MovieBob's thoughts on the ME3 ending controversy

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I'm still haven't bought into the idea that something ceases to be art if it is changed due to someone else's opinion, concept art is asked to be changed by the art director all the time, and I think most people will still call it art.

Falcon123:

I wrote a couple articles on this (you can find them here: http://www.redshirtcrew.com/2012/03/why-mass-effect-3-has-changed-industry.html) but though I was initially opposed to MovieBob's tweets, and I hate siding with fans against the creator...I agree with everything he said. One of the following three things happened:

1. Bioware just forfeited their authorship to the fans to avoid controversy, thus forfeiting their claim to be artists to a large degree.

2. This was their plan all along, and they're holding their fans hostage for money with this DLC (because the game is NOT complete if the indoctrination theory is true), which sets a dangerous precedent.

3. Bioware misjudged how pissed off people would be by making them wait for the upcoming free DLC that fixes all of this.

Given I don't think Bioware is dumb enough for option 3, I think options 1 or 2 are the only real possibilities, and because Bioware is such a big part of what defines this industry, I believe the industry has been set back considerably either way, and I don't think a decade is a big leap in logic, sadly

Just tried to get to your article there, but the site doesn't seem to be working!

I think you make a interesting point there.

No matter where you stand on the issue, or however this ends:

This whole thing is going to have major negative impacts on the industry, one way or the other.

Sentox6:

OniaPL:
I understand Bob and I understand the fans to a degree. However, rather than wanting to change the eneding, I wonder why people can't learn to vote with their wallets. I played ME 1 and ME 2. I did not like some things about ME3 (such as Origin only) so I decided that I would not purchase it.

Easier said than done when you've already purchased the game.

It's one thing when you know in advance about aspects of the product you consider to be negative (such as Origin) and can evaluate your purchasing decision appropriately.

It's another thing when you get told you'll have an array of endings that will reflect all your prior choices and provide closure and you get... this.

I'll be voting with my wallet when BioWare releases their next game if they don't do something to address this, but until then, I don't have that option.

This.

You can't really "un-buy" the game. I don't see EA accepting any refunds.

I dropped Bioware after Dragon Age 2, and just watched a Let's Play of ME3 to know how it all ended.

But I don't know if an awareness campaign online can compete with the EA marketing team appealing to casual audience who will just be looking at the trailers.

Irridium:
I don't recall gaming being set back as an art form when they made Cole more like his Infamous 1 self for Infamous 2 after fans complained.

Or when Bethesda released Broken Steel which made so you didn't die at the end.

But there was a major plothole there since your Mutant buddy could do it for you! It was justified, unlike this ending!

.....
Oh wait.

Zeel:
Please. Nothing artistic about that heap of shit game. I've seen fine art students scribble down crap for 5 minutes that had more artistic expression than Mass Effect 3. The point of the abysmal ending was to "create controversy" not to "Further the gaming medium"

So this MOVIEBOB can just go home.

This, plus Moviebob has been declared bat-shit insane some time ago, when he decided to insult the people who watched The Expendables.

Moviebob may have tons of nerd knowledge, but he is so caught up in his own view on movie/anime/gaming "art", that everything is perceived as something holy the moment the ink leaves the writer's pen.

Videogames are not art, they are completely subjectable to change. Heck, Valve retconned the ending to Portal 1, so that they could fill the plotholes made by the beginning of part 2.

Mass Effect 3's ending should be changed and there will be no artistic integrity lost, because they had none to lose in the first place.

Sentox6:
Snip

Silly OP, Bob almost never knows what the hell he is talking about. This is no reason to be surprised.

I have just lost a lot of respect for Moviebob.

I like how people use really shitty examples to prove their points. The Broken Steel DLC was released not because the ending sucked, but because of a technical fault in the game that made it impossible to play the game.

The other thing is that a lot of people want to think just because one developer at some point did something stupid with their IP it should be valued exactly the same as the ME3 case when obviously ME· is special seeing as it's possibly the biggest and most ambitious project to date.

This would be akin to Christopher Nolan changing The Dark Knight because of Heath Ledger's death just so he could make a sequel.

