Mass Effect 3 Ending Outrage Makes BioShock Creator Sad

Speaking at a developer panel during a weekend talk at the Smithsonian in celebrations of the new exhibit, “The Art of Video Games,” Ken Levine expressed his chagrin at the strong, negative reaction Mass Effect fans have expressed over the series’ conclusion.

Ken Levine, founder of Irrational Games, said:

I think if those people got what they wanted and (BioWare) wrote their ending they would be very disappointed in the emotional feeling they got because … they didn’t really create it. I think this whole thing is making me a little bit sad because I don’t think anyone would get what they wanted if that happened.

Well, I commend Levine for expressing an opinion that doesn’t insult, condemn, or mock the fans, and I can certainly understand the point he’s trying to make. That said, let’s just remember that this is the same Ken Levine who admitted that BioShock’s ending was a failure.

via The Verge

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.

23 Comments on Mass Effect 3 Ending Outrage Makes BioShock Creator Sad


On March 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

i get where he’s coming from sooo much it hurts. Mass effect 3′s ending was soo unfulfilled though it’s hard to see an alternate path. I will not and cannot condone this ending for it’s terrible plot holes and lack of real choice and ending diversity, but it’s all just sad now I think because at the very least Bioshock’s ending made sense. Even if this was their vision in truth that very statement is impossible for a game whose core foundation is on player choice.So im sorry to the game developers if that was the way they wanted to end the series (I truly am). However we cannot fall from the war path, the endings MUST be changed if I am ever to do another play through or play another mass effect game again IT MUST BE CHANGED.


On March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Sorry BioWare, maybe it does hurt, but when you want to sell something, it has to cater to the consumer’s wants, not yours. Otherwise no dough for you.


On March 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm


The consumer is satisfied, it’s less than 1% of the actual people who bought the game that are unsatisfied with the ending.


On March 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

@lmfao and you know this 1% stat you throw out is 100% accurate how? Its not like there is an official poll on the issue indicating the number of sales and total dissatisfied customers…


On March 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm

@lmfao Judging from the admittedly anecdotal evidence of the number of ME3 trade ins already being received by my friendly local gaming stores, I would suggest that much more than 1% of the gamer base are unhappy enough with it to not bother with repeated play throughs.

Which given the previous games in the series, must be classed a failure.


On March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

”Sorry BioWare, maybe it does hurt, but when you want to sell something, it has to cater to the consumer’s wants, not yours.”

Great attitude to have, i bet that attitude created some of the best art/movies ever created? No?

Artists should create what they want not what the fans want and if the fans dont like it then the fans can stop being fans there will be plenty more who liked it to take there place.


On March 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

@Warp Going back through history, many of the greatest pieces of art, have been commissioned pieces created exactly to what the customer wanted.


On March 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

@Warp Both David and the Sistine Chapel were commissioned works of art. David by the Medici in 1501 and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by the Catholic Church in 1508. Both are considered some of the greatest works created by the hand of man and both were commissioned; so yea its good to do what you are paid to do and what you promise to do. Bioware did neither with regards to the ending of Mass Effect 3.


On March 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm


That’s the cold hard reality of marketing. If people don’t like, they don’t buy, period.

Tim McFadden

On March 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I think he’s flat out full of . We are asking for different endings, choice, closure and seeing our choices matter. Ie everything BioWare told us we would get.


On March 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm


Alas if that were the way the world worked. Video games are art, yes, as are movies and books. However, when you produce art for public consumption and entertainment for the purpose of making money from it you then have a paying audience who has every right to criticize your work, especially if they feel you promised them something else. Because they want to keep selling their art to those consumers they will usually listen to what the consumer demands.

That being said, I actually am sad Bioware is “tweeking” the ending. Unless the indoc theory was right all along I think they should just stick with the ending they gave, no do-overs. I personally didn’t like it but I’ve made my peace with it, and honestly, is anything going to wipe the original ending from your minds? Doubtful.


On March 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Well Kenny, let’s just hope BioShock Infinite ends better than M.E.3


On March 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

People arguing against the change seem to sight that everyone arguing for it are doing so because they ‘feel BioWare was wrong.’ Don’t forget the literally heap of interview comments and quotes relating to the all the things they mentioned the ending would have, never once retracting a statement (which is in their right prior to release), and then released a product that did not fulfill even a close fraction of what they said.

That, to me, is the true problem. They promised an ending that would stay true to the reason the series had become popular, and dare I say the reason it was founded, personal choice mattered, and released something whose ending was completely contrary to their statements, not to mention what the series was most known for.

