The Mass Effect 3 ending snafu has reached epic proportions. It's so huge, in fact, that Irrational Games founder and Bioshock creator Ken Levine addressed the issue at the Smithsonian's "Art of Video Games" exhibit.

Levine first called the uprising an "important moment for the industry," but if BioWare bows to the pressure, nobody is going to end up satisfied.

"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."

Furthermore, BioWare-Mythic senior creative director Paul Barnett told the audience that he believes authors should have "total control over their creations," and he cited J.K Rowling and the controversial conclusion to the "Harry Potter" series. Said Barnett:

"If computer games are art than I fully endorse the author of the artwork to have a statement about what they believe should happen. Just as J.K. Rowling can end her books and say that is the end of Harry Potter. I don't think she should be forced to make another one."

I believe – let me check now – yes, I believe I just recently said something similar . Now gamers have to make a choice: if you call video games art, than you have absolutely no right to tell the artist to change something about a finished product. You can certainly have an opinion, and maybe the artist will take that feedback into account in the future, but that's it. However, if you only want to call them "entertainment products" and it's the job of the developer to simply cater to you, regardless of internal vision, than by all means, make them change it.

But nobody is ever going to win this one. It's just a bad situation.

Related Game(s): Mass Effect 3

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Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

I disagree Ben.

You win this one.

YOU win.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Nah, nobody wins. Unfortunately, Mass Effect is going to be tainted forever because of this, and that's just really sad.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 3/21/2012 10:24:32 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Is the tainting justified, though? Is it a symptom of how even gamers don't see games as art and nothing more than entertainment? Does this have any implications on video games ever being a respected medium to the same extent as movies?

In that sense, yeah, everyone loses. Gamers are basically standing up saying that games are not artistic and are pure entertainment… which means they cannot be respected to the same extent that movies are.

That is actually pretty sad.

DjEezzy
DjEezzy
9 years ago

Ken nailed it right on the head with his statement. People just tend to never be satisfied with anything. When you see developers like DICE who change the game to the gamers liking, then see the same group of gamers start complaining about the changes they made, you start to see that its just a never ending cycle. It's really a shame to see to be honest. Entertainment or art, i don't think it really matters. These people are working 12 to 18 hour days to come out with these wonderful pieces of digital art/entertainment and i think they should have total control over what happens in the game. Whatever happened to a mans piece of junk is another mans treasure?!? You can't always please everybody and people need to realize that. I think some people need to get over themselves. Nuff said…

H0TSHELLZ
H0TSHELLZ
9 years ago

I agree………I know i didnt get this Krazy when i finished Resistance 2 and was like.. WTF for real ?

WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I've been saying all along this is a bad situation. If Bioware changes it, Levine is right no one will be happy. There will be more of a disconnection, and it won't feel natural. I'd much rather have a bad ending in a finished product that the developer envisioned, than a re-release of what is really just an add-on to get a "new" ending. It's not natural, that "new" ending was never part of the game and I bet everyone who plays it would get that feeling..

The thing is There are people who are fine with the ending and if they change it those people may be upset with the new one, so here we go round and round. I havnt finished it but regardless I know from past experiences and how I feel about original product, I don't want them to create a different ending.

And about art. Yea we can't ask the artist to change his or her vision. Just like for those wanting a new ending, obviously your opinion won't change.


Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/21/2012 10:29:14 AM

Nerull
Nerull
9 years ago

I still haven't gotten to the ending but just throwing this out there for consideration: movies are considered art and they've been known to have the occassional alternate ending, director's cuts, and I'm not even going to touch the reboot trend.
I'm not saying Bioware has to change it, but sometimes hindsight is 20/20 and games are all always have 1000 aspects struggling to mesh in time for release.

cthulhu_spawn
cthulhu_spawn
9 years ago

I believe that the main difference is that when a work of art/literature is completed and put out for public enjoyment and appreciation it is a finished, complete and total representation of the artist/authors expression of an internal idea or feeling or belief and as such the consumer can like it or lump it,and games should be the same.
I think most peoples main gripe is that in this dlc heavy enviroment, no-one actually believes that the product playing on their HDTV is in fact the designers finished, complete and heart-felt vision of what they wanted to show and share with people, but more a springboard for a raft of over-priced dlc.
If, as in this case, mass effect 3 was released as a full and standalone ending to a much loved game franchise, with no dlc to follow then people would be acting alot differently. The fact that the company itself have told us 'that this is not the end of shepard' leads me to believe that the idea of entitled fans bitching falls flat as they obviously haven't finished with, or entirely represented their vision so they are playing a canny marketing campaign.
I intend to buy and enjoy the game whatever the endings are like or whether more are to follow.

