Mass Effect 4 Won’t Have Shepard.

After Mass Effect 3, I would prefer that the series be allowed to die, or at least hibernate for a very long time. The arguments we’ve all been having are tiring enough, and there’s also something to be said for letting something be complete, however flawed it may or may not be. But there’s a part of me – a small part – that would like to see BioWare do another game in the Mass Effect universe. Disagreements over the ending of the trilogy aside, the Mass Effect universe is a great concept, particularly its inventive science magic solution to the problem of relativistic physics*. You could tell some rather cool stories, and make some rather fun games, just playing around in that universe. (I’d also like to know if it would be possible to wash the nasty taste of the Catalyst out of my mouth.)

However, for that to have a chance of working, BioWare needs to avoid the temptation to revisit the original trilogy in anything other than tangential terms. Fortunately, comments made to VG 24/7 at the recent EA showcase indicate that if nothing else, they are at least aware of that.

“There is one thing we are absolutely sure of – there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over,” BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas said. “This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in. All we’re doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things. We don’t want to make ‘Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, ‘oh there’s no more Shepard but you’re a soldier in the universe’,” he added. “So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest.”

That’s a good sign that they’re at least keeping their brains in the right place. However, something about “we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in” is troubling. It sounds suspiciously like they’re thinking prequel, which would be the absolute worst possible move. The backstory is often the least interesting thing about your fictional universe, especially when the thrust of the main story involves A) explaining the backstory so that the main story makes sense, and B) resolving the problems and conflicts implied by the backstory. If the fictional universe in question keeps the backstory details to a bare minimum (with many, many details left unstated, ala Star Wars), there’s potential for crafting a great story. But when the backstory is as heavily detailed as the Mass Effect Universes – seriously, the Codex feels bigger than Wikipedia – there’s almost nothing worth telling that hasn’t already been provided to the audience.

So please, BioWare, if you absolutely must make a Mass Effect 4, do not make a prequel.

* In short: In real life, the reason we’ll never have FTL space travel is that, per Einstein, the faster something goes, the more mass it has, thus it takes increasing amounts of energy to keep an object moving as it speeds up. (It would essentially require all the energy in the universe to propel something to something close to light speed.) In Mass Effect, it’s discovered Dark Matter reacts to a magical space rock (Element Zero) by creating an energy field that allows the amount of mass an object has to be manipulated (this is where the title comes from). The upshot is that it becomes possible to lessen an objects mass, thus reducing the energy cost required to travel at great speeds. See? Very cool.

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72 Comments on Mass Effect 4 Won’t Have Shepard.

sep

On October 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Mass Effect 4 won’t have sales.

Aaron17

On October 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I’ve read elsewhere some people want to play in the past, specifically the Rachni and First Contract Wars which I don’t understand. Mass Effect is about shaping the outcome of the story and not being a basic shooter or RTS. I hope Bioware realizes the ME3 ending was bad because all our work trying to shape the story in our image was erased in 10 minutes. A prequel means going through a linear story which means the only choices are how to get to the mission objectives but Deus Ex and Dishonored already do these things very well.

The only thing that I can think of is for the story to take place a decade after the Reaper War and the character is a specter. Shepard was only a specter in name only, very few missions actually dealt with day to day issues or threats. A specter character which the player can choose as any Citadel race who goes around helping bring order to the chaotic galaxy that is rebuilding. Endless possiblities dealing with recovering Reaper tech, dealing with warlords, slavers, cartels, civil wars, saboteurs, etc. That way the character wouldn’t be another Shepard saving the galaxy from extinction or being a faceless grunt on a battlefield. The character would bring order to chaotic areas, important but not savior of the galaxy.
Hopefully, Bioware will add ship customization and space engagements to it as well, not just ground missions.

Prequels rarely are a good thing. I am cynical that the Mass Effect Franchise is going to be further ruined.

Ares

On October 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Doubt ME4 will go into the past. Bioware will have to pick an ending which I will guess is the red to move on. No Shepard is fine by me. If he survives the red ending. He should be maybe the human council leader. Leaving him in a minor role at best if they go only a few years ahead. He is a leader and would fit that role well. Now they can move on with a new character as lead role.

Course they could use the refuse ending which the Reapers are wiped out and start 50k years in future.

Mike

On October 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Sorry, as was my mantra after the ending debacle, “no shepard, no purchase”

Nulltron

On October 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

No Shepard? What are you talking about? Isn’t he the brain on the Reapers now? Babysitting the next a..hole race to be wiped out when it starts to know its left from right? All you at Bioware, stop sh…ing those who trusted you more than once. Yeah, we know. Money is nice. You just go mate a Rachni.

Roy Batty

On October 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Summary of ME4, 5, and 6…

ME4 – Introduce new protagonist. New protagonist gets girl (or boy) LI. New protagonist saves the day via evil or good means while being hampered by his/her superiors.

ME5 – Protagonist is left on his or her own to fend off the hordes of the galaxy. More LI choices for protagonist, new cool allies for protagonist. Protagonist wins despite all odds.

ME6 – Protagonist dies in the most banal way possible (most likely the victim of stepping on a used
toothpick and dying from the infection). You win by making a deal with the main antagonist whereby you become him/her/it then dissappear never to be seen again. LI story arc left unfinished. Company claims artistic license.

Bioware should stop making games in this universe because Bioware no longer exists and the company that does just doesn’t care about games.

Michael

On October 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I think its about time some other company like Bethesda, ubisoft or valve to come up with a new Galactic RPG game so we can forget about the mess that was MAss Effect.

Sachel

On October 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

@Nulltron

I work at BioWare and I don’t feel I deserve being so insulted for something that I and most of the bloody staff had no control over.

The Two people responsible for the broken ending are Casey Hudson and Mac Walters; since they were the sole writers for that segment of the game.

We never wanted it to ruin the effort and emotional pay-off that the other 2.9 games give you.

Zach

On October 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

@Nulltron

Okay man I’m still bitter about the ending to the game but it’s not the programers, gameplay designers, Concept artists, animators, testers, level designers, or Texture artists fault.

There is no need to insult a thousand people for the fault of a few tools on the top.

The blame is on the shoulders of two men that locked themselves away and ignored everyone’s pleas from inside and especially outside of the company that is BioWare.

You want people to blame Sachel up there gave you the names: Casey Hudson and Mac Walters.

S

On October 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm

If it’s a prequel, I’m definitely not buying. I’m….skeptical about a new Mass Effect game, with or without Shepard. I agree that there is a lot of potential in the universe, but I feel like the endings complicated what can happen after the Catalyst and Reapers. In some endings, the reapers are around and friendly, in some everyone is part synthetic, and in some the reapers are gone and supposedly all AI life and anyone with biotic implants except for maybe Shepard are dead, too. It seems like it would be hard to address that, so they’d have to just pick one as canon, I guess.

Anyway, I’ll wait and see.

