This post contains no spoilers.
- Mass Effect 3 comes out to highly positive reviews.
- Many players find the conclusion extremely unsatisfactory.
- Some take it to extremes, creating petitions and filing legal complaints. The backlash is one of the biggest in the history of gaming.
- Dr. Muzyka of BioWare says that the team is checking out feedback and looking to address some issues through DLC.
- Many have jumped to the conclusion that the ending of the game is being changed.
- Everyone is ready to riot (even the folks which dislike the ending).
The whole Mass Effect 3 situation can still go both ways. I understand that things are not looking good, but nothing has happened yet. We need to take a deep breath and calm down. Instead of immediately sharpening your pitchforks, you should read Dr. Muzyka’s entire post. Nothing in his statement says that the ending is being changed. Should we believe him? That’s up to you, but I doubt that the parties involved do not recognize what a catastrophic effect this change would have. Below is what could happen.
Scenario A: Everything Goes Downhill
- BioWare releases new content which changes the ending or makes it irrelevant.
- They expect you to pay for it.
- The artistic integrity of the game and studio is compromised, and the backlash becomes even more significant.
- The business side of it sets an ugly precedent (though some other companies have already tried selling endings) and everyone is seriously screwed over.
- BioWare murders millions of puppies and babies.
- Fanboys and fangirls cry.
Scenario B: Everything is Fine
- BioWare releases DLC which features story tidbits about what happened. Some characters offer their views on the events that took place, there are news reports, etc.
- Dialogue or ambient storytelling is used to offer references and small pieces of information about the conclusion. By default, any information or speculation by the in-game world cannot be hugely significant because fans will riot.
- Alternatively, BioWare directly continues the story through free (unlikely) DLC and, –again– does not negate the ending.
- BioWare does not murder puppies and babies.
- Fanboys and fangirls still cry.
What Does This Mean?
I just did what everyone has been doing in reaction to Dr. Muzyka’s announcement; I speculated. There’s no way to know what will actually happen, but the apocalypse has definitely not arrived yet. I’m not saying we should look at this situation and assume it will turn out great, I’m saying that we can’t jump to conclusions at the present. Assuming the worst is always easy. What’s going to happen to BioWare, Mass Effect 3, and video games? Only time will tell, but the ending and the response to it will always be remembered.
This post is from my bloggity blog as well (shameless plug!). What do you guys think will happen? I don't envy BioWare right now.