To be fair, this shit has already happenned before in Hollywood. They changed the end of I Am Legend to appease the preview screeners and it resulted in one of the shittiest films I'd seen all year. That almost made me give up hope for humanity. A long time ago, they nearly changed the end of fucking Blade Runner because some people complained "boo hoo, it's too depressing". They nearly did, and it was going to be shit. Luckily they didn't and so now we have one of the greatest achievements of cinema to show for it.

If you just let fans push you around, it's no different than saying "Hey, you are right. My game is a worthless piece of shit and I'm sure you could make it better."

I'm really starting to lose my liking of moviebob. I can't comment on the whole mass effect ending thing since I only played through the first and jumped off at that point, but this is the same guy that must have whined for 2 weeks about scott pilgrim's low box office returns. Not to mention he keeps insulting the intelligence of everyone he doesn't like.

While I respect MovieBob and I generally agree with many of his opinions... I guess I'm a bit dissapointed with his point of view in the matter, pretty much like everybody else that hasn't even played the freaking game for that matter.

They're all "oh, don't fret, this is a good thing for the industry as it has finally been taken seriously!", or "stop whinning and get a life!", or "meh, I don't care one way or the other".

I need to stroke a puppy to calm down a bit... but sadly, I had to put the puppy I picked up in the street to sleep (long story) and I can't stroke her anymore... a really, really sad week :(

"a medium can produce ART or it can produce PRODUCT"

so a medium cant produce one thing that is art and another thing that is a product?
so assuming movie bob thinks movies are art i highly doubt hes still gonna count transformers as art but may count something like district 9 as art.

also "art" is very subjective. many people consider portal to be art where as i consider it to be a really good game. and i think Bioshock is art but others done
so this idea that its no longer art at all is very naive. and when did we go from "SOME games Can be art" to "ALL games MUST be art. and if ONE isnt we've set the medium back ten years!"?

Moviebob stick to movies, you know nothing about games, mass effect franchise and what made first 2 games great.

spartandude:
"a medium can produce ART or it can produce PRODUCT"

so a medium cant produce one thing that is art and another thing that is a product?
so assuming movie bob thinks movies are art i highly doubt hes still gonna count transformers as art but may count something like district 9 as art.

also "art" is very subjective. many people consider portal to be art where as i consider it to be a really good game. and i think Bioshock is art but others done
so this idea that its no longer art at all is very naive. and when did we go from "SOME games Can be art" to "ALL games MUST be art. and if ONE isnt we've set the medium back ten years!"?

I think you've understod some of it. SO if we take a game that had pretentions of being something more, like Mass Effect, and take away those pretentions (by changing the ending if you follow me) then it is stripped of anything of meaning and is reduced to a comercial product. On the other hand, look at something like Team Fortress 2, which has no pretentions whatsoever. Nobody enies that TF2 is nothing more than a product. It's a good, high quality product, but that's it. So if you start adding hat economy or take away anything or whatever it can't be stripped of the artistic integrity it doesn't boast of.

Mass Effect most definitely did have artistic integrity. If they changed the ending to appease fans (read: maintain customers), they have forfeited that integrity and it's an even greater tragedy because Mass Effect is one of the biggest projects in existence so the impact it can create is huge.

Arina Love:
Moviebob stick to movies, you know nothing about games, mass effect franchise and what made first 2 games great.

You obviously don't watch the Game Overthinker.

I expected more from Bob. He lost me as a fan. No interest in any of his future submissions to this site.

Revolutionaryloser:

Arina Love:
Moviebob stick to movies, you know nothing about games, mass effect franchise and what made first 2 games great.

You obviously don't watch the Game Overthinker.

i do, my statement stands. He almost never know what he is talking about.

Arina Love:

Revolutionaryloser:

Arina Love:
Moviebob stick to movies, you know nothing about games, mass effect franchise and what made first 2 games great.

You obviously don't watch the Game Overthinker.

i do, my statement stands. He almost never know what he is talking about.

That's a pretty big statement.

I don't think this invalidates video games as an artistic medium for one very important reason. Their video games. Interactive media. The only form of storytelling in which the audience is litteraly involved. This makes it unique in many ways but what it means here is that players are more invested in their games than consumers of other media types.