Swcloud99

On October 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

They should forget everything that happened after they released DA: Origins and go back to the basics. They re-introduce the concept of Origin stories except this time it is determined solely by race, thus determining which planet and which story you’ll be playing. A Krogan wouldn’t have the same life has an Asari for example.
Next, they should remove the voiced protagonist allowing them to really let you shape who you’re main character is instead of determining only his attitude toward a problem.
Then, they should make a real shooter/Rpg hybrid building on Mass Effect 1′s gameplay instead of dumbing it down.

Michael

On October 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

My bet is on a farming simulator on Tuchanka.

SweetPea

On October 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm

No Shepard, no money

Axetwin

On October 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

When I first read this article on IGN, I got the distinct impression the next game wont be a prequel. There was a quote saying how they wanted to move the series forward with the galaxy rebuilding, something like that. Point is, it sounded very sequelly to me.

With that said, I think all of you need to be prepared for the fact that the next game WILL NOT have any RPG elements at all. Or if there ARE RPG elements, they’ll be reduced past to what there was in ME2.

sapito

On October 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Mass Effect 4 Won’t Have my mony.

R.J.

On October 20, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I’m of two minds. I love what they created, but I hate what they did to it. Overall, my opinion is that it should just be left alone. Unless this next game actually did something about the ending, I just can’t work up any excitement. They had their chance, and they blew it. Plus, the majority of the blame has fallen on Hudson and Walters, and Hudson is going to be back for this game, and I haven’t heard that Walters won’t be, so I don’t see why I should play it if the people who plowed ME3 into the ground are coming back for more.

Flabberwocky

On October 21, 2012 at 2:21 am

Mass Effect has no story anymore, and no narrative integrity, so they might as well just set it in the far future and make it all space-magicky and . Honestly though, the only way the series can be salvaged now is with a prequel or sequel that deals DIRECTLY with the Catalyst. Retconning him out of existence is a futile effort when they had a great opportunity to patch the ending of ME3 and didn’t take it. A prequel millions of years ago dealing with the initial creation of the reapers would, at the very least, be a more developed version of what they tried to force on us before. Or, they could begin the game on Klencory at the time of Kuman Shol to tie in with that ‘beings of light’ thing – even though the Catalyst itself can’t be a being of light because it states several times that it’s synthetic. Or, set it a few hundred thousands years back so we can visit Earth at the time of the primitive humanoids. None of these would in any way forgive the sins of the last game, it was a -stain on the fabric of this industry, but they might at least make an entertaining backdrop for Gears of Effect 4.

Michael

On October 21, 2012 at 2:28 am

Zach – don’t be dense. Hudson and Walters may have written the ending, but where was the uproar from the rest of them? ‘Sachel,’ if he/she is in fact a real member of BioWare which I doubt strongly, is so upset that he/she waited several months and used a fake name before saying anything. Nobody spoke out about it at the time, a few vague comments were made weeks/months down the line which for all we know was a lie in itself to spare the integrity of the rest of the team. If they were really so adamant that what Hudson and Walters was doing was wrong, they should have IMMEDIATELY gone to the press and warned them that this was a hatchet job, then left their positions. Instead, the majority of the EA brown-nosers in the press still seem utterly oblivious that there was any fundamental change in the dynamic of the writing staff for the ending portion of the game, and still cling to this fatuous idea that it was the natural conclusion to the trilogy. That says it all. ‘Satchel’ claims he/she “didn’t want” the series ruined, and that’s fair enough, but he/she DIDN’T DO ANYTHING TO PREVENT IT. Therefore, absolutely no sympathy is warranted.

BioWare failed, and the only people with any ethics or morals in that company jumped ship. Those who remain are willingly or unwittingly complicit in the biggest middle finger the gaming world has ever seen. Simple as that.

Wesker1984

On October 21, 2012 at 2:30 am

OMG can’t weight! All u complainy-pants are just crying entitled babys! All my pre-order r belong to yus!

quicktooth

On October 21, 2012 at 2:53 am

So this comments section is fair and balanced, in addition to all the people who aren’t going to buy Mass Effect 4 on principle, let me be the first to not buy Mass Effect 4 because I don’t care about the series. Never got into it, never appealed to me. But if I WERE to be interested in some new direction, I’d like to add that I *still* wouldn’t buy it, because of the company’s shameful response to the meaningful frustrations of so very many people who wanted a good resolution. “Clarification” wasn’t needed; the ending (by all reports) was still and didn’t make sense. You know what guys? I’ve listened to your ass-covering, and in my considered opinion, all the other companies are better than you. So I’m buying from them instead. (Just not EA or Capcom; unethical companies are unethical)

Nulltron

On October 21, 2012 at 6:04 am

Sachel,

It was not just that 0.1 of the game. How about DA 2? At least that one did not have an ending at all. Neither a story, as such. The question that how those two people did bubble up to the top and remained there at Bioware is for you to answer. If you care for Bioware, that is. Not for those who took Bioware as more than the sum of its parts.

Search the old threads on this site and others’ and try to come up with a single line of criticism of the programmers, graphic artists, or musicians at Bioware. You will find none. If there is criticism, it is about ruining the great work of those same people. It was the almost perfection of the game that was its success and failure at the same time. And the music, and the background hum and vibration. “Leaving Earth” was absolutely magnificent.

Yet in the end, “Bioware” was the one that made that faithful decision. Obviously you are not prepared to argue with that. To do so will take us along the entire history of politics and humanity. Which I promise to walk along with you if you choose to do so. Anyway, informing us that Bioware shrinks to two people at some point and expands back to a thousand at other times does not help matters at all.

As for those who played the game, it is safe to say that ME just brings a bad taste. All that galactic goodness is unbearably bitter now. Bitter in a context of the experience of a single player game, of course. So, all you grunts and assaries at Bioware, don’t blame us. There is no point in torturing a moment of quiet and leisure.

redrum78

On October 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

If it’s a prequel count me out. If it’s a parallel story set during the Reaper occupation count me out.
If it’s a shooter count me out, by the way neither ME2 or 3 were shooters a shooter is a game that is built around shooting ME2 & 3 were still character driven story’s, ANYONE who played any Mass Effect game for the combat was seriously missing the point. Why do I still think you will be playing “Shepard 2″ because this is Bioware and all they do lately is lie, examples; 1) “There will be no PS3 version of ME2″ seven months later PS3 version announced at Gamescon, 2) “There will be no multi-player of any kind in ME3″ Oct 2011 MP announced, 3) “There will be no change to the ending for ME3 with the EC” a fourth ending is added the sole purpose of which was to slap us anti-enders in the face. Not all of their lies have been bad, PS3 version for instance, but still it hurts the trust it took Bioware the better part of two decades to build with its fans.

lee

On October 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

If they are going to make a sequel, they should put Sheperd in the story but in a smaller role. Also the Normady must come back. Not having the Normady would be like seeing a Star Trek movie without the Enterpise. I am hoping I am spelling that correctly. If however they decided to make a prequel it would not work and no it would not be like Star Wars prequels. The Star Wars prequels answered the questions that the fans had. There is no questions Mass Effect need answering other than who created the Reapers but I’ve heard that the Leviathan DLC does that. The only real question I have is what the future holds for the Mass Effect universe.

