Casey Hudson Makes Official Statement On Mass Effect 3 Ending

After more than a week of increasingly vociferous complaints about the ending of Mass Effect 3, Casey Hudson has now eschewed vague references and has finally issued what appears to be BioWare’s first real, actual official statement on the controversy. The remarks were posted earlier this evening to BioWare’s social forums. Those hoping for a new ending may not find the answer they’re looking for. It is clear, for now at least, that BioWare is standing behind the end, and they continue to reiterate that they’re perfectly satisfied with the critical response. However, what is also clear is that they’re genuinely shocked by the outpouring of disappointment with the ending, and have finally decided that they need to comment, if only because of the company’s longstanding relationship with the fans.

They still haven’t admitted that negative feedback outweighs positive by a factor of nearly 2 to 1 (see for yourself; also note how awesome their twitter handler is), but it’s worth noting Hudson’s statement is an open ended invitation for further feedback. “Your feedback has always mattered,” he says. “Mass Effect is a collaboration between developers and players, and we continue to listen.” He also hints at more to come for commander Shepard. This isn’t a definitive yes or no, mind you. There’s plenty of wiggle here, and it’s probably that they’re hoping this will go away. But it’s something people who hate the ending might find hope in. Obviously, while we recognize and respect BioWare’s ultimate right to do with their (mostly) excellent game as they see fit, we think the end needs work. Perhaps fan commentary will result in some calibrations.

Anyway, we won’t belabor the point further. Here is the statement in full:

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate about the conclusion of Mass Effect 3, so I thought I’d share my perspective with you here. I’ll avoid outright spoilers, but I’d still recommend finishing the game and experiencing it for yourself before reading this.

For the last eight years, Mass Effect has been a labor of love for our team; love for the characters we’ve created, for the medium of video games, and for the fans that have supported us. For us and for you, Mass Effect 3 had to live up to a lot of expectations, not only for a great gaming experience, but for a resolution to the countless storylines and decisions you’ve made as a player since the journey began in 2007. So we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a series of endings to key plots and storylines, each culminating in scenes that show you the consequences of your actions. You then carry the knowledge of these consequences with you as you complete the final moments of your journey.

We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending—to do otherwise would betray the agonizing decisions Shepard had to make along the way. Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending; in a story where you face a hopeless struggle for basic survival, we see the final moments and imagery as offering victory and hope in the context of sacrifice and reflection.

We’ve had some incredibly positive reactions to Mass Effect 3, from the New York Times declaring it “a gripping, coherent triumph”, to Penny Arcade calling it “an amazing accomplishment”, to emails and tweets from players who have given us the most profound words of appreciation we’ve ever received.

But we also recognize that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories—and these comments are equally valid. Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series.

I am extremely proud of what this team has accomplished, from the first art concepts for the Mass Effect universe to the final moments of Mass Effect 3. But we didn’t do it on our own. Over the course of the series, Mass Effect has been a shared experience between the development team and our fans—not just a shared experience in playing the games, but in designing and developing them. An outpouring of love for Garrus and Tali led to their inclusion as love interests in Mass Effect 2. A request for deeper RPG systems led to key design changes in Mass Effect 3. Your feedback has always mattered. Mass Effect is a collaboration between developers and players, and we continue to listen.

So where do we go from here? Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content. And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard.

We look forward to your continued support and involvement as we work together to shape the remaining experiences in the story of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Thanks for taking this journey with us.

Casey Hudson

The original post can be viewed here.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

31 Comments on Casey Hudson Makes Official Statement On Mass Effect 3 Ending

Matt

On March 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm

My 2 cents (and I’m sure they’re worth far less than that)?

The “Indoctrination Theory” is absolutely correct, plus or minus a few details. But that doesn’t change the fact that the ending they gave us is the ending we’ll get. We as the consumers don’t deserve any more or less, but we have every right to feel disappointed.

Here’s hoping they learn from this and outdo themselves next time. 99% perfection over three games is nothing to be ashamed of.

Disappointed J

On March 17, 2012 at 12:46 am

“Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending”

Really? Well, you dropped the ball big time. What’s inspiring or uplifting about either becoming a reaper, forcing everyone in the galaxy to become psuedo-reapers, or killing an entire race of people you worked damn hard to help become people?

