Posted on March 16, 2012, Ross Lincoln 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.
The original post can be viewed here.