Axetwin

On October 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

@ redrum78 – You said this:
” ANYONE who played any Mass Effect game for the combat was seriously missing the point.”

Yet these were the exact people EA marketed ME2 and 3 towards. Jeez, early access to the ME3 beta was packaged in with new copies of Battlefield 3. If that doesnt say “we want more shooter fans playing this game” then I dont know what does.

Name*

On October 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm

@ AXETWIN

You’re 100% right EA tried to market the game to shooter fans and it failed. ME3 still trails ME2 in terms of overall sales and ME2 outsoled ME1 on the XBOX360, in terms of sales the 360 is the benchmark also ME3 still trails ME1 on the 360, by a number you’d expect a sequel to do. But this doesn’t make Mass Effect 2 or 3 shooters Gears of War, Halo, BF and CoD are shooters these are games built around combat. Mass Effect 2 & 3 are still built around the characters and story, granted the rpg aspects are largely gone. Also do you remember the luddites who were mad because they were saying the combat in ME1 was to much like a shooter and it should’ve been more KOTOR. At the end of the day it all comes down to perception and in my eyes Mass Effect 2 & 3 weren’t shooters and in yours they were. I think can we both agree on this though EA f’ed up by forcing MP and that crappy three ways to play bs for morons who wanted to play a triliogy but couldn’t be bothered with the first two and that f up may have cost us our ME3 experiance.

redrum78

On October 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

@Axetwin

Firstly I just wrote a reply but it’s not showing if it does sorry for the double reply.

I personally don’t consider ME2 or ME3 to be shooters because neither are games based on the combat. In my opinion a shooter is a game built around the combat with cutscences to make it appear like a game like GOW, BF, Halo and CoD. EA has tried to market ME2 & 3 as shootrs but if you look at sales figures it didn’t work, ME3 is still traliing ME1 sales wise on the 360 the benchmark platform for the franchise, due to longevity and again that most disgusting of phrases sales figures. But this is my opinion and you have yours and I think on this we will have to disagree. BTW I COMPLETELY agree with your other comment people should brace themselves for ME4 doing away with the rpg elments altogether, hell I wrote a short essay on the IGN comments section why I think that will be the case. Anyway to prove i’m sane, I hate EA games so much.

Wesker1984

On October 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hey for the r/etard who pretend to be me 7 comments above me i say this:
Sure i will get Mass Effect 4 when it come out and yeah i really think some peoples around here are dumps but i stopped being an irritating troll and i try to be nice with everyone.

Acting by pretending me just make you look like immature fool and change nothing in your pathetic life. also my english is bad but not as bad like you pretend it to be.

Now for gamefront and others users around here just get over it about the bad endings and the Catalyst they are now part of the Mass Effect universe and this will not change and if you want the serie die just dont buy it when it come out. It not because the majority of you are still insulted with the end results of Mass Effect 3 that the serie need to die.

I’m not trolling(like the imposter above me) i just pointing out my own opinions on the matter.

Wesker1984

On October 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

@quicktooth
So you restrict your own choices on games just because you dont like some developers and you dont want to encourage them? Thats pathetic!

I’m not a big fan of Nintendo and i dont like Microsoft but this not prevented me to play and enjoy Mario and Zelda or Halo and Gears of War. And pretending that all other companies are better than us is just hypochrite.

folklore

On October 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

@wesker.
Glad you enjoy those games. Sometimes though companies won’t listen no matter how much people shout. Instead you must use your wallet to send a message. It’s the only way companies like Ea will listen. Though that is looking doubtfully.

Sachel

On October 21, 2012 at 10:31 pm

@Michael

First of all you obviously have no idea how the industry works since as I’ve said before the higher ups get final say on everything, that would be the Head writer and Lead Producer of the game in this “ending” case.

Second there are two fatal flaws you don’t seem to understand about being an adult and working in this industry.

You can’t just drop everything because you disagree with something your boss did; not unless you enjoy homelessness and possible starvation. I wonder if you have disagreed with any decision your boss has ever made and if not did you quit right then and there?

Also though people did leave you’ll notice all of them were people with big titles before their names and can pretty much join any other company or even retire based on their former level in the company alone. This is not the case for the people working under them; the grunt level programmers, designers, testers, artist and editors.

For anyone without the word “Lead” in there title it is a cutthroat industry that takes years to just break into and even longer to succeed because it is very small and you have to have an insane skill set to move up.

Lastly there are two more major things that prevent us from “speaking out”/”warning” the gaming community.

The first being the N.D.A. stating explicitly that if we do what you suggested EA will sue the hell out of you, because you broke a VERY clear contract. The second being career suicide: you break your N.D.A. with a company and you are not getting hired in this industry every again. People tend not to know this but Game Development, compared to other forms of media, is very small and people have long memories when it comes to Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Legally everything I’ve said above stands as fair use comments but I choose to remain anonymous because I have bills to pay and I have to maintain my job security to do that.

Believe me when I say a lot of people are not thrilled by the final ten percent of the third game and wish it hadn’t turned into such a huge clusterF@ck, myself included.

On the flip-side you have to understand that the world is not so black and white that anything you disagree with can be met with a walk-out protest; that’s not how reality works.

Finally I just wanted to offer thanks for calling me a liar though as well as a hack and claiming that I have no morals.

I’ve come to expect that sort of spite from someone so immature and you demonstrated it in spades.

Ross Lincoln

On October 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Ross Here:

You all know how much I disliked the ending of ME3. But I am not letting that translate into wanton attacks on anyone remotely connected to it, especially since what Sachel is saying measures up precisely with statements made famously by someone we all suspect was Patrick Weekes earlier this year.

More importantly, having spent my time working in Corporate America before my current job, I want to enthusiastically second everything Sachel is saying. The people at the top of any hierarchy, be it political, academic, business, etc, will always experience a wonderful soft landing and have plenty of options. The rest of us (I mean us in the macro sense) have no such luxury. And rest assured, the consequences of violating an NDA are a lot more severe for someone at the bottom of the ladder than they are for the top. Or would we rather that Sachel never be able to work in their field again? I think not.

I’m not suggesting that those of you commenting haven’t yourselves experienced the joys of being on the low end of a business totem pole, but I would ask that you realize it’s a very universal experience. So please try to avoid accusing, personal insults, no matter your feelings on the subject. Not only because, seriously, if you have a job you like but disagree with something that happened, you still might, you know, want to continue paying the rent via the money it gives you, but also because of the fact that Sachel is risking their job just saying what they’re saying here, if, and I’m choosing to take them at their word, they do in fact work at BioWare.

I guess my point is this: feel free to disagree angrily, but try keeping it kind of civil, and if you have to dis, do so informed, and with as much empathy as possible.

That said, let me just add that the ending does indeed suck large. (Though the prior 90% is mostly great.)

-Ross

Sachel

On October 21, 2012 at 10:55 pm

@Nulltron

I had nothing to do with Dragon Age 2 that was a completely seperate team in the same BioWare offices.