Or are we supposed to be inspired by the hundreds of thousands of Turians and Quarians who will now starve in the Sol system? Or the fact that all the aliens now trapped in the Sol system are better armed than and possibly pissed at the stupid apes that blew up the Mass Relays? Or the thousands of colonies now cut off from the support of more civilized worlds? Or the more civilized worlds that bank on colonial resources?

Or is the fact that one of the bravest characters suddenly became a coward with a magic teleporter on the ship as he ran from battle, only to crash-land God knows where?

Maybe there’s something inspiring and uplifting there, but between the plot holes, shoddy execution and scripting, and the really terrible implications, I just don’t see it. And that doesn’t even begin to consider the choices and how nothing we did actually mattered. I had a paper on ME1 and ME2 accepted to two different conferences praising what you did in regards of choice and interactive narrative. I’m glad finances kept me from going, because I’d be damned ashamed to present that paper now.

It’s 95% of an amazing game, and 5% of nonsense. Unfortunate. The nonsense was right where it mattered most.

Andreas

On March 17, 2012 at 2:03 am

What should he say? That the massice critism was so overwhelming, that also EA and BioWare couldnt put that aside?

I think, ME3 doesnt need and “bright ending”. But what we have at this moment, isnt even an ending. Its nothing but three mostly identical cgi-videos. And all three left the players with more questions … thats no good storytelling. Thats rushing, to pass the shipping date of the game. Thats the true.

Raul

On March 17, 2012 at 3:19 am

http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/10084349/1
Analysis of this and previous BW statements from an ex-corporate PR damage control guy. Rather enlightening.

Underlaw

On March 17, 2012 at 3:20 am

“by: Disappointed J
On March 17, 2012 at 12:46 am
“Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending”

Really? Well, you dropped the ball big time. What’s inspiring or uplifting about either becoming a reaper, forcing everyone in the galaxy to become psuedo-reapers, or killing an entire race of people you worked damn hard to help become people?

Or are we supposed to be inspired by the hundreds of thousands of Turians and Quarians who will now starve in the Sol system? Or the fact that all the aliens now trapped in the Sol system are better armed than and possibly pissed at the stupid apes that blew up the Mass Relays? Or the thousands of colonies now cut off from the support of more civilized worlds? Or the more civilized worlds that bank on colonial resources?

Or is the fact that one of the bravest characters suddenly became a coward with a magic teleporter on the ship as he ran from battle, only to crash-land God knows where?

Maybe there’s something inspiring and uplifting there, but between the plot holes, shoddy execution and scripting, and the really terrible implications, I just don’t see it. And that doesn’t even begin to consider the choices and how nothing we did actually mattered. I had a paper on ME1 and ME2 accepted to two different conferences praising what you did in regards of choice and interactive narrative. I’m glad finances kept me from going, because I’d be damned ashamed to present that paper now.

It’s 95% of an amazing game, and 5% of nonsense. Unfortunate. The nonsense was right where it mattered most.”

AGREE 140% with u bro! No one with brain will like this ending.

AethyrGuard

On March 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

He could’ve at least had decency to acknowledge bloody monumental negative feedback, instead he pointedly brushed it and redirected to a bunch of bollocks about “fans&critics” singing praises. Chirping about collaboration between them and the players in every interview is what, supposed to warm us over, brainwash me into thinking they are giving us, lowly humans, a Privilege of making contacts with Gods Walking Among Mere Mortals, thus relinquishing us from our right to judge them?
And another thing, all this talk about authors having more love for their work than any fan could have, what a bunch of nonsence! There was love for good story in ME1 but it was replaced by love for money in ME2, if they really “loved” their work so much they would not have, actually they would have refused, to write such a rushed, plothole-ridden closure for what was supposed to be the most heroic sacrifice of any fictionate character ever, more meaningful than even that of Legion and Mordin.
Hope they manage to redeem themselves in future DLC, unless they do it with love and respect the story deserves, they are in for a rude awakening.

Tyr

On March 17, 2012 at 3:26 am

“What should he say? That the massice critism was so overwhelming, that also EA and BioWare couldnt put that aside?”

…Yes? I expect a bit of spin, but…yes.

