BioWare posted on their Facebook wall for Mass Effect that, apparently, they’re not ruling out creating a new ending for Mass Effect 3. This comes after fans have been railing against the company since the game’s launch for its conclusion.
We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.
I played and reviewed Mass Effect 3 for TechnoBuffalo. In that review, I dedicated an entire section to how much I didn’t like the ending of the game. I mention that because I will herd myself in with the group that didn’t like the conclusion of the title.
The ending needs to stay. The Mass Effect series was built with a narrative in mind. It may be riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies, and it may take the winning dynamic of the series away by forcing three choices on players and it may play horribly; but, it’s the ending the companies made.
Look at film. Admittedly, there are times in film when Director’s Cuts shed more light on plotlines than theatrical releases. Take, for instance, Blade Runner. Ridley Scott released a film that left audiences positively puzzled for years and years. If you’ve not seen it (for shame!), know that the whole film points towards a final question mark. In the theatrical version, that question is left massively open. In some regards, that’s what made Blade Runner so wonderful. The Director’s Cut, however, removed this ambiguity a great deal.
If fans bully BioWare into changing the way Mass Effect 3 ends, BioWare’s vision is sacrificed. Sure, we as a base of consumers may not like the way things ended in this game, but forcing the creators to “make something better” is a terrible notion. We’re pretty much saying that we don’t trust creatives to drive a storyline from start to finish. In saying that, we’re doing a disservice to the medium we love.
Why? Say BioWare does change the ending of Mass Effect 3. Guess what’s going to happen… the suits at EA are going to slap a price tag on the new ending and call it DLC. What does that do? It makes alternate endings a product instead of in-game content. It makes it okay for studios to end a game one way, and then sell the other closings to the masses for top dollar. It puts a viable price and demand on narrative structure, and that would deal a terrible blow to the gaming medium.
Video games, as a way to tell story and interact with fiction, are evolving. They have been for decades. Every step of evolution will come with hiccups; whether that’s day-one DLC or lackluster endings. It’s important that we, as consumers, do our parts in keeping this medium moving in a positive direction. We speak with our wallets. If you don’t like the way a game ends, speak with your wallets and avoid the extra content.
By demanding creators to go back and “do it again,” fans become bullies. They say, plainly, that they don’t trust the companies they “love” and don’t respect the medium the explore. Furthermore, fans are telling EA and other publishers that they are willing to pay extra money to see a game end in a new way. That, frankly, is scary.