I know it was left open for a sequel but seeing as I had nothing to do with it I can’t really say anything about it’s developement other than it happened in the same building as Mass Effect 3 was. As for those two people remaining at the top is not up for me to answer, since the answer is fairly obvious. Casey Hudson and Mac Walters produced good works and worked under great people who ended up leaving the company and both where promoted based on their skills.

You have to realize that the excutive producer and the lead writer get final say on what content gets developed for the game, especially the ending. The problem in all this is that the pair in question did not consult anyone else with the content of the ending until it was already in developement. This was something they did not do with any other content for all of the third mass effect and a mojority of the other two games in the series, both of which Mr. Hudson was the executive producer on.

As far as not being prepared to argue you god d@mn wrong about that. I’ll fight to the death explaining again and again that to blame everyone at BioWare for the desicions of the two men in control is assinine. I’ll also defend my compatriots and friends for not just quitting because they disagree with a bosses desicion.

The thing you won’t, and haven’t, heard me defend is the ending of the final game.

Is it broken? Yes.
Should we have been allowed to fix it? Damn right.
Were we allowed company assets to do so? Well you know that answer.

Lastly the people critisicing the work of the grunts in the trenches are people like you. We worked hard and bled into this series every bit of passion we had left and it hurts us to see it be remembered as a failure for a lot of people.

What we don’t need is people like you saying downright rude and hateful things to us Or was it another Nulltron that said:

“All you at Bioware, stop sh…ing those who trusted you more than once. Yeah, we know. Money is nice. You just go mate a Rachni.”

Sachel

On October 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

@Ross Lincoln

God I know I’ve posted a lot in the last half hour and it’s a little nuts.

I just wanted to say thank you your comment and for someone backing me on this.
This is why I come to GameFront over any other game site out there.

Danny

On October 22, 2012 at 2:58 am

I am done with Mass Effect until they have a proper ending to Mass Effect 3. As I play it now once I unite the Geth and the Quarians I consider the game over.

Nulltron

On October 22, 2012 at 4:04 am

Sachel,

Yes, it was the same Nulltron. Don’t let it go to your head!

Right now, it is not about NDA. It is about Bioware losing half of its value, due to IP that has practically lost all of its potential. Their rush (you know who) to finalize the deal with EA, backfired and Bioware is where it is right now.

The mothers of the one million Iraqis that died after America illegally invaded and occupied Iraq are not blaming the mothers of the American grunts that killed their kids. They may curse the womb that gave birth to those grunts but are not blaming it. The womb did its job, and nobody is blaming it. Goes the same for the grunt that was attacked and killed. He cannot forward the point that he was just doing his job and he was good at it, and he signed up to get his college fees in the first place. Practically every war that America has engaged in has been the decision of a few, but countless many have paid dearly for those decisions. Champagne and caviar for those few, at the same time.

There are two sides to every coin. The other side of it would be that those two people had locked everybody out, went in and came up with the most superb ending imaginable. Wouldn’t you be taking credit for it right now, got a raise and was on your way up the ladder of corporate success. Would you be here saying that you had nothing to do with it?

The same goes for Iraq war. Had it been a swimming success instead of the Royal failure that it ended up as, Hollywood would be saturated with ex-grunts, gracing the silver screen with super magical projections. EA would be commissioning the “Liberation of Iraq IV” right now and Bioware would not have had to travel so far into the future in search of its hero. Shepard would have been an ex-marine that had single handedly turned the tide in the Iraq theater of war.

Now for the good stuff. Did it happen at all during the course of the ending, that anybody at Bioware stood up and said, this ending sucks. As long as it is cinematics and a quick end that you need, let us have it like this. Let us have them clash in space and earth, show small sacrifices, huge destructions and the dissolution of the Catalyst into the nether world and end it all with a dying illusive man helping a child crawl out of a hole, greeted silently by Shepard and later joined by the rest of the crew. That would have paid the rent. Simple, yet effective. And nobody that ever played the game could have complained, because they would not know how to end it otherwise.

Was there no opposition? If there was, did the opposition put up signs here and there to show their discontent for posterity? In the graphics? In the code comments? Anywhere? Human beings are notorious for that kind of behavior. Or you just didn’t care?

Yet, the most interesting question remains unanswered and even not asked. What was the ending that every one at Bioware was working toward. It is impossible for anyone on the team to have no idea of the ending. That would hinder them in every step of the way. DA 2 was neutral building blocks, that could or could not be put into good use. For ME3 there must have been an ending. It was all about the story. After 50% into a project of this kind the outlines of the ending must be clear to everyone. What was it? What everyone was working for?

Bke

On October 22, 2012 at 4:14 am

Personally I feel that the game will be good no matter when it’s set. A prequil will be the simplest solution and actually allowes us to explore the galaxy before humanity came about and shook things up. Mind, this will create a problem with association between player and player-character, but I don’t feel that this will be too much of a problem for vetran players.

If ME4 were to be set after ME3 it would probably center around the thing Thali was working on: how a sun was colapsing faster than it should have because of dark energy. Indeed, if my sources are correct, this was the intended plot for ME3 but was cut for some reason. But the problem comes with the massive choice left to us at the nd of ME3, which was killing synthetics, melding with them, or controlling the reapers. whichever option you chose will drastically effect the nature of the universe after ME3, and not to show this effect in game would be to do the story a diservice. So there’s a bit of a tricky situation here.

As for gamplay mechanics, I feel the game was perfect with the way combat was implemented, but like everyone else I would like to see more role playing in the game. SOmeone mentioned dragon age origins, and I think they were on the mark with how the world needs to be represented in a similar manner. These are games, after all, not books or films, we can have our cake and eat it with regards to the depth and engagement of the experience. ME can be a third person shooter and an rpg at the same time without taking focus away from either experience. It just takes a little effort is all.

With regards to the footnote in the article, I do think that FTL travel is possible once we figure out how to manipulate the graviton, or higgs particle if you will. Now that we have a dencent amount of proof that it exsists as a “seperate entity” from the rest of matter, it is just a matter of further isolating it. Then, as far as I understand the maths (mind my speciality is not in theoretical physics) we then use the particle to invert the mass functions of a volume of space/time, incresing the speed of light for that volume relative to the rest of the universe, allowing us to move faster than the light in the rest of the universe without actually breaking the speed limit for our “bubble” bubble of space/time.

Michael

On October 22, 2012 at 4:22 am

Sachel – “mean and hurtful things” doesn’t cut it against literally months of lying and self-preservatory rhetoric, as well as the immensely biased reporting of the mainstream press presumably at the behest of EA/BioWare (either that or they really are all just uneducated idiots with no concept of how storytelling works), in the face of tens upon hundreds of thousands if not millions of fans, all of whom were loyal to the franchise from the beginning, saying they feel ripped off by the fact that BioWare failed to deliver on its promise as well as the first-day From Ashes DLC. If you can’t accept “mean and hurtful things” being directed towards you, then the solution is simple – don’t lie to your customers for months and then ignore/condescend towards them when you get caught out. You may not have directly been involved in this (assuming you actually work for BioWare, which frankly I don’t believe), but you were complicit in it. You made no effort to prevent or report it. You are as guilty as Walters and Hudson because you just sat there and let them ruin a once great story, when you had the chance to let the world know what was happening. You are either lying when you say you were unwitting, or you don’t know how to end a narrative, OR you were completely spineless in the face of their rubbish. In all three scenarios, you have failed as a writer and as the creator of an entertainment medium, and you have failed as the producer of a consumer product. You deserve no sympathy, no respite, and no recourse for what you did.