AethyrGuard

On March 17, 2012 at 3:37 am

@Raul

Thank you for the link you’ve posted, very enlightening.

JMJ

On March 17, 2012 at 4:54 am

There is just one thing that bugs the HELL out of me:
In my playthrough I choose for the geht to become selfaware AI’s, so when the brat said synthetics and organics can’t coexcist, I was just waiting to tell him “Screw you, I’ve proven that to be wrong”, but no. I honestly thought that this choice would maybe give a shot at a happy end.

And do they honestly think, releasing some singleplayer DLC, which probably takes place BEFORE the ending, will be bought by anyone? Why would I want to play a game again, knowing already I’ll die (or wake in rubble after surviving yet another fall from space) and my crew is stranded?!

Commander Shepard

On March 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

The real reapers are Bioware and EA, and we are the races who unite to take back the ending. Don’t let them indoctinate you.

They will try to divide us, but we should stay strong!

dont listen to their starchild he is only taking this form to confuse us and break our wills!

lmfao

On March 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

@AethryGuard

Monumental? No, the volume and ratio is no different then that of Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite.

A million units sold on night one for ME3, 10 – 20k people not satisfied with the ending isn’t even a drop in the bucket.

Play Halo Reach if you want the ending you want.

Mineda

On March 17, 2012 at 7:27 am

“So we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a series of endings to key plots and storylines, each culminating in scenes that show you the consequences of your actions.”
I must have played a clone because I didn’t see any of my actions affecting the ending. o__O

Commander Shepard

On March 17, 2012 at 7:31 am

Don’t let the Reapers lul you into a false sense that you are secure.

They are only pealing to you by saying things that mean nothing. They promise nothing, give nothing and they do not explain anything.

SXO

On March 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

“Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending”
Ummmm……. Did he play the same game as everyone else? And as for all your decisions culminating in the end, none of that stuff matters when the real endings come into play.

kh2

On March 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

We know the EA and Bioware team have done much effort ( and we appreciate that ) but all these years effort and hard work has to have a result! But this ending as you can see almost wasted all these hard work! ( but still it is Appreciable )

mohsen

On March 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

in one of the missions when i have destroyed the reaper he already told the sheperd about a new cycle of life and renewation of life in entire galaxy and thats already happened at the end of the game even sheperd resisted but at last he/she will finish the reapers goal enyway there will be no sheperd no normandy but a legend of her/him to be told by grand paa thats what ive saw at the end of the game

Nulltron

On March 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

As long as New York Times has his back, he feels good. That does not bode well for the Mass Effect game, as it was known to those who actually played it and to some degree and in some sense made it their own. The game now belongs to exactly that: New York Times, and not to the people who pay for it. After the ending, what has remained now of the game is the shooting scenes. Nothing else. New York Times can have that too. I am not going to touch Mass Effect ever again, no matter how nice Bioware plays it this time. My computer is already clean from MEs. All the saved games gone as well.

mgs16925

On March 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

I think some vital exposition got cut from the game at some point. Seriously, look at how well they predicted and directed player emotional responses in the rest of the game, but the very end was meant to be UPLIFTING? There is something we are supposed to know that we weren’t actually told. Seriously, look at his phrasing. He isn’t defending having a dark ending; he has no idea why we think it IS a dark ending. The logical conclusion that everyone is trapped on earth and dies was probably not intended at all.

Brett

On March 17, 2012 at 11:54 am

Well i agree with the bittersweet thing, but not with the entire ending no, the indoctrination theory would maybe make sense and i would truly applaud bioware if this theory was correct BUT with closure and a real ending. The game was fantastic it truly was the best game of the series (my opinion) every moment was honestly brilliant and at times tugged at my heart. I do not think the ending sucked i think it was incomplete, we need closure and an explanation to that whole normandy crash thing. If we keep the pressure on bioware i think we will get the real finished ending but we need to have positive feedback because bioware did make an amazing game.

Mike

On March 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm

@Brett I totally agree

The ending does feel rushed and incomplete, no matter how you look at it. One can say it’s an ‘open’ ending… but in truth it leaves much more questions than an open ending should.

Nothing is certain, nothing is finished, nothing is complete. To me it totally feels like the story stopped at the moment Shep got hit by the beam. And then… like they suddenly forget what happened after and make the rest up as they go.

