BioWare is taking the gaffe in stride by taking the leak as an opportunity for constructive criticism.
The conclusion to the Mass Effect story is hotly anticipated by gamers. No one outside of the BioWare headquarters in Edmonton knows how the final game's conflict with the Reapers will play out - at least, no one did before the beta code was leaked last Monday. Microsoft unintentionally allowed the download as part of the Xbox dashboard update and quickly pulled it down when the mistake was discovered, but not before details concerning the different game modes made its way online.
Not only that, but a Russian fansite (Bioware.ru) spent time tinkering with the file and discovered significant story information in Mass Effect 3. After initially being crushed about the possibility of spoilers and making sure people realize that the story is still being revised, BioWare cofounder Ray Muzyka said they are open to feedback from the community on how it all turns out and the more exposure is a good thing. Right?
"In the big picture, some more stories are generated around it and more interest in the game," Muzyka said of the leak. "It's hard to say something like that having a positive benefit, but if it gets more people to check out Mass Effect 3 that would be a positive benefit."
Would they make changes based on people's reaction tothe leaked story? "We listen to our fans all of the time," Muzyka said. "We listen to them on the forums, their feedback from stories. We're reading it all. If we can get ideas out of it that will make the game better, sure. We're not averse to taking feedback. That's part of our core values, is humility. Any time we get a good idea from fans ... they're our audience. They keep us in business."
Muzyka said the writing team working on the game were saddened by the leak. "It was disappointing for them, yeah. They're moving on. They're making a great game. The script, frankly, has changed a little bit from what was released, too. It's been edited. They're always tuning it. They're always making it better. But yeah, it's tough when you see your work displayed. You realize only a small number of people are probably going to look at those spoilers in advance."
He urged fans not to read the story that's been leaked because discovering it organically is what makes the game. "What I would suggest to the fans is ... Don't spoil the story," he said. "The fun of the story is uncovering things and exploring and finding new points to adventure in. I hope they don't lose that joy of discovery."