But don’t worry, as long as there’s undying fanboys like Wesker1984 waiting to bail you out again and again with their Fry faces, you’ll still have a career. It’s just a shame that the majority of people who once loved BioWare and its games won’t take you seriously ever again after this.

Ebalosus

On October 22, 2012 at 4:27 am

Regarding everything said above, I have not hate for anyone involved in Mass Effect 3 and the creation thereof. I have issues with how the game turned out, sure, but those issues are with the people responsible for those issues, not the people working under those with that responsibility. Whatever “Sachel’s” position in the Bioware hierarchy is irrelevant, as it isn’t “Sachel” I have any issue with. I understand what it is like working under people whom make stupid decisions, trust me I do, which is why I can sympathise with “Sachel” to a degree.

Regarding ME4, it’s too early to make a decision. Why? Because first time’s a fluke, second’s a coincidence, and the third’s the beginning of a pattern. How does this relate to ME4? Because we have only had two disappointing games from Bioware lately. Observe: DA:2 was the fluke, with ME3 being the coincidence; ergo, either DA3 with show signs of a pattern, or be a refreshing return to form for Bioware.

As such, I’ll wait and see the fan reaction to DA3 before making an absolute decision regarding ME4. At the moment, I’m cautiously pessimistic about it

Daretoask

On October 22, 2012 at 5:10 am

@ Ross: Thank you for speaking on Sachels behalf, I was waiting for someone to point these things out.

I am as unhappy about the ending of ME3 as most of the people here, but ad hominem attacks on everybody that works at Bioware (assuming that Sachel is telling the truth) because of your disappointment with a game they were involved in making is simply unfair. Gamefront has become my number one site for good gaming journalism not only because I enjoy the the high quality of their articles, but because of the manner in which (most) readers conduct themselves in the comments. I find myself enjoying the comments and discussions so much, I feel compelled to comment myself, something I have never done before because I thought it to be futile. The stance of the majority on this site towards ME3 is pretty negative, and one tends to forget that there are people out there who see things differently. It’s very easy to adopt a mob mentality when everybody agrees on something, however, I have had my views put into perspective more than once by insightful comments from people such as Axetwin or Ross (to name two, there are many more of course), and that is what a good discussion should be about.

@Sachel: Assuming you are who you claim to be, welcome to this site! That being said, I would like to join Nulltron in asking you just what the ending was supposed to be like before the two artistic integrities messed it up.

Blarty

On October 22, 2012 at 5:32 am

The problem with gaming at the moment is that it’s tied to two very base things, the internet and immaturity. As much as I’m meh about the ending, I’m also not about to scream blue murder about it, or decide that in the face of much worse and inhumane practices by other companies, that EA is the worst company in America; quite simply shouting that ‘EA is evil’, or ‘Bioware won’t get my money’ does not actually improve anything for anyone – if you don’t care at all for the time and effort that someone puts into some work, then why should they ever care for your opinion?

The Retake Mass Effect movement was a great possibility to engage gamers (as both customers AND fans), publishers, and developers in a way that certainly I had never seen before, but instead of channeling that energy, and momentum into something proper and useful for the whole gaming community, they decided to send a few hundred different coloured, but same-tasting, cupcakes, because clearly the internet believes that sugary food stuffs is the way to make a point and push forward change.

It’s not that I don’t agree with your right to have the opinions that you have, but they’re hardly constructive or conducive to affecting the change that we’d honestly like to see in the industry. But at the same time gamers seem oblivious to the ongoing crap that the industry is in, unless it’s to their own disadvantage, a lack of objectivity betrays the fact that our pastime, our hobby and the industry around it is a young one. Gaming does not exist in a bubble where there are no outside forces at play.

We cry that ‘EA is evil’ for foisting DLC and online passes upon us, yet hold up Valve and CD Projekt Red as being the ‘companies for gamers’, whilst not stepping back and objectively seeing why – Valve and CDPR have happy secondary revenue streams (Valve makes more money from Steam selling other publishers and indie dev games, than it does it’s own, CDPR also has a revenue stream from it’s distribution channels) that can pull in revenue to fund their DLC whilst at the same time not expecting it to seem directly funded by the gamer that is downloading it.

EA, like Activision, isn’t evil – it’s a dinosaur, a super tanker that takes miles to change direction when compared to the ability to spin their business on a penny that Valve and CDPR represent; the much maligned Origin being an example of the direction that EA is trying to take. If anything, Origin isn’t trying to emulate Steam as a platform, it’s trying to emulate it as a revenue feed.

The problem is, if we want change. if we want the EAs and Activisions of the industry to do better, be better, then we also have to look beyond the idea of greed: the world’s economies are still in dire straits, and as Jim Sterling has pointed out before: Games ARE luxuries, which is all well and good when we shout about we the consumer having no money, but games this generation should be marked for one main criticism: the cost of developing games has ballooned over the last few years, as have our demands and the expectations we want from those games – there is a reason why we see the cost of Collector’s and Limited editions rising while the standard editions stay at a more or less fixed price – if you can’t price an item in line with the costs to make it and your margins are reduced, you either have to a sell more units and hope that economies of scale can let those costs balance out, or find alternative ways to generate revenue.

To put it simply, telling us how DA2 sucked and how you hated the ME3 ending or that EA is the root of all evil, doesn’t actually help – it’s just shouting into the wind, the gaming industry as a whole has to grow up and try to find a way to make this stuff work… because telling us you’ll never buy another EA game then typing trash comments when an EA funded studio goes to the wall, is a self fulfilling prophecy laced with futility.

SXO

On October 22, 2012 at 7:13 am

A lot of good points on both sides of the numerous arguments going on here, but the fact remains, many of us will vote with our wallets. EA and Bioware collectively have sullied the reputation of their franchises, and therefore I choose not to purchase their products anymore, unless it’s at a DEEP discount (we’re talking $5 bargain bin). I say this with no vitriol or hate, just a statement of fact that I no longer trust they can provide me with experiences worth my money.

Swcloud99

On October 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

I feel like the whole fan/creator relationship is getting so backwards. The creator doesn’t how the fan anything. The fan hows the creator everything for giving them the feelings and experiences that uplifted them.
If you find the works of a certain creator uninteresting for whatever reason, you just move on. You don’t go around saying you deserved better.
What’s wrong with you people?

Zach

On October 22, 2012 at 11:33 am

God Damn.

The idiots on here that don’t understand how seriously legally a Non-Disclosure Agreement is and what it will do to your life if you break it is astounding.

Anyone who’s worked in a job hirer up then sales will have to sign an NDA in a company about something and breaking that contract is a perfect way to screw yourself out of anything other than the lowest grunt jobs there are.

