes, a, b, or c...) are almost cut and paste exactly alike. There are so many plotholes in the endings its ridiculous. And YES, we are going to complain when the game was the absolute best in the series right up to the last 10 minutes. Fans are complaining because they CARE about the game. They give a damn! I feel I have a RIGHT to care, seeing as I have invested 5 years into these games, and these characters. A majority of us that are outspoken about this are going about it in a civil way, and hopefully, it will pay off. Shepard deserves better, and so do we.

Hold the line.

Harmondale2:
this is so dumb... you have no right to make them change the ending, if they do then you've all just proved that it is not art, and history will remember it forever.

I disagree. I have EVERY right to vocalize my opinion on it. After all, if it wasnt for my money, and all the other gamers money that went into the first game, there wouldnt have BEEN a second game. Ergo, I am a direct contributor to the life of the game.

To paraphrase Garrus: If you yell loudly enough about something, eventually someone is going to come over and see what all the fuss is about.

"Tell your friends if you feel it's a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damndest, as always, to address your feedback. As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support"

IE please give us glowing reviews through word of mouth as all this bad internet buzz is hurting sales.

The whole programmers having artistic license thing is really getting on my nerves.

Yes you do have the right to end your story however you like. I also have the right to think it is horrible and not spend my money on it. If you want to keep your artistic integrity and die poor, who am I to deny you. If you want to make money, then make a game I want to play.

came into this thread expecting to see the same lines i've seen repeated a dozen times, and i was not disappointed.

some times, its nice being the only one that genuinely doesn't care one way or the other what happens to a franchise

A consumer product is inherently not art in the Mona Lisa aspect. The consumer has every right to make demands of the company to the very least uphold their pre-release blitz of promises.

So much for "gaming entitlement", right guys?

Well, let's see if this is for real, or just bioware trying to do damage control.

sir.rutthed:
I really hope they don't change it. I haven't played it yet, but I don't think it's possible to maintain artistic integrity if they go back and rework their work just because a bunch of people don't like it.

Well, understand that something being "art" has it's dark side, there is a stereotype about people defending garbage as artwork to avoid criticism for a reason, and ME3 pretty much shows that the industry was quick to try and use "Art" as a shield to try and excuse the inexcuable.

Let me be blunt, just being art does not make something good, art can still be crap, and there is nothing wrong with calling crap what it is. Also many artists have modified their work given reception.

A point to consider here is that with things like movies if they slot people off to this degree people will demand their money back, and they will get it. Defending a crap movie as Art doesn't mean that mass refunds aren't going to destroy it. In the case of "Mass Effect" it's not like people can get their money back, and they spend way more than what a ticket cost.

Likewise when looking at things like a Gallery show, you see the artwork, and they decide if your going to buy it, or pay to support the artist. They don't hand you a box for $60 and you risk it being anything from a masterwork to a laquered piece of cow dung with a fork stuck in the top and a yellow "M" painted on the side.

Art does not put someone beyond criticism. What's more one has to remember that this is not REALLY an artistic issue, that's just the shield being used. This is purely about out of control greed. "Mass Effect" was intended to be a trilogy, but along the way EA/Bioware decided they wanted to turn it into a franchise. This ending is transparently set up to be a "do nothing" occurance since there is no way to even tell if these events really took place (as many people have argued), basically a desician to NOT end the game by putting in some art-seeming BS that doesn't fit with the rest of the game so they could hopefully spin it into more money with future installments and drag out actually resolving the central storyline. This DOES influance what people think, especially when you look at what Bioware promised for an ending, and what they actually delivered, which is at the root of the legal aspect of things (and as much as people call it silly, false advertising is false advertising, and the game industry should not be beyond such criticism).

There are a lot of reasons so many people are POed about this... and for those who read this far let me tell you one other thing: I called this last year. It didn't go down exactly as I expected but when I saw what happened with "Dragon Age 2" I predicted Bioware was on a bad path and that things were NOT going to go well with "Mass Effect 3". People overlooked a crap ending (and crap game design which was an issue that doesn't apply to ME3 to the same extent, given it's intent to be a shooter) because it was Bioware and every company can miss occasionally, but now with ME3 we're seeing an attitude that they can get away with this as the whole "do nothing" ending is in many ways very similar to that of DA2 and probably intended for similar reasons which have nothing to do with art despite art being used as a shield.