Comic Shaman
Comic Shaman
9 years ago

You make a very good point. Bioware bears a great deal of responsibility for the way this has all gone, not just for making a very unpopular ending, but for the precedent they've established with past DLC. Much of the DLC they added to Mass Effect 2 was integral to the story, not just "side mission" stuff. If you didn't download the last one, for instance, you wouldn't have much context for understanding why Shepard was in the position she was in as Mass Effect 3 began.

So they've set up their games as "incomplete" upon release. That's why this falls into a grey area, making it different from (for example) a complete novel where people didn't like the ending.

Not saying that I disagree with Levine here… I think a complete ending rewrite won't make anyone happy in the long run.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

I see where you're coming from. You make a good point. But I would say that in this case in particular, regardless of if Bioware releases future DLC, they did complete the main story how they visioned it ending. Bioware had a story and they told it. That's, that, we shouldn't say anymore about it. If Bioware were to re-create the ending then yes, I would agree they no longer have lived up to those standards and not only changed what they wanted to tell, but have lowered the level on which we are basing this argument. Is it art, or entertainment? At that point it would be entertainment, as they are changing it based on entertainment purposes.

But DLC is different. It doesn't change the main story in most all cases I've experienced. It adds to the story that's already told in some ways, exploring different areas. Which I'll admit sometimes disagree with, if it at all touches on the main stories plot. For example, the Uncharted games clearly are done at each games ending. I would hate if ND spent the time and resources adding to that game in the way of DLC, because they already told that story, its concluded in my eyes. If you're going to spend that time adding on, why not just create a whole new adventure and story? But for a game like Skyrim that ha a main story but also a ton of sub stories, DLC is perfect. Yes there is a main story but it's the adventure and open world that keeps a game like that engaging, not a linear, story arch.

cthulhu_spawn
cthulhu_spawn
9 years ago

Perhaps i'm just a cynical old man, but i wouldn't be at all surprised if multiple endings with staggered releases were already planned and an integral part of bioware's strategy. If that's the case it was a risky strategy and has been proven so now.
The main problem is as Levine alludes to. No matter what new endings, dlc etc are now released, it will be seen as the developer giving in to public demand and a loss of their integrity as a result. This will give rise to the 'entitled moaning and whining' that ben has made reference to before, as the average internet idiot will believe that it was their vocal admonition, rather than the developers intent that gave rise to the new stuff which will open the door to loads more of this nonsense in the future of people believing they can shape the world to their view rather the ideas of talented developers who don't want the hassle of defending the stories they want to tell in the way they want to tell them

cthulhu_spawn
cthulhu_spawn
9 years ago

Just read on beefjack.com that bioware have announced they are giving in to public demand and starting work on new endings.

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

Can't disagree with you there. I think anything released for ME3 at this point, would not be good, for themseleves or the industry. It may benefit from a financial point, but you pointed out integrity. I also believe it will be seen as giving in. They are in a tough spot now. And it's all because they do what they do for the fans, and look where the "fans" have put them.

xenris
xenris
9 years ago

I agree with cthulu and comic. The ending to this doesn't FEEL complete. Not only that but we have seen with ME2 that the DLC they added was integral to the story.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QT4IUepvrU1pfv_B95oQj0H84DlCTUmzQ_uQh1voTUs/preview?pli=1&sle=true

In fact ME3 assumes you have played all of the ME2 DLC. Not to mention the Arrival DLC makes the whole collector story arc in ME2 irrelevant. All that aside it REALLY feels like this is a planned DLC move.

This doc shows how the ending makes no sense. My problem is when you pay attention to the ending, you see that it is either the worst writing in the history of gaming or a set up dream sequence. Its a sad day when fans hope that it is a dream sequence 😛

I actually believe it is a dream sequence, and we will get DLC to show what actually happens to shepard after the lazer blast. If you get the good ending and see the extra cutscene the dream sequence starts making more sense.