To people living a delusion life like Nultron; comparing the moral decisions of someone who doesn’t want to give up their livelihood to the War in Iraq is just astounding.

Especially since if they work at BioWare they are probably Canadian and their country had enough sense to not join in on that particular conflict.

Zach

On October 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

Sorry folks meant to say:

“Anyone who’s worked in a job *higher* up then sales”

Hate how there is no edit button in this posting system.

Ross Lincoln

On October 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Zach,

I can attest that it isn’t just higher ups. I’ve been forced many times to sign them for jobs that shouldn’t have had them. And I know someone who was once fired from Blockbuster video (he was a clerk) who was fired for violating the NDA they made him sign.

Nulltron

On October 23, 2012 at 12:11 am

Zach,

Since when looking for facts makes one an idiot?

Ross,

It is a fact that one will get blacklisted by the business in America even if he reports company fraud. But NDA is one thing, looking for facts is another. There has been instances of people inside companies who have spoken out. It has always been an individual’s choice.

Bke

On October 23, 2012 at 2:48 am

One thing we must remeber is that the medium of games is inherintly commercial, and this greatly colours our experiences of the games.

When cutomers complain that a game is not what they paid for they’re doing the exact same thing that the company executives are doing, except from the opposite end. The execs look at games and wonder how best to generate revenue, and custoers look at games and wonder if it’s worth their money. This constant tension on the medium is further aggrevated by the fact that we expect it to hold its own as an art.

All of these issues can be addressed but the problem, in my mind, is that we don’t treat games as games. The only working bussiness model for commercial art is that of film, and to an extent books, hence why we find that games are sold like this, which is also why we experience the negative aspects of film such as games being homogenised to be “summer blockbusters”, as that gaurentees revenue. And there is nothing wrong with this, people at the top are justified in wanting to make money, otheriwse we have no games at all.

The issue comes in when the customers want a specific experience with the art that is the game, and this is where I feel games are not being used to their full exent. Not that the games lack art (because I can justify the slow migration from rpg to a more shootery kind if game in the mass effect series as being part of the art*), but the “have cake and eat it” part of games I mentioned before.

You see, with the commertial art bussiness practise comes an unfortunate bias towards also making games like movies. A linear experience, that’s the same each playthrough, with some minor choices. I feel these choices could be expanded upon to the point that a game can be more of one style of game depending on the settings. An example I used on extra credits was difficulty settings being able to change resident evil 6 from a third person shooter to a survival horror. Those who want a shooter can have their shooter, and those who want thier horror can have that too. And while it would take some more work, and some games could not do it at all, I feel the medium could be better expressed if we embraced the dynamisim inherent within it. Mass effect 3, I know, did sort of experiment with this by giving you the option to have conversations run on autopilot (making it basically a pure shooter), and I would like to see more of this dynamic user guided alterations to games.

* The drift to shooter can be justified by the fact that the reapers pose such a threat that a constant gunfight is what life has been reduced to. In the “From Ashes” DLC liara explains that Prothean culture and art became more simple towards the end, as a direct result of being consatntly engaged in an unwinable war, and you, as the player, are experiencing the same cultural degredation those Protheans did throughout the series.

Ross Lincoln

On October 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Nulltron, Mass Effect 3′s ty ending is not an injustice on par with Darfur, and this economy is terrible enough. People choosing to remaingainfully employed with a company that isn’t actually committing acts of pure evil are not morally compromised, and likely they know how ty things are getting internally anyway.

Put more simply, even when I wanted to leave my old corporate job, it was much more difficult to do than simply walking out the door. It isn’t like I had free money and enjoy homelessness. So dial it down a bit, OK? Just because someone’s boss is a douche doesn’t make them a douche.

Zach

On October 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

@Nulltron

Dude you don’t seem to understand what an NDA is or what the word “facts” means. . .

If you are someone working at BioWare and report about the ending to Mass Effect 3 before the game is out or even the way it was developed after the game came out; would break their Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Breaking an NDA will result in immediate termination at any position you hold and would most definitely guarantee that you couldn’t get a job in that industry ever again.

What Sachel did was speak out against the ending and say that as an employee in the trenches of a company doesn’t have a lot of recourse against stopping an Executive’s decision.

^^^ Everything up there is a fact ^^^

I called you an idiot because you seem to live in a world where you equate laying blame on the lead writer of a video game script to the mothers of Iraq war-veterans.

You want to run the war analogue? We can go ahead in do that.

This is akin to blaming a grunt for following orders from a General. If they do it and don’t agree with it they can speak out about it later {anonymously if they are still enlisted}. However If they refuse to follow that order they are can be court-martialed and discharged or even sentenced to death for treason/desertion, depending on the severity of the order defied.

Zach

On October 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm

@BKE

You bring up several very good points about how we judge games to closely to movies and I agree with pretty much everything.

I too found the slider in Mass Effect 3 that allowed you to choose a more streamlined experience an interesting idea {though I still stuck with full control it was an nice addition}.

I think a lot of people are colouring their opinions on how the rest of the series is based on those last few minutes of the third game.

I completely agree that the ending was a terrible mess that ignored much of what made the series great, not to mention the plot-holes.

The only difference to my player experience now is when I head back to earth I switch off the game and go read Marauder Shields instead; it may not be the “official” ending but, damn it, it’s feel closer to what everyone seemed to have been expecting.

Nulltron

On October 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Zach, Ross

NDA was not pushed into this discussion by me, and I will be more than happy to leave it alone.

Zach,

Everybody at Bioware was following orders? Fine. Who said they weren’t?

BUT, to say keep playing ME and other Bioware games because we are following orders and are just employees and if you do not we lose our jobs adds a dimension of pain to the experience of playing games. For instance, I don’t know that if that is made paramount, how could anyone on this site or any other site could ever write a negative review of a game. Companies can and do lose a lot when a game tanks, and a negative review can contribute towards that a lot and when companies lose, employees lose. Not as bad as the NDA death sentence, as you have it, but still bad.

Still the question that why someone who had made an illustrious career out of knowing what makes a game work and has been rewarded for it handsomely, sits down and out of a zillion viable options chooses the most ridiculous one, is an interesting one. I am done with Bioware games, but not with that question.

Zach

On October 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

@Nulltron

We pushed the NDA into the argument because it was the fundamental reason why people at BioWare were unable or unwilling to “warn” everyone about the ending to this game.

Your question has time and time again been:
How could they let this happen?

And you have been answered time and time again with:
It was an executive order that they were both unable to do anything about and contractually obligated to not speak about.

Nulltron

On October 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

Zach,

That is not the question. That was answered many moons ago. The question is why an executive willingly and given their track record knowingly destroys its most valuable asset?

The original media leak just described the picture not the content. And what is that guy doing now? At this point I am certain that it is not as simple as that. Did those two just “went in” or was it that they were “sent in”? If so, who sent them in? Higher ups? EA? The lower downs? Or all of them. If the executives wanted to finalize the deal, they could have ordered an ending that works not an ending that sends everything to hell. And since they have mostly left Bioware by now, they are not the main culprits in this mess. A reasonably sane ending could have given them what they wanted. But, “Mr.” Hudson is still there I believe. He is the one that is blamed most, and still there? How is that? Rewarded for screwing things up?

