BioWare co-founder promises to address ending concerns

After prolonged silence in the face of fans' sound and fury, BioWare finally speaks up. Mild spoilers for ME3 obviously.

BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka has today made an announcement acknowledging the growing outcry from fans of Mass Effect 3 about the game’s ending.

In a calm, measured statement on BioWare’s website, linked to from the official Mass Effect Facebook page, Dr. Muzyka starts by saying how proud he is of the ME 3 team and declaring his personal belief that Mass Effect 3 is the best work BioWare has created to date. From there he swiftly acknowledges the “painful” reaction from fans disappointed by the game’s lacklustre, incoherent and inconclusive ending that did not live  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.”

Dr. Muzyka also announced BioWare 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,” based on feedback they have received. More information about what this could involve and what form it might take will be revealed in April, though since “game content initiatives” is fancy marketing PR speak for DLC I can hazard a guess. According to Dr. Muzyka the team are striving to find some sort of compromise between addressing the complaints and “maintaining the artistic integrity of the original story.”

For the record I’ve no complaints about the story as a whole. It’s packed with memorable moments, along with emotional peaks and troughs which brought more than one manly tear to this jaded old gamer’s eyes. Any minor plot-holes or inconsistencies throughout the main game are small enough not to notice. The vast majority of the game is not an issue. It just goes completely tits-up in the last five or so minutes, with a rushed, lazy and inconsistent ending that feels like the last five minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey re-dubbed with The Architect’s speech from The Matrix Reloaded stapled over the ending to Star Wars.

Whilst acknowledging fan’s concerns he also makes a point to mention some of the more fuck-headed antics perpetrated by a minority of fans. “Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles…has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive.” I wholeheartedly concur with this statement. Insisting on a satisfactory conclusion to something you’ve invested significant time, money and emotion into is one thing. Death threats, petulant whining,  cynically using a charity as a shield to deflect criticism, and other immature behaviour deserves only mockery and chastisement.

In closing Dr. Ray Muzyka urges fans and other players to play the game and finish it before telling BioWare what they think. “Tell your friends if you feel it’s a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damnedest, as always, to address your feedback.  As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support.” As someone who has played the game to completion, told friends it’s a good game overall (excluding that last nonsensical 5 or so minutes) and feel the overall journey was worth the time and money, I offer this morsel of feedback: give us catharsis. Give us closure. Give us more than a 2 minute info-dump preceding three choices that play out almost exactly the same only with different coloured space magic.

Hell, let us have a “REAPERS WIN! LOL! GG!” ending that also plays if you try to import a dead Shepard from Mass Effect 2. Purely for shits and giggles.

Matt McDermott

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