It also angers me to an extent (adding to the fire) to see a guy this high up in Bioware sitting there talking about professional reviews and the high scores as a sort of defense, yet the integrity of those same reviews has been in question for years now (heavily discussed here on The Escapist and in various articles). When you see an ending like this and high marks accross the board, that's not a defense, that's a sign that either the reviwers were bought or didn't do their job properly and play the game through. Bioware's people would do better to simply not mention that point, because using it as a defense is just going to make people like me even angrier. The bottom line is that while good PR and reviews can help with public perception, there is a level of sheer suck at which that backfires. Rather than a defense of Bioware, I see those professional reviews to be a reason to be more critical of the reviewers who gave this game high marks and their integrity, than a sign that I, and millions of other gamers are wrong.

Wait...isn't this entire thing a marketing pitch?

"Guys, we're working on a "better" ending, so buy our game!"

And then we can buy the ending DLC after it comes out...5 dollars per ending.

I liked Mass Effect 3 (Overall) and I loved Dragonage 2. Im not asking for an ending, but I would buy one that gives more Closure.

Personally I think everyone would be better served if they just refused to pony up any more money for the Mass Effect games. It's hard to effectively send someone a message that you're dissatisfied when all they hear is "What's that? You want to pay us MORE money to fix it?"

Dexter111:
I find it more interesting that apparently "over 75 critics" gave them a perfect review score, I mean LOL.

Almost sounds like he's trying to prove a point there.

I do like the fact that he hasn't really promised anything, but he's being treated as though he has. At this point, they'd BETTER be changing the ending, because if they don't the fans will react as though it was explicitly stated in a contract written in blood.

Valanthe:
Is anybody else beginning to see the words "Artistic Choice" and "The right to suck" as being synonymous?

I see it more as a "And that's why we don't have to live up to our statements regarding the game."

Shamanic Rhythm:
Personally I think everyone would be better served if they just refused to pony up any more money for the Mass Effect games. It's hard to effectively send someone a message that you're dissatisfied when all they hear is "What's that? You want to pay us MORE money to fix it?"

I wish that would happen. Experience tells me "not a chance," though.

Noxman:
Personally I think its nice to have some actual acknowledgement from Biowares side and a slight admission of issues with the ending. The thing i'm most dissapointed about is that this announcement fully admits that none of it was planned and that they are genuinely surprised with the fan reaction.

This is horrifying. It means the indoctrination theory is wrong and that the ending is to be taken at face value. Talking about needing more closure and making content to facilitate this seems to imply that DLC will cover what happened around Shepard's trip into the Citadel rather than what happens afterwards. I would rather I was emotionally manipulated into hating the ending only to find out it was all a brilliant ruse.

The fact that Bioware didn't see any of this coming after the slapshod ending cinematics that are painfully unclear about just about any particular detail, abandon well establish lore and even stretch into implying that we should be taking it all as allegory, is a frightening prospect.

Thanks for the acknowledgement but goddamn I wish we didn't need it.

It doesn't mean Indoctrination Theory is wrong at all.

I 100% believe that they deliberately executed IT in the endgame (post beam), I also 100% believe that they PLANNED the endgame DLC to continue from "The Breath", but I don't believe they planned on having to kickstart the production of it this soon. IMO they did this to garner fan feedback for the ending, and DLC ideas/direction to customise the script and such.. but the fans have forced their hand, which is good.. as it needed forcing IMO.

They didn't gauge the sheer passion of the fans, and maybe didn't make the 30+ plot holes/IT evidence clear enough (although, this would have made it too obvious for believers-destroying the cleverness effectively) for most fans to pick up on straight away.

There is no way that last segment adds up to anything but an Indoctrinated vision, unless the writing team thought it a good idea to smoke PCP just before writing/producing the end sequence... if that was the case, then well.. jesus.. who knows. lol.

Ending Indoctrination - Deliberate/Produced
DLC Indoctrination - Deliberate/Planned (but not planned to be required to quell the rage at this early date I imagine)...