Anyway THAT is the problem with this. It is just enough complete for people to get the illusion of a finished product, but if you take some time and look at it more critically, you can kind of tell that it doesn't feel finished.

I dont think they should rewrite the ending and I wish they didn't make any DLC but I have a strong feeling they will, and its going to complete the story. Although they might be wary of doing that seeing as how much backlash this whole thing has caused.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I can't have a good opinion until I've played and finished ME3. But most respected game players I know who have finished it, agree that the ending has problems, not so much in expression but in quality. It isn't really a vision concern it would seem.. it's a crappiness one. Crappiness in that this could be a marketing stunt to sap players of thier money from DLC. Either way, this whole think just stinks because of how many theories can exist over the debacle. Ultimately, one way or another, it's fairly apparant, Bioware dropped the ball hardcore. I have little doubt that if the ending was controversial but well executed things would not have escalated as they have. I'm sure there'd be whiners, there always are, But seeing that intelligent people have played it and agree it's poor quality, Bioware should own up and finish their game if you ask me. I really don't see it much different than patching a flaws in game design. anyway, I'm ready to move on with this issue… and hopefully someone presuades Levine that non-interactive cutscenes are okay in video games 😉

PoopsMcGee
PoopsMcGee
9 years ago

I don't care personally because I never got into the Mass Effect series, but filmmakers change their endings all the time due to audience feedback. That's why they do screeners. Usually it ends up sucking and watering-down the filmmakers vision, but the point is this is done in other 'artistic' mediums, as well.

Art (or entertainment) is watered-down for mass consumption all the time (as expected when huge corporations are the primary source for 'art' as in our society), so this doesn't set some 'dangerous precedent'.

cthulhu_spawn
cthulhu_spawn
9 years ago

That's a good point and one i wholeheartedly understand, screeners however, do tend to be to a select audience, and the feedback recieved and is then acted on before the said movie goes out to the masses for commercial gain.
Though you only have to look at how many directors cuts, extended editions, special editions, anniversary editions etc will be released at some point in the future to realize that you are 100% right. This is not limited to the gaming industry and most people understand the way the world works.
Since the prevalence of the net every moron with a keyboard and a connection can go online wrongly believing that just because lots can hear their view it somehow carries more weight, doesn't make their view right or valid

PoopsMcGee
PoopsMcGee
9 years ago

BTW- I'm not saying I think they should change it or not, like I said I haven't played the games so I hold no opinion.

Sometimes feedback can improve upon an artists vision (even in the artists opinion).

bigrailer19
bigrailer19
9 years ago

That's the whole point. They had a vision for this game, it is now done. The best thing Bioware – the artist in this case – can do now is take this feedback and use it for future projects, which hopefully isn't a new ending. Feedback is a great tool for growth. But that's what it should e used for, not to change an artists completed work.

telly
telly
9 years ago

That's actually a really good point, but that only takes a very small bit of the sting out of this. Still feel so sorry for the team that worked so hard and delivered this stellar game. And make no mistake — Mass Effect 3 is a f**king AWESOME game. These should be the happiest days of the team members' professional lives, instead they have to deal with this s**t.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

I disagree that filmmakers change their endings "all the time". That rarely happens. And certainly not with the best of the best.

The best thing Bioware should do, imo, is to defend what they've done. Provide further insight to their endings that help further elaborate on the characters that the audience may have overlooked.

Lots of the best pieces of art actually -require- some further knowledge on the topic at hand to full understand the literature. Why not support what they've already done? That would be the best direction.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 11:19:30 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

actually they shoot multiple endings and go with the best one.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

That's not exactly the same thing though, is it.

If it were, his point would be even further off the mark. Unless, of course, I missed something and ME3 hasn't released yet.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 6:27:05 PM

telly
telly
9 years ago

I have steered clear of this topic because I've been playing through the game, loving nearly all of it, and wondering what the hell everyone is bitching so much about. Word has just come out that BioWare WILL change the ending now, and Ken Levine was right. This is sad. I really hope whatever DLC content BioWare comes up with doesn't compromise the ending, but honestly, I have a bad feeling that no matter what they come up with no one is going to be happy. Ben is so, so right about this: this is a terrible precedent we're setting. I fear for the future of games when an astoundingly loud and furious portion of the population can verbally abuse artists so brutally they are forced to alter their vision or else face dire, long-term economic consequences. Mass Effect die hards who caused this, you should be ashamed.