You say, ” It was an executive order that they were both unable to …”. Does that mean that those two had clearly orders to write the ending like that? If that is the case, it is entirely new information. I was under the impression, and Sachel confirms it, that the ending was entirely the brainchild of Casey Hudson and Mac Walters.

Gary Baldy

On October 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

Zach, Nulltron – at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who was individually responsible, or what their motives were. It could have been some mole from Bethesda trying to sabotage the entire series, for all I care. The bottom line is that BioWare as a company screwed up, as literally nobody warned anybody or came out to denounce the work until months after the fact. Everyone working in that team was compliant in the failure, both literary and consumerist, of Mass Effect 3. Mac and Casey may have been the hacks who wrote this rubbish, but everyone else there was no less responsible for allowing it to reach the stores, and for staying silent afterwards knowing just how betrayed and deceived the fans felt by this. You can’t try to excuse one set of people while denouncing others from the team, just because they took control. It was up to the rest of the team to stand up to Walters and Hudson and, if necessary, go the press and Bioware forums to let everyone know what was happening. They didn’t, and that makes them as guilty as if they’d written it themselves.

BioWare shat the bed, they still refuse to admit it, the press still sucks them off at every opportunity while running down the customers for actually having expectations from a game they paid for (expectations that were fuelled by specific and direct promises by the main writers and developers, mind you), and the sad thing is that Hudson, Walters, Gamble, Merizan etc will continue to sell what’s left of their souls to EA and continue to go to their corporate dinners and act like they have careers while the real talent gets forgotten about or is forced to resign for having a conflicting opinion. But again, they could and should have resigned the minute they realised what a hatchet job this was going to be, so I have limited sympathy.

Ross Lincoln

On October 24, 2012 at 8:47 am

This is the last time I’m going to weigh in on this point: I am begging those of you blithely castigating down-ladder BioWare employees for failing to risk homelessness over the end of Mass Effect 3 to please stop. I know for a fact that the majority of you would make the same exact calculation if you had the choice, and by all accounts, the ME3 staff did NOT have that choice. I don’t know if you recall, and perhaps Sachel can enlighten us, but Patrick Weekes (assuming it was him) implied that the ending wasn’t even play tested. The whole thing would have happened right at the end of a very, very busy development. Furthermore, I think it’s fair to say that they probably hoped that the brilliance preceding the ending would carry it through.

I’ll also add that the suggestion that nobody said anything until months later is flat out wrong. This is from about 2 weeks later: http://www.gamefront.com/did-a-mass-effect-3-writer-slam-the-ending/ But the bigger point stands: Don’t hate someone for choosing not to make themselves unemployed and unemployable until you’ve walked in their shoes. And stop talking about this like it’s an injustice on par with Bosnia. The ending sucks, and BioWare’s subsequent official behavior was indeed frustrating and ham-fisted, but at the end of the day, being a douche doesn’t make you Hitler.

Now let’s get back to agreeing that the ending was terrible and that BioWare’s official response to the controversy was, at best, incredibly tin-eared.

Swcloud99

On October 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

@Ross Lincoln, in response to your last comment

Amen

Zach

On October 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

@Nulltron

If you’re going to quote me quote the entire sentence:

“It was an executive order that they were both unable to do anything about and contractually obligated to not speak about.”

I now believe that your argumentative nature about this is clouding what others are saying to you. Let me try and clear it up for you

When I used the word “they” in the above statement it is referring to the lower end employees, since I was defending them, and speaking of them, continuously in every previous post.

When I used the word “both” it is referring to the two reason I then elude to.

You taking a quote out of context and warping it to draw blame away from the two men who wrote the ending isn’t just sleazy, it’s Fox News sleazy.

You want to know why they thought it was a good ending. It’s the same reason George Lucas thinks the prequels are better movies then the original trilogy.

In both cases they removed the people that would edit their ideas to write it and ended up in a spiral that made sense to them. It happens all the time in all forms of media. Look at the later Harry Potters when Rowling had her editor dropped. The third X-men and Spider-man films lost some of the people that made the first two films writing strong.

It’s a pattern that should really be surprising; When you hit the third of a series the creators of said series think that they personally can do no wrong. They then will do whatever they think is a good idea regardless of outside impute.

But to insult everyone below that person who made a bad decision by demanding that they should have risked there livelihood is just disgusting.

I’m done, we’ve run in circle about this enough. your questions have been answered again and again. You want to stay angry then ignore BioWare but don’t spit venom at them when you pass by in the street.

Ross Lincoln

On October 24, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I had to weigh in: I actually think the final Harry Potter novel is awesome. My only complaint is the ’19 years later’ part, but that was mostly written years before she had almost no editorial oversight.

Sachel

On October 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm

@Everyone

I appreciate the people who are thinking with a rational mind and understanding the actions of another grown adult.

To those who are claiming that we never denounced the ending or spoke out about.
You know that’s a damn lie.

I’m astonished you could even type it since you folks claim to hold such a high upstanding code of ethics, comparatively to us at BioWare.

You have been hearing people denounce it since virtually the time of release; though we all can not rise up as one and leave BioWare like you so demand. I’ve said this before but the people who openly left over the controversy had enough clout in the industry that they can say those things without committing career suicide.

We in the trenches risk our jobs to tell you that there are many here {working in the company that you feel betrayed you} saying that we agree; the ending was terrible and we support your side completely.

How do you react to it? Well we just have to scroll up to see the spite.

I know anonymity is a key reason you feel you can say these things because, I hope, if you were to speak to us face-to-face you would ask questions and hold arguments without this degree of hatred. God I hope you would, if not you are truly bitter creatures.

I am still just astounded at how people can blame every single person at a company for the decisions of a few secluded individuals at the top.

The George Lucas analogue is an apt one in this case; Mr. Hudson is the reason for Mass Effect even existing. He proposed the idea of a space opera such as this and helped develop the universe from the ground up. Beyond that all three games are commercial successes and to the share holders and Executives {most of which do not play games} that is the sole reason Hudson and Mac are “permitted” to keep their jobs.

That commercial successes is the main reason Mass Effect 2 and 3 were allowed to be made.

I hope for your sakes you never have to deal with this situation, lest you family be very understanding why you had to quit your job over your boss’s single questionable decision.

Zach

On October 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

@Ross

I think I’m only annoyed by the several chapters in the middle where they just wander around the forest. That seemed like it should have been cut out or at the very least cut down a bit to help with pacing.

Ross Lincoln

On October 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm

That’s fair – pacing was off during those scenes, especially since so much was implied to be happening elsewhere.

Sachel

On October 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

It’s telling me I posted twice and if so I apologize.

@Everyone

I appreciate the people who are thinking with a rational mind and understanding the actions of another grown adult.

To those who are claiming that we never denounced the ending or spoke out about.
You know that’s a damn lie.