The fact is that a player is an integral part of the experience, they must participate to drive it forward. Even though a game is crafted before a player can access it, they still have an effect on their own experience and are a part of the creative process. What is happening here is an (extreme) extension of that.

To be clear, I don't really have an opinion one way or another on whether the ending is bad or if it should be changed as I haven't played it.

Why was it so bad that SEGA left the console market? They fucked up big time with the dreamcast.

It's not that I think that the ending was partcularly great.

I just think that thousands of people spending days whining over it on forums is an incredible waste of human productivity and time.

Think about it.

Revolutionaryloser:

Arina Love:

Revolutionaryloser:

You obviously don't watch the Game Overthinker.

i do, my statement stands. He almost never know what he is talking about.

That's a pretty big statement.

And it's pretty accurate, probably the best thing to come out of that show is the people getting pissed off enough to pull out far more interesting arguments against him pointing out how most of his points (if not all) are wrong. The one episode I remember being really big for this was when he went off praising metroid other m.

I basically agree with bob on most his video game opinions and points.

Not this one, not at all. He doesn't really address the problem and seems to come to the defense of bio-ware simply because they are a 'game developer'. The sad thing is I know if this hit bob close to home he would have raged with everyone else on the planet. He just doesn't know enough about current games or Mass Effect to jump into this argument, the very fact that he said, "

How many more times do I need to explain that this has NOTHING to do with whether or not you "liked" the ending?

" shows that. Sorry bob, Mass Effect is all about cause and effect (hence the name MASS EFFECT). Let me put this in a way you can understand Bob: Having your choices mean nothing in Mass Effect 3 would have been like you getting to finally play Mario 3, only to find everything that made Mario games appealing was gone, and all that was advertised in commercials and the 'Wizard' movie was absent. The entire point and appeal of Mass Effect was cause and effect, and they took that away. People don't hate the ending because it's bad, they hate it because it is the only ending there is. People buy Mass Effect games to see the story unfold in different ways, and to connect the games together and see how their choices in one might effect the conclusion of another. I agree games are more then just a product, but when you reveal to your audience at the end 'you couldn't give two shits of effort now that you have their money', the fans can't help but start to treat this as a product. This is how people normally act when they feel they have been scammed.
image

Considering this has riled up gamers more then anything the industry has ever done in the history of gaming, perhaps you should have done a bit more homework before making and stating an opinion?

That's just MovieBob, isn't it? Y'know, that 'anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot' kind of attitude?

I wonder if he has experianced the ending.

100% agree.

Just because 99% of a fanbase wants something changed doesn't mean the 99% is right.
Sometimes, the majority are wrong.

Findlebob:
I wonder if he has experianced the ending.

As this is Bob we are talking about (the guy who sucks Nintendo cock every moment he get the chance to) I say no.

Jabberwock xeno:
100% agree.

Just because 99% of a fanbase wants something changed doesn't mean the 99% is right.
Sometimes, the majority are wrong.

I've yet to see a compelling argument saying why they're wrong.

All I've seen from those defending the ending (and Mass Effect 3 on the whole) is childish name calling, ad hominem and claims that Mass Effect 3 is art and thus should not be changed on that basis.
Often these are the same people who were defending Bioware acting in business interest by cutting out large chunks of content to sell as DLC.

No one has been able to come back with any kind of argument in the face of the fact that direct quotes from Bioware promising one thing are in stark contrast with the actual content on the game provided.

It feels like the gaming media is just closing ranks and defending this in the face of evidence that suggests that it is something not worth defending.

I don't know whether gaming journalism is just out of touch with gamers these days,
whether they're acting in their own business interests by not biting the hand that feeds them,
Or whether they just have friends within Bioware and are protecting their friend's interests.

I've only seen a balanced view from Forbes who have looked at both sides and have yet to resort to name calling (there have been plenty of balanced independent sources however).
They've respected the views and position of both the Fans and EA/Bioware.
As consumers/fans and as artists/businessmen.

VoidWanderer:
... While forcing myself to read this opinion, I am curious as to how little you know about MovieBob.

