Posted on March 12, 2012, Ross Lincoln The Mass Effect 3 Ending Backlash Continues To Gain Steam
Obviously, spoilers below. I’ll try to keep them light but you’ve been warned.
Since officially debuting over the weekend, the backlash against the controversial ending to Mass Effect 3 has sharply increased, both in vitriol and in numbers of supporters. To recap, as last week drew to a close the first wave of game-finishers began to report the ending was – to put it mildly – extremely disappointing. These gamers condemned what they saw as the ending’s lack of real closure, the particularly gruesome plotholes and contradictions, its brevity, and most damning, that the ending renders player choices meaningless.
Naturally, they took to the Internet to make their displeasure known. On the BioWare forums, two separate polls were created to demand that BioWare fix things by adding additional ending options that honor the time and effort players have put into the series. Soon after, a facebook group, represented on Twitter by RetakeME3, arose making the same demand. Granted, often the most hardcore of any community are the most easily displeased, but if BioWare – and certain members of the gaming press – thought this was nothing more than the petulant whining of outraged fanboys demanding free ponies, they had better readjust their thinking.
In less than 2 days, what began as a small group of (what I think are justified) malcontents has absolutely exploded as more and more players finish the end of the Shepard trilogy. Though it’s still very early in the game‘s release cycle, it is now beginning to look as though a majority of players agree that the ending is not very good. A BioWare forum poll that provides an extremely detailed suggestion for fixing the ending currently has a over 7,000 votes. That might not sound like a lot, but the page has recieved 68,421 views. A second poll with a less detailed suggestion, simply called What would you like to do about the endings?” has received 31,893 votes and 208,875 views.
The Twitter page for RetakeME3 now has a relatively small 1800+ followers (though that number has jumped sharply since yesterday. Their Facebook page now has more than 13,000 followers, and their official hashtag, #retakemasseffect has reached an audience of over 12,000 people in the last 24 hours.
So far, BioWare has largely remained mum on this issue. Except for the occasional bit of snark of course. But players aren’t demanding hugs or ponies, and seeking to characterize this outpouring of frustration as insignificant or immature is only going to work for so long. Sometime very soon, BioWare will need to address this in some official capacity. Some cryptic tweets by Mike Gamble and the official Mass Effect 3 twitter feed seem to imply they soon will. We’ll see if, in fact, the controversial ending is part of a larger plan.
We’ll be on this story all week, including some in depth commentary of our own (Spoiler alert: Game Front thinks the fans have a point.) In the meantime, what about you, readers? Let us know in comments how you feel about the ending.