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.
The rage over the ending of Mass Effect 3 is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Dissatisfied gamers by the thousands have howled on internet forums, thrown money at Child’s Play [probably the only good thing to come out of all this] and even filed an FTC complaint against BioWare for false advertising. It’s absolutely crazy – but it’s also vehement enough to attract the attention of some pretty highly-placed folks at BioWare, including none other than Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder and now General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label.
“As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created,” Muzyka wrote in a message to Mass Effect 3 players. “So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.”
Muzyka said he “believes passionately” that games are an art form and that he supports the “artistic choices” made by the Mass Effect 3 development team. At the same time, he acknowledges that players have a big stake in how the story unfolds, which puts the studio in the tough position of having to validate that commitment while remaining true to the artistic integrity of the game. “The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes a range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it,” Muzyka wrote. “Even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that genuinely surprised us.”
And even though it probably won’t make anyone happy, Muzyka hinted that BioWare is taking steps to rectify the situation. “This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way,” he wrote. “We’re already working hard to do that.”
“Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey,” he continued. “We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.”
“If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team – we respect your opinion and want to hear it. We’re committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can,” he concluded. “In return, I’d ask that you help us do that by supporting what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted. I urge you to do your own research: play the game, finish it and tell us what you think. 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.”
Muzyka didn’t specify what sort of initiatives BioWare is working on but said that we’ll hear more about it sometime in April. You can read his message in full at the BioWare Blog.