I know enough to be sure that both he and his fans are clueless and immature.

But hey, what do I know right? I'm to busy invalidating games as an artform, I guess. We all know the guys who are pulling the industry in that direction are the journalists who make a habit of being insufferable children who insult their audience.

KAPTAINmORGANnWo4life:
Fantastic. Just Fan-fucking-tastic. And Fallout 3 loses the great mood, setting, and the dozens and dozens of great narratives in it because Bethesda's publisher didn't jerk them around and they were able to respond to fans' feedback on the game.

Fallout 3? Great Narratives? Your argument is invalid.

Revolutionaryloser:
I like how people use really shitty examples to prove their points. The Broken Steel DLC was released not because the ending sucked, but because of a technical fault in the game that made it impossible to play the game.

Let's not waste any time here. You're wrong. A simultaneous patch fixed problems in the game, but the point of the DLC was to change the ending options for the player and continue the game.

In an interview Todd Howard actually admitted that despite the temptation to react defensively, they had to acknowledge their mistakes and fix them.

Revolutionaryloser:
Mass Effect most definitely did have artistic integrity. If they changed the ending to appease fans (read: maintain customers), they have forfeited that integrity and it's an even greater tragedy because Mass Effect is one of the biggest projects in existence so the impact it can create is huge.

Ignoring the fact that this is a commercial product developed with a significant amount of consideration for market appeal (if this point hasn't sunk in by now, I doubt it ever will), the only impact Mass Effect 3 will leave is one of being the franchise entry that dropped the ball. It'll be the equivalent of the Matrix sequels or the Star Wars prequels. Of course, we all know how much they're respected as artistic endeavours.

The biggest thing that blows my mind in all this is people are basically saying that the horrible ending that violates all the promises Bioware made to its customers should not be amended because doing so would violate some definition of art that no one can agree on, and which doesn't actually achieve anything important if met.

Revolutionaryloser:
That almost made me give up hope for humanity.

I missed this the first time through. Now I regret dignifying your posts with responses.

So something that marketed to millions can't be considered a product if it's "art"? You know, I like Mass Effect, but they whole "it's art" thing is starting to sound like a pretty weak excuse to cover up messups. If I'm writing a story about a bronze age war, I can't have aliens come in at the end and say "it's art" People need to admit when they screwed up. it holds all the same weight as "it's magic, we don't have to explain it."

War Penguin:
But gamers are also gonna look bad for raging, incoherently yelling, and, hell, even accusing of reviewers of being bribed. That... that's just too far, guys. That's not okay.

Uh...

I don't know how to tell you this, but...

Look. It's not a question of "bribes", necessarily. I don't think developers are sauntering up with thick envelopes full of cash. But if you can't see the incestuous nature that exists between game developers/publishers and game critics, then you're not looking hard enough. Game magazines, gaming review sites...they exist almost ENTIRELY off the revenue gained from advertising, that comes almost ENTIRELY from game developers and publishers. That is not a healthy relationship. Did you read about the Kane and Lynch debacle over at GameSpot? That's the kind of thing that happens. Only 95% of the time, the guy doesn't write an unflattering review of an advertising product and get fired. 95% of the time, the guy writes a puff review of an advertising product, which is why virtually every single AAA game released lives in the 8-10 range of review scores, and why you're seeing more "perfect" scores than ever before. It's like being asked to write a performance review for your boss, and if he doesn't like it, there's an unspoken threat that he might yank your paycheck. Think about that situation, and tell me you don't think there's a problem with the state of games journalism. Tell me you don't raise an eyebrow when gaming sites IGN and GameSpot go on the attack for Bioware, calling their audience "entitled crybabies", while non-gaming related site Forbes strangely takes up an entirely different position.

I'm amazed by the argument that 'art' and 'product' are two seperate things. In reality art and product can be the same thing. Art is expression, and a product is when that expression is sold to the public.
If Mass Effect had been made as a game solely for the developers to play then yes, it would be entirely artistic and they could do with it what they wanted, but they allowed it to be mass produced and mass marketted and turned it into a multi million dollar franchise.
So, now it is a product.