I’m astonished you could even type it since you folks claim to hold such a high upstanding code of ethics, comparatively to us at BioWare.

You have been hearing people denounce it since virtually the time of release; though we all can not rise up as one and leave BioWare like you so demand. I’ve said this before but the people who openly left over the controversy had enough clout in the industry that they can say those things without committing career suicide.

We in the trenches risk our jobs to tell you that there are many here {working in the company that you feel betrayed you} saying that we agree; the ending was terrible and we support your side completely.

How do you react to it? Well we just have to scroll up to see the spite.

I know anonymity is a key reason you feel you can say these things because, I hope, if you were to speak to us face-to-face you would ask questions and hold arguments without this degree of hatred. God I hope you would, if not you are truly bitter creatures.

I am still just astounded at how people can blame every single person at a company for the decisions of a few secluded individuals at the top.

The George Lucas analogue is an apt one in this case; Mr. Hudson is the reason for Mass Effect even existing. He proposed the idea of a space opera such as this and helped develop the universe from the ground up. Beyond that all three games are commercial successes and to the share holders and Executives {most of which do not play games} that is the sole reason Hudson and Mac are “permitted” to keep their jobs.

That commercial successes is the main reason Mass Effect 2 and 3 were allowed to be made.

I hope for your sakes you never have to deal with this situation, lest you family be very understanding why you had to quit your job over your boss’s single questionable decision.

Cal'ahn

On October 25, 2012 at 3:18 am

@Nulltron

Having noticed your inability to be reasoned with, I’m curious: how old are you?

Though I don’t expect an honest answer, I *do* love surprises.

Nulltron

On October 25, 2012 at 3:36 am

Zach,

I did not misunderstood your comment. You did mean something else and wrote another. Yet, as I explained, as far as an ending, a quick ending, was ordered down by the executives, it could have been anything, not just this one. The question is why this one.

It has nothing to do with my nature, be it argumentative or not. It has more to do with your nature of wishing for closures and dreaming up one when there is none.

Nulltron

On October 25, 2012 at 6:38 am

Sachel,

As you said before, Casey Hudson is not new to games and he knows what works and what does not. He also knows, that when one says “Game”, the first thing that comes to mind is the idea of winning, not something that the player can only lose and the only choice is how bad he is willing to lose. That, or he is into game theory or something like that, where game is something that it is created, and not met, to be played forever and ever. A very dangerous notion I might add.

What happened at Bioware is akin to severe collapse of character and psyche. There is fine literature playing on that theme. In all those, it happens in hot, humid places brimming with life, not in a place as cold and lifeless as Canada.

For this argument’s sake I will state it clearly. I understand that at Bioware, the routine broke down, two people with highly regarded background and credit sat down and wrote the most ridiculous ending in gaming history, and everybody had to follow their edicts, and when faced with player’s anger, Bioware acted as if nothing happened and accused those players of being simpletons not capable of appreciating art and the freedom it entails.

As a result there are Bioware’s customers that are saying that they won’t get fooled again, and that they will not buy Bioware’s games anymore. There is good reason for that which you try to overlook by leveling accusations of being hateful against others:

1 – With Bioware it has become a trend to either have no ending or a stupid ending.

2 – Bioware is a company that as you insist, can suddenly break down internally and there is no telling how it will behave and operate when that happens. You and others have repeatedly insisted that that is how Bioware is. There has been absolutely no sign that anything has changed at Bioware. In particular, as long as Casey Hudson is there, the possibility that the same breakdown happens again looms ever larger. The man is obviously past his creative years and has taken to plotting things.

3 – Bioware’s insistence that when it comes to Bioware, there should be no payoff where there is reward. For good or bad, adults also play Bioware’s games. In fact the upper teens and upwards was what used to be the bulk of Bioware’s customers.

Casting the dissatisfaction of gamers in hateful terms does not help Bioware at all. It should make it even worse. It has become a costume in all sorts of discussions be it political, social, sports or this one to accuse others of being hateful souls. It may work in politics, but it won’t work when money is involved. For all I care, you could be an accountant or a server admin or a driver at Bioware and could have overheard about the ending fiasco at coffee break. What outside of the company refers to as Bioware, is the games it produces. You are not Hitlers, but you are part of a company that has blown its reputation to pieces. That does not make us the forces of good either, but that does not take away our freedom to choose and how to spend our time either.

Don

On October 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

After reading all this I think it’s safe to say Nulltron is probably in his teens and refuses to listen to the reasoning of adults in the real world.

I say we ignore him and his complaints since his questions have already been addressed by numerous people.

Nully if you don’t like something instead of es about it for weeks and months I’d recommend you ignore it and move on in your life mate.

Don

On October 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Seems you can’t use some words on this forum without them being edited.
So I’ll just reiterate my final sentence from the previous post without it being censored:

“Nully if you don’t like something instead of complaining about it for weeks and months I’d recommend you ignore it and move on in your life mate.”

Nulltron

On October 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

Don,

I am not in my teens. On the other hand it is obvious that you have wasted your teen years, as while you claim that you have read all the arguments you don’t seem to have comprehended the content of those posts. To bring you up to speed, and help you make up for your lost years, this is as short and sweet that I can make it for you:

HOW it happened is different from WHY it happened. By now, everyone knows how it happened. It is so far established that there was no good reason for it to happen the way it did.

markp

On October 26, 2012 at 6:48 am

Sachel,

Then why oh why, for the love of Mass Effect, did the now departed DOCTORS (Bioware’s founders) sign off on such a HORRIBLE ENDING!?! It violates every fundimental of story telling 101. How could two me with as much RPG experience as those two think the ME 3 ending was good?? How? Were the two doctors that out of touch? Had they become arrogant and forgotten what makes a good story?? They could have (and should have) told stopped it. Couldn’t they tell Casey Hudson, “sorry, Casey, but this won’t fly” But they didn’t. Didn’t they ever proof-check their most important IP? Didn’t they ever hear of “trust but verify”?

xen

On October 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

Actually, according to special relativity, the mass of an object reaches infinity at lightspeed, so, in real life the “mass effect” would never allow us to exceed it no matter how strong it was. Instead, it would disrupt the balance between electromagnetic and strong interactions disintegrating the matter it affected into subatomic particles.

Johnson

On October 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

markp – Sachel wants to have his cake and eat it. He’s passing the buck now because it’s generally accepted now by all except the most blinkered of fans (and the elitist/uneducated career gamers in the mainstream press) that the ending was a disaster. He didn’t try to put up a fight at the time, and nor did anyone else. Nobody at BioWare showed any values because they lacked either the talent or the detachment from EA’s capital to speak up. They are as much to blame as Mac and Casey.

thumbACTIVE

On November 20, 2012 at 3:41 am

Thanks for nothing, GameFront. I write an article that heavily endorses this site and certain articles within it, and all I ask in return is that you allow me to send some traffic back to it. That you won’t allow me this right is frankly sad.
___________________

Trying to send a little traffic back is one thing. Spamming links to your article on over half a dozen posts is a little extreme, and it’s not something we allow. -Ed.