MatsVS:
Well, this is most certainly welcome news. Of course, now we'll have to suffer all those tired, irrelevant old men complaining about how this undermines the artistic integrity of the medium, having gone through increasingly elaborate mental gymnastic to explain how the ending was in any way valid, all the while completely missing the point.

I for one, hope this means that a great franchise will get the ending it deserves.

Amen brother. I never have and probably never will get 'artistic integrity' I mean yeah if you make a piece of art it doesn't protect you from scorn or criticism. And if someone paid for said art and wasn't happy they have a RIGHT to complain about it.

MovieBob has had a few interesting things to say about the ending on twitter, I'll post them here:

In response to this:

"Congratulations, "Mass Effect" crybabies. You've officially set the entire medium back a DECADE as an art form. Also, Bioware? SHAME on you for caving. You've chosen to make coloring books instead of The Mona Lisa."

and about fans wanting and demanding a new ending:

"Look, a medium can produce ART or it can produce PRODUCT. If games can be changed at the whims of fanboys, then they are just product and we have no right to demand that Ebert etc take them (or US) seriously."

Some interesting stuff.

He promised to fix the ending the way a deadbeat dad promises to paint a deck.

"Oh sure thing dear! I'll try and get to it as soon as I can..."

Wanderhome:

RJ Dalton:
Good God. What was so horrible about the ending that it garners this sort of attention and demands this sort of a response? You'd think the game disc had been designed to explode and fire shards of glass into your head or something the way people bang on about it.
I mean, Hollywood has produced one disappointing pile of lazy shit after another, but nobody gets on Hollywood's case. Wassup wit dat!?!?

I'm all for movie-watchers raging about films, maybe we'd get more "good" ones, some one needs to get on this!

Been barking up that tree for years. I just can't seem to get enough people on my side.

Kevlar Eater:
Oh, dear gods, would it kill them to be upfront about their intentions? All I read out of that was "hurr durr artistic integrity, blah blah passionate fans, something something dark side".

He speaks to us as if we can't see through the PR smokescreen.

If anybody is on dark-side in this whole thing it is the people complaining about the ending and going to the FTC about it.

BioWare garnered no hate or dislike from me because of the endings. Because they are kowtowing to this small group of complainers, I have lost a bit of respect for BioWare.

Just as BioWare waved away and ignored the silly whining about the whole From Ashes DLC, they should just wave away and ignore these people on this.

Amazon also lost respect from me for giving these people free rides by giving them full refunds. The game isn't broken in a physical and technical sense and they played through the whole thing experiencing everything I experienced. Just because they were disappointed with the ending doesn't mean they deserve a refund.

It would like if I went to a bookstore, bought a book and took a couple weeks to read the whole thing, and then going back to the bookstore to demand a refund because I didn't like how the author ended the book. If I did that at any bookstore I've been to, they would laugh at me and say, "Ya, no. What are you smoking?"

The same goes for any video or game store I've been to.

Noxman:
Personally I think its nice to have some actual acknowledgement from Biowares side and a slight admission of issues with the ending. The thing i'm most dissapointed about is that this announcement fully admits that none of it was planned and that they are genuinely surprised with the fan reaction.

This is horrifying. It means the indoctrination theory is wrong and that the ending is to be taken at face value. Talking about needing more closure and making content to facilitate this seems to imply that DLC will cover what happened around Shepard's trip into the Citadel rather than what happens afterwards. I would rather I was emotionally manipulated into hating the ending only to find out it was all a brilliant ruse.

The fact that Bioware didn't see any of this coming after the slapshod ending cinematics that are painfully unclear about just about any particular detail, abandon well establish lore and even stretch into implying that we should be taking it all as allegory, is a frightening prospect.

Thanks for the acknowledgement but goddamn I wish we didn't need it.

It doesn't necessarily mean that. Even if it was in fact planned, I don't think anyone could have anticipated a reaction on this level - no one goes into something like this and expects weeks of vitriol.

I think this is a good move, and a good sign. Considering the situation they have right now, there's not much more they can do. They can't actually act at the moment, all they can say is they hear peoples' concerns, show they understand those concerns, and say they'll address them. Things are starting to die down, and this'll salve the wounds more.