Such endings almost look like they came from a linear shooter with a minor choice in the end. (Strongly reminded of ‘Singularity’ here, and even there the endings made tons of sense and were actually more coherent, enjoyable and did a much better job overall)

Still the game is pretty much awesome, and, excluding the ending, is just about the best piece of storytelling that I’ve seen so far. (though I suppose I could have missed out on some legendary RPG titles ;D)

Mike

On March 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

And regarding the current endings, well, I’m hoping against hope that something will be done about them. Maybe a bit of explanation, maybe a complete rework, or possibly some minor touches to adress the biggest plot holes… anything will do, I suppose. Anything other that what we have will probably do the story and the game some ‘better justice’.

And Bioware does little to fuel this hope, except from some cryptic and/or ambiguous replies/statements.

PS. Sorry for all the rambling and the double post. And sorry if my english appears far from perfect =)

Tali (@Locolobo_2)

On March 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm

What I just noticed while playing ME3 is the fact that BioWare even brought up the destruction/explosion of Mass Relays could destroy planets, etc… in the codex… How does that make sense that they put that in the same game that involves an ending where all the Mass Relays are destroyed?

Chijs

On March 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

What needs to happen is Bioware needs to make a CLEAR statement. Either sorry we screwed up we’ll fix or thats the end deal with it. None of this let us know what you think and we might think about.

Grow a Quad BioWare

kh2

On March 18, 2012 at 2:29 am

Gameplay and graphic was perfect! I don’t why they finished it like that!? pooof…

Metrios

On March 18, 2012 at 5:18 am

Once upon a time ….Space+Deus Ex+zong curtains+Dlc+something good might come of it+holllyday 2011+stop development for old republic+money from the development funds to create hype+more Dlc+more money+plus no future+buy buy an if you care for a closure buy.
It’s easy to be Project Director in BioWare.

Nelson

On March 18, 2012 at 6:01 am

I was here. Whoooot!!!!

Jared

On March 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

1) Incomplete ending.

2) Day one dlc.

3) Ending message urging players to buy dlc.

4) The inclusion of Jessica Chobot over a real actress.

- What shocks me more than anything is that the people at Bioware thought these were good ideas, and would in no way insult their fan base.

Lia

On March 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

I’ve been a die-hard BioWare fan since KotOR came out. I’ve done the fandom thing, I’ve done the ‘buy everything’ thing, I’ve even done the ‘try and defend DA2′ thing and the ‘first day DLC is not a big deal’ thing. I hate MMO’s, and I still went and got SWTOR when it came out.

In fifteen minutes, BioWare managed to take years and years of love, and utterly destroy it. For a while I desperately wanted them to fix the ending of Mass Effect 3 so that I could go back to being a fan, rather than a disgruntled consumer. But right now, they’re just avoiding the question – probably hoping it will blow over and all the good little drones will go back to gobbling up whatever they put out.

But you know what? No. They don’t get to crap on my plate and tell me it’s chocolate. This is always happening in the video game industry, producers are always supposed to be right, and customers who complain are just being ‘entitled’ or ‘spoiled’, like they have no obligation to uphold the promises they make during development or advertisement. Like every game is a gift bestowed by the electronic gods, and players should just be grateful to have something that lets them click buttons to pass the time.

As far as I’m concerned, BioWare and EA have got one last shot to sell me a product; ME3 ending DLC. I’ve got too much emotional investment in the series to turn down the chance to actually finish it. But everything else, I’m done with. I’m sick of making excuses for a company that won’t even hold itself accountable to its own mistakes.

VinCredable

On March 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

The ending of Mass Effect 3 completely ruins the first two game’s replayability. Knowing ‘that!’ is the ending they have to look forward too, no matter what choices you make. I would have been ok with this ending if it was one of several endings.

Hell i might have accepted it if the Normandy had crashed on Earth instead of what i’m calling ‘Planet Gilligan.’
That way if Shepard really did survive then he might have some degree of happiness in the end with his love interest.

VinCredable

On March 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

watch this and Mass Effect 3 will become 25% better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33kX8ChQ6DY&feature=channel

Maywiki

On March 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

Well, they can say goodbye to my money.