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

After watching the ending I think it was one of the worst ever.lol and this franchise best appeal is the history? they ruined their franchise and like it was said now not all gonna be happy if they change it.

So much hype for the supposed franchise that destroys all the PS3 ones.


Last edited by Oxvial on 3/21/2012 11:18:46 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Was it worse than Rage? Couldn't possible be worse than Rage's ending.

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Not sure about Rage ending but ME introduces a new character at last minute he explains the reapers stuff in a :facepalm: worthy way and force you too select a crap resolution no matter what your decisions were on the three games.

JDC80
JDC80
9 years ago

I might get thumbs down but what's the deal with the ending? I got the game(haven't played it yet trying to get every upgrade to make sure everyone makes it out alive in the final mission in Mass Effect 2). I usually don't get upset with endings unless they don't make sense or it's done half ass.


Last edited by JDC80 on 3/21/2012 11:27:58 AM

xenris
xenris
9 years ago

If you pay attention to it, it doesn't make a lick of sense. The last 30 or so minutes are complete nonsense. If your even a slightly critical or logical thinker you will start noticing a lot of oddities.

I wont spoil it but once your done with it you can look up some blogs people have with the "problems" with it.

Zen_Zarab
Zen_Zarab
9 years ago

Fallout 3: Broken Steel anyone?

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

yeaaah… but without Broken Steel Fallout 3's ending is definitive about what happened. That expansion was there for people who wanted more (and so it created more instead of leaving parts unclear in the main games ending) – if you didn't everyting was still tied off.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

And when BioWare releases the multiple endings and charges for them, people will freak out again. Or when they release them for free and they're not what the fans wanted, the fans will freak out again. Or when they release them for free and they're exactly what the fans wanted, the fans will freak out because BioWare screwed up by not initially putting them in the game.

I'm sorry, but there's no way out of this. Levine is absolutely 100% correct, because he knows there's no way of appeasing the fans now. They think they're entitled to their indignation and hatred and BioWare will never be able to fix it. So I say, just let it go. BOTH sides…let it…GO.

telly
telly
9 years ago

I really hope BioWare finds a way to diffuse the situation. Such a great game, a great game company, and you just know there are fans out there that have already made up their minds and are going to never, ever let this go no matter how much BioWare tries to appease them or how much time passes.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

Agreed, and really the whole DLC thing is a big part of the problem. Gamers now can't have the comfort of knowing that developers have put all their hard work and soul up to the retail release of their game.

Knowing Bioware's past, don't they release DLC for the series anyway, that's actually an important part to the story? It's another thing I wonder about because I thought the fans possibly could've waited till some kind of DLC annoucement before taking it hard to the developers. Then again, that's a practice many people don't have a fond of either.

Best way now is certainly for both sides to move on.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

So was this ending more in the line of nonsense, or incomplete?

I thought it was just a matter of filling in plot holes, not so much as to "changing" the ending. To me it sounds like gamers wants answers more so than a different ending, if that makes sense. Perhaps I need to see it myself.

xenris
xenris
9 years ago

The ending so very nonsensical when you break it down. Even while I was playing it I was asking questions and wondering how certain things were happening when dialogue that happened not more than 5 minutes ago contradicted what I was experiencing.

*********Potential Spoilers*****************

So yeah gamers just want questions answered because it literally didn't actually end Shepards journey. This is blatantly obvious when you get the secret "best" ending.

No matter how you look at the ending, it wasn't the best way to end the series. UNLESS they planned to expand on the ending, which after piecing together the ending and the secret ending, its pretty obvious that the ending is so nonsensical to serve as an easy place to retcon a more proper ending. IE the ending might have been a dream or something similar that fits with the ME universe *hint hint*.

I don't want to spoil the story if you haven't played it though. I hope that hasn't ruined anything for you.

karneli lll
karneli lll
9 years ago

Its sad especially when online retailers like Amazon are offering refunds for people who bought Mass Effect 3. Although…if so many people are complaining then there has to be something wrong right?

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

That's also another point. When something is of mass proportion, it's usually (if not, definitely) worth noting. Whether it's a bad thing or not is another thing though.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

Well, if they do plan to have DLC for ME3, like they did with ME2 (which to some of you were important to the main story), now we won't know for sure if it was to their plan, or adjusted to the fan's suggestions.