The argument that an author's artistic integrity still holds up after that is silly, yes they have the 'right' to decide however they want to end the story on their own intellectual property but so do fans have the right to respond negatively towards it, especially when it goes against what the developers directly promised to them.
Because that's the distinction, Bioware may have an artistic vision but it was one that was supposed to go to the audience. They are the ones who played the game and bought the merchendise and payed for the DLC's.
When an artist creates, especially when an artist sells what they create, the product of their creation belongs to society first and them second. Millions of dedicated fans therefore can be considered the true 'owners' of a product, which is why dropping the ball like this is just bad.
When the game is made for the sake of the fans and the fans don't like it, you alter it. Just like an artist would if they were commissioned to make something for someone and it didn't live up to expectations.

I want to remind Mr. Chipman that ever since as far back as 2007 Bioware have told me that this is 'my story', that Shepard is 'my Shepard' and 'my choices' will impact 'my story'. 'My Shepard' was a paragon soldier who romanced (and stayed faithful to) Ashley, he was very respecting to other alien races and he was determined to see the Reapers defeated for the sake of the galaxy.
That's why him getting an ending that undermines ALL of that (Ashley and him unavoidably seperated, the various alien races stranded apart from each other, having to destroy the relays no matter what and going against the very nature of the game itself) leaves me, the consumer, riled up.
Because I was essentially lied to. This is why it's different to things like Lost's ending or the crappy ending to Halo 2 or anything like that, because in this story we were lead to believe that this is 'our story'.

I can't say I'm as deeply involved in this as others are, I haven't signed petitions to change the ending or anything like that, but I can see the very valid reason as to why the ending pisses people off so much. It's not just that there isn't a happy ending (incidently why the hell CAN'T there be a fucking happy ending?) but that there isn't really an ending at all.
We get no idea of the ultimate fates of any of the characters, not even something like this:


Given that we spent three years falling in love with this cast (I went through hell and back in my metaphorical journey to get Ash back for instance) and how deeply invested we are in their fates, I find that shameful that we get nothing to resolve that.
Just a confusing epilogue featuring two people from the distant future that I do not know about (by the way does anyone else think it's creepy that the old man told this story to his grandson, sex scenes and all? I bet that's why they always cut to black. Kid: "So what happened after Shepard and Ashley kissed in his Quarters?" Old man: "... Then they had tea and played chess.") and a prompt to buy more DLC.
That's not a deserving ending of a franchise worth this much that people have poured enough time and love into.

On the other hand, some of the ways people are doing this is hitting below the belt. Being very obnoxious and rude to Bioware devs and harrassing them on twitter, it must be said Casey Hudson is doing very well staying stoic and calm despite all of this.
So I'm not really resigned to either side (especially given I haven't played Mass Effect 3 yet and it will likely be a long time before I do because my copy of the game and Xbox got stolen today.) and I'm prepared to let it pan out and see how it goes.
I'm honestly more interested in the Mass Effect 3 play arts kai figures of Shepard, Ashley and Garrus which are in prototype stage and are now being publicly displayed on Mass Effect's facebook page.
So I'm neutral, I hate the ending but I'm not out for Bioware's blood either.

That said, Mr. Chipman I want to address something:
I like you when you talk about political issues (it's great to have another left winger on this conservative web) and movies and comics but games aren't your hot spot and this shows. As others have said, plenty of games, movies and books have been rewritten to appeal to the audience and it hasn't caused the intellectual property armaggedon that you seem to think will happen.

Also it must be said, because it can never be said enough, METROID OTHER M IS POSSIBLY THE MOST SEXIST GAME EVER MADE. Samus has emotions, okay fair enough, but she spends the entire time worshipping and seeking approval from a man who shows her almost no affection in return and going on and on about 'the baby'. 'Other M' is just code for 'Mother' and the game is obsessed with motherhood as a theme and loves to make Samus look weak and pathetic at every turn.
Samus might have been a blank slate before this but she had her moments of character and they were better then this piddle. Somehow I think if a Halo game had been made where you were a female spartan, not allowed to use any gear or weapons unless Masterchief authorized you to, blundering into dangerous environments without protective clothing as a result, breaking down psychologically at the sight of an enemy you've killed hundreds of times before and needing rescue and spending all the tim talking about babies and how great Masterchief is... you would be railing against it utterly.