Any game series could make an amazing story. Like Uncharted, for example. But only Mass Effect made strides to take that a step further by making that story feel personal. My play through the series was completely different from my roommate’s; expect the ending, which was exactly the same, and exactly what BioWare stated would not happen.


On March 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

As much as I hate the ME3 endings, I partially agree with what he’s saying. We should be demonstrating our disgust with our wallets, not by forcing their hand to change the story. “Hey Bioware, overall great game, but you ruined it by not delivering on the type of ending you kept claiming you would give us. So for all your lies I’m not going to pre-order or purchase any of your games until I’ve heard what they’re like from other players. Heck, I may even wait for a sale, or a GOTY that includes all your DLC from now on.” I think that would be a far stronger message that saying “You lied! Change now! Take more money, but change now!”


On March 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Bioware promised the public that the endings would be diverse, and that we would have answers and closure. It is obvious that the ONE ending is the result of a rushed time frame and an incompetent Mac Walters. Bioware did this to themselves, so they have only themselves to blame. I applaud Levine, but his comments are not taking into account what Casey Hudson and Mike Gamble promised the Mass Effect fans. If one day at work I tell my boss that I am going to complete several tasks, but in the end I do the exact opposite, I end up losing my job. How is game development any different? The community has every reason to be upset.

Adam E.

On March 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Well, Bioshock’s ending is better than Mass Effect 3′s, and the two main endings in the former better reflect player choice than any of the endings in Mass Effect 3, so I give kudos to Levine.


On March 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I don’t think most of the people at Bioware are emotionally attached to the current endings. I can’t believe that the people who made the rest of the game saw the endings they gave us and went, “Man, that’s awesome.” I’m guessing they went, “Well, it’s got to ship, so that’ll have to do.” Otherwise, how could endings like that get out.


On March 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

Travis, man, you couldn’t have said it any better. And now we’re hearing all the writers were locked out of the ending minus Hudson and Walters. This happenend because of the deadline and the inability of the writing team to finalize an ending to a trilogy that began in 2006 MONTHS BEFORE THE GAME WAS TO BE SHIPPED. Drew Karpyshyn would have never let that trainwreck of an ending slide.


On March 22, 2012 at 2:15 am

The Bioshock’s creator sadness is testimony to how royally the Bioware has screwed its fans and the gaming industry. For one thing since when criticism of a supposedly work of art should cause the sadness of the kind that he is feeling. For another since when everybody has to take whatever self proclaimed artists shove down the throat of those who receive that art with the best of intentions and instead find themselves subjects of nasty jokes by the “artists”?

Hiding behind the idea of artistic creativity and the freedom to be creative just doesn’t cut it. Even if the ME3′s ending is considered art, then it is extremely tasteless, bad art. Bioware just deployed its creativity in creating absolute nonsense, out of nowhere illogical pathways that even its own characters are loath to take. Just look at the “indoctrination” theories and how the conforming (sympathetic?) players try to find a new way into the Bioware’s ME abyss.

The “artists” at Bioware are free to take whatever liberties they want with their medium of choice, but the rest of us lowly jerks who only know about our time and money do not have to pay to visit that art ever again.

Another thing that I can find no explanation of is that there is no voice from within Bioware that addresses the game’s awesome shortcomings. I only have to imagine that Bioware management is and has been completely aware of the joke that it has played on the gamers and has put everyone under the strictest lockdown. Now, that is the real sad.


On March 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

Demonstrating our disgust with our wallets is all well and good, unless of course we were the victims of false advertising and bought in to the bait and switch. I think people who are buying it after reading all of this get what they paid for, but those of us who bought it new on release were buying what we were being sold, not what we received.


On March 22, 2012 at 11:28 am

Very fair point Morghan, but this is nothing new coming from EA/Bioware. Most people seem to have forgotten all the lies told throughout the marketing campaigns leading up to both ME2 and DA2. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” and all that jazz.


On March 23, 2012 at 12:21 am

I can’t speak for everyone, but my own problem with the ending didn’t come from it being “bad” in any way. I would have been somewhat content with the ending that I got if I hadn’t been promised for three games that my decisions would matter. It’s the breaking of that promise, which was no minor thing in Mass Effect’s popularity and that of Bioware games in general, that was the biggest betrayal for me.

It’d be like going to an ice cream store, and you buy one scoop of vanilla, one scoop of pistachio and one scoop of cherry, but you go home and eat it and it all tastes like mint. And hey, maybe some people like mint, but a lot of people were expecting three flavors, or hell, considering they specifically promised more than three, maybe some people were expecting more than three flavors. But we get mint. Pink, green and white, but it all tastes of mint.


On January 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

…and then you experienced Bioshock Infinite’s story, and felt a strange case of storytelling deja vu…