To be honest, I do feel bad for BioWare - the ending was bad, but I can't help but think all the shouting's drowning out the positive feedback that they do deserve for the rest of the game. Hopefully they'll take some important lessons away from this (aside from 'people will throw all their money at you no matter what you do').

Nikolaz72:
I liked Mass Effect 3 (Overall) and I loved Dragonage 2. Im not asking for an ending, but I would buy one that gives more Closure.

Same here, but really, I don't even need closure. People get way too uptight and angry about stories that don't tie up and explain every little detail. Seriously, I have never ever watched, read, or played a story that didn't evoke loose end questions. There will always be, well what happened to that guy, or however did that person get to this point, it never said.

Some people really need to take some sanity pills and relax.

Riff Moonraker:

Harmondale2:
this is so dumb... you have no right to make them change the ending, if they do then you've all just proved that it is not art, and history will remember it forever.

I disagree. I have EVERY right to vocalize my opinion on it. After all, if it wasnt for my money, and all the other gamers money that went into the first game, there wouldnt have BEEN a second game. Ergo, I am a direct contributor to the life of the game.

That doesn't matter. They made a product, you decided to buy it. Once your money left your hand, it is no longer your money anymore; it is now their money and they can do whatever the hell they want with it.

They are well within their right to say "screw you, we aren't going to change the ending. We're going to buy a couple giant pools filled with chocolate pudding for the whole staff to jump in."

They could have made an ending where Shepard rides into battle on a baby elephant that shoots diamonds out of its butt, and they still wouldn't have to answer to anybody or change a thing if they didn't want to.

I really feel sorry for BioWare, because I really thought they were strong writers/artists. Only weak willed artists change their work to appease a rabidly angry rabble.

I don't think he finds it incredibly painful to hear at all...he's probably thinking "oh boy, more money from dlc"

The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and we're planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, I'm proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.
.......
To that end, since the game launched, the team has been poring over everything they can find about reactions to the game - industry press, forums, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. The Mass Effect team, like other teams across the BioWare Label within EA, consists of passionate people who work hard for the love of creating experiences that excite and delight our fans. I'm honored to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback.
.....
Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example - has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.

Aw, afraid to get your feelings hurt? I'm not sugarcoating this. I think your endings sucked. Get over it. You know how you improve your craft? Listen to all feedback, don't retreat to all those reviews that heralded your game. If you want to live in a bubble where only nice things are said about your game, fine. Just don't expect to improve at all.

Great so he's just going to try and explain this cluster %$#& of an ending and why they thought they needed to destroy the Franchise instead of actually manning up admitting they made a mistake and fixing it?

K good to know no ME 3 DLC for me and probably no more Bioware for that matter so say goodbye to my $$$ EA.

MY GOD! it has nothing to do with Artist Choice! it's that it's contrary to everything that they promised and breaks the lore entirely. i'm posting this link everywhere. READ IT! YOU! ANDY CHALK!

http://www.gamefront.com/mass-effect-3-ending-hatred-5-reasons-the-fans-are-right/

Sonic Doctor:

That doesn't matter. They made a product, you decided to buy it. Once your money left your hand, it is no longer your money anymore; it is now their money and they can do whatever the hell they want with it.

They are well within their right to say "screw you, we aren't going to change the ending. We're going to buy a couple giant pools filled with chocolate pudding for the whole staff to jump in."

They could have made an ending where Shepard rides into battle on a baby elephant that shoots diamonds out of its butt, and they still wouldn't have to answer to anybody or change a thing if they didn't want to.

I really feel sorry for BioWare, because I really thought they were strong writers/artists. Only weak willed artists change their work to appease a rabidly angry rabble.

Under this logic no one would be allowed to return anything ever and they would have to accept they bought a broken or rotten product. Fortunately we don't live in this fanboy idiocy world and have a right to say and get our money back when something sucks!

And we can if you were a smart lad and ordered from Amazon you can return all copies of ME 3 even if they are opened for 30 days after purchase.

Furioso:
"...what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted"

Uh oh...how bad is the ongoing content for TOR going to be if he believes THAT?

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