Speaking of Halo.... I'm not going to cover all of this but something recently has given me some thought:
You say Halo: Reach was just 'adding a jetpack and calling it a sequel' (there are a lot more features added to Reach in that FYI), but then you justify a whole Mario game that's just another Mario game but with the tanooki suit.
Isn't the tanookie suit basically just a jetpack by another name? And wasn't the tanookie suit where all the marketting of the game came from?

That's what I've learned from Moviebob, totally biased fanboyism to anything that's Nintendo. Hatred of anything Halo and mixed levels of understanding on everything else.

EDIT: Also have they actually *confirmed* that they are changing the ending? I thought it was all speculation.

A decade, guys, a DECADE!!!!

Sentox6:

Falcon123:
1. Bioware just forfeited their authorship to the fans to avoid controversy, thus forfeiting their claim to be artists to a large degree.

So, seriously speaking, we can no longer call Bethesda artists?

For what it's worth I read your article, and I just cannot agree with this assertion in any way, shape, or form:

Art is produced by the artist, by his or her creative vision alone.

I will borrow another post from earlier in the thread, because it already provides the obvious contradiction:

Gethsemani:
Also, many of our old art treasures (like, you know, Mona Lisa, most of what Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner etc. wrote, almost all of Raphael's and Michelangelo's sculptures and paintings and so on into infinity) were commission jobs. That means someone paid the artist to make the final product just like the commissioner wanted. If the buyer wasn't happy with how Mona Lisa smiled or how Eine Kleine Nachtmusik sounded, then Da Vinci and Mozart had to go back and change it up. If the church wasn't happy with the ceiling decoration in the sistine chapel, Michelangelo had to go back up there and make adjustments.

This notion that "true art is never changed because of criticism" and the idea that "true art is an uninterrupted personal process" are both fairly recent inventions and most of what we consider classical art would not fall within either category. Artists throughout the ages have been very pragmatical and have altered their masterpieces to fit their client, because even they had to eat.

So really, the eventual alteration of ME3's ending is not the killing blow to the concept of games as art.

Bethesda's case is different, and they didn't change the ending due to fan complaints but because they wanted to open up DLC opportunities (far more valid, imo), but I encountered your other point in the comments section before, so it's clear I didn't explain my point well.

This was my response to him: "I understand that artists have to pay the bills. But like I said, this is Bioware; they don't need to resort to something like this to accomplish that. The game was already destined to be one of the top selling games of all time. This had nothing to do with "paying the bills". If they WERE aware of what they were doing, and they had this plan in mind from the beginning, then they're not trying to pay the bills. They're trying to maximize profit. They're trying to wring every cent out of the consumer because they can.

I'm all for paying artists for great work. I was planning on buying ME3 soon so that Bioware could have my money, even with the poor ending and despite the fact that I wouldn't be able to play it for a while. This is different; they purposefully didn't finish the product (assuming the indoctrination theory is true; the other theory is still equally viable) and are getting away with that. You couldn't do that in literature. You couldn't do that in theatre. No one can do that in any true form of art, because that's not what art is about.

Trying to make sure your bills get paid is done by offering negligible DLC for other games that promote people buying other products (like the Blood Dragon Armor from Dragon Age Origins that unlocked a similar item in ME2). This is holding your own fan base for ransom, and it sets a dangerous precedent if (and likely when, considering how faithful the fan base continues to be despite all of this) this occurs."

Does that better explain what I was trying to say? I'm aware artists need to and deserve to get paid, but Bioware's not at risk here of that, and this game was not done by commission and has already sold more than well enough. To change the ending to meet player demands now would not be to meet some commission deadline; it would be to get every cent they can from the game. That doesn't sound like art to me

Everyone seems to forget that artists change their mind aswell. Hell even the Mona Lisa has about 3 completely different variations underneath the final painting. So the art analogy also falls flat :/ I prefer games to be entertainment rather than art. Also if the rumours about Casey Hudson doing the ending himself and flipping off the writers and artists are true, then I hope he fucks right off.

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