Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy: The Game Front Primer
BioWare has finally announced the launch date of the Extended Cut DLC for Mass Effect 3, something for which fans of the series and detractors of the ending have been waiting for months. Coming June 26, BioWare has repeatedly said that the free DLC will not include new endings, however, just extensions of the three extremely similar existing ones.
Here at Game Front, we’ve devoted quite a lot of coverage to the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, the fan responses and actions, BioWare’s treatment of the issue and the treatment of the discussion by the games industry and journalistic spheres at large. We’ve compiled everything we’ve written and researched into one place: right here. Catch yourself up on the ending controversy in preparation for the new content’s release. And stay tuned on June 26, when we’ll have much more Mass Effect 3 coverage from all angles.
On March 6, Mass Effect 3 was released to a whole lot of glowing reviews — including ours. About a week later, when fans finally started finishing the game, it became apparent that many were dissatisfied with the ending. BioWare developers had mentioned in the past that the endings would be varied and take into account all the player’s decisions up to that point. Many felt that wasn’t what was delivered.
We agreed. Much of the Internet and gaming press did not. There was a great deal of talk about “entitlement.”
We also analyzed whether Mass Effect 3 really deserved some incredibly high review scores.
Almost immediately, a group of players turns their online protest into a fundraiser for Child’s Play, raising more than $10,000 in hours.
After more than a week, Mass Effect 3 Director Casey Hudson finally comments on the ending controversy.
Jim Sterling explains that there are no devious back-room deals when it comes to reviews.
Rumors of new endings start to circulate.
The developer claims it is “listening to all feedback,” but commits to nothing.
We pick apart a theory about the Mass Effect 3 ending that floating around the Internet and BioWare forums.
Hudson says fans need “closure.”
While reaffirming that it’s listening to feedback, BioWare is again noncommittal.
A fan reportedly files an FTC complaint regarding the game’s ending and its misrepresentation before Mass Effect 3′s release, triggering another wave of discussion in the “entitlement” debate.
Some in-depth fan analysis.
BioWare’s first hints that ending DLC is on the horizon.
BioWare’s Ray Muzyka talks about BioWare’s perspective on the controversy, but is still a bit cagey on the whole issue.
BioShock creator Ken Levine sees the ending controversy as being about artistic integrity.
A deleted forum post suggests the ending was not something all the Mass Effect 3 writers agreed upon.
As the Child’s Play fundraiser grows, we talk to the organizers and members of the community behind it.
Only a day later, negative feedback to the fundraiser and other issues cause Child’s Play to ask for it to be ended.
A new charity, related to Mass Effect but unrelated to the ending controversy, springs up in the Child’s Play fundraiser’s wake.
We tackle the discussion of Mass Effect 3′s artistic integrity.
This is kind of fun.
We analyze what BioWare needs to do to fix the game with its DLC release.
BioWare finally makes its official announcement and gives some details, emphasizing that no changes will be made to the endings.
Aliens: Colonial Marines writer Mikey Newman chimes in.
Electronic Arts is voted the worst company in America, and Mass Effect 3 is part of the discussion.
We reach out to the fan community for their reactions to BioWare’s DLC announcement and the state of the Mass Effect community.
BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 panel at PAX East 2012 actively avoids discussion of the ending, leaving many fans angry.
A fan poll discusses whether BioWare’s explanation is satisfying.
We discuss how game stories on the whole could have benefited from BioWare reworking Mass Effect’s ending.
Despite a claim from Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins, Child’s Play confirms there was not a run on refunds from the Retake Mass Effect fundraiser.
The Retake Mass Effect community continues to organize protests.
Details start to emerge about the Extended Edition DLC.
More rumors about the DLC appear.
In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority rules that EA didn’t falsely advertise in relationship to ME3, despite fans’ assertions that it did. The discussion circulates the Internet, reigniting the discussion about the controversy.
We analyze the ruling and the discussion appearing on the Internet and on video games websites.
There was also some controversy regarding Mass Effect 3′s Day One DLC pack, “From The Ashes.”
Our review of the PC version of the game.
The Game Front video team takes on the ending controversy.
An awesome fan-made Mass Effect 3 song you should definitely listen to.