I remember when Crytek was a successful PC developer with an excellent reputation for making games that were technical marvels and that also featured impressive emergent gameplay. But that wasn't good enough for them, so they decided to make mediocre generic console games instead. Chalk up another studio that abandoned the PC for "more money" only to not actually make more money.
I wish that people would stop blaming copyright law. Copyright law isn't the problem. Youtube is the problem. They refuse to defend the fair use rights of their content generators and users. It's hard to think of another corporation nowadays that shows more contempt and disregard for the satisfaction of its customers. They are the modern equivalent of a shitty cable company that can treat you any way that they want because they have a monopoly.
The comparisons between Mass Effect and Lost or Sopranos has some big flaws. The biggest being that the endings of those series weren't the product of grand vision by the writers. They were what they came up with after it was evident that the series no longer had the ratings to continue for another season. The writers for a TV series never know how long it's going to last.
Mass Effect, on the other hand, was a planned trilogy from the beginning, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that the ending was written early on (kind of like the Harry Potter series). With Lost, you simply had a series of unresolved mysteries that were purposely strung out, almost certainly without any real vision behind them. Ditto for Flash Forward and, probably, the new series Awake.
2009 full release? That has to be bogus. They took two years to make San Andreas and that was when assets were easier and cheaper to make. Regardless, I hope that they take their time to make it an oustanding game and hire some better writers for the radio DJs and commercials this time around.