Bottom line, in this DLC heavy era and Bioware's past actions, can you blame the gamers for suspecting a foul play on a game's ending? By foul play, I meant about the ending being intentionally incomplete for the sole purpose of future DLC content for some extra $$$.

Other than that, I definitely agree that an artist's vision should never be forced to change by its peers, but only inspired at best. The only thing I don't agree is developer's putting half-arse on their retail release game, so they could rake in some extra bucks along the way with DLC. An artist certainly shouldn't have to change his/her vision by the demands of its fans, but they should give it everything they have on a product. I'm not saying that's what they did with ME3, but I'm just speaking about DLC practices in general this generation.

xenris
xenris
9 years ago

News update. Bioware has confirmed on their forums that they will release new content to provide added closure.

I saw this coming, and to people who think its terrible that they "caved" they really didn't. This was most likely planned, and pretty obvious if you pieced together the ending and best hidden ending thing. Its obvious that ME3 didn't end when the credits rolled, and even more obvious that Shepards tale wasn't over. However this only works if you get the BEST ending, which is most likely the canon ending.

Annnnd if it wasn't all planned than bioware is an amazing developer for listening to their fans, and actually acknowledging that the ending was poorly written and explained.

You have to be very humble to admit you messed up and this shows that Bioware cares and doesn't want to lose its fans.

However I still maintain that this was part of the planned DLC anyway. At least thats what I want to believe, because I can't believe that bioware would intentionally write some a FACTUALLY bad ending full of plot holes and nonsensical sequences.

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
9 years ago

I really hope they just modify the ending so it doesn't seem rush or better yet somehow get the same endings but shepard never leaving the room and starchild coming out of nowhere.

JLB1
JLB1
9 years ago

While this whole thing is putting me off, at some point, I will purchase the game to see what the fuss is all about. Especially since I want to ride this out till the end. I'd give my two cents on the whole matter, but seeing as how I didn't finish, let alone play, the damn game, my opinion won't hold much weight.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Isn't that great that people buy games to see what the fuss is about?
Gamers can be cool like that.
Really, how many people tried Duke Nukem just to see how bad it was?

JLB1
JLB1
9 years ago

Well, I played ME2 and loved it, so it's not like I'll be going into the game not knowing what's what. Also, all this fuss isn't the main reason why I'll be getting the game, like I said, I want to ride it out to the end. But, I get what you mean.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I dunno man, if it wasn't for fan pressure Sherlock Holmes would have been dead halfway through his career.

But I agree if Bioware changes things it changes the dynamic of how fans and game devs interact, I agree that nobody would be happy in the end.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I dunno, doesn't that qualify as a false dichotomy, World?

…anyway, if I do play this and see that the execution of the ending was fine, bizarre as it may be, I'll support Bioware in telling fans, "that's how it is, like it or suck it"
but if this ends up being ..uhh, well, we ran out of disc space for the 360 version, and we didn't want to add another disc… hmm, well.. I could actually go on and on.

…hehe I like how we're these PSXe wannabe philopshers

I wanna be Temjim'ocrates
You can be Aristot-endswithme
Ben can be Bento
okay ran out of nicknames =p
Excelsior can be .. Thrasymachus =p
Highlander can be Mencius (or Nietzche.. he's hardcore like that)
Jawkney is John Locke.. being all conservative and all

okay, I'm having too much fun with this 😉

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Insane as it sounds I kind of like Heraclitus, I'll be HeraWorldUs 🙂

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

This reminds me of when Sucker Punch caved in and changed Cole's appearance for inFamous 2 after the redesign didn't go over well with fans. Even though I thought the new Cole looked too much like Nathan Drake for no reason whatsoever, I didn't like the fact that Sucker Punch caved in and changed him back. I do think that the developers have a certain responsibility to their audience, but they should never ever be dictacted by their audience.

And just as a disclaimer, I have never played the Mass Effect games (more than a couple of demos) so I don't know the story well or how bad the ending was.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Very different. Just like screening for movies is different. That's all done BEFORE the product is finished and written in stone. If the artists choose to bring it to their intended audiences beforehand for the express purpose of feedback, they can do so.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

True, it was before the product was finished. They still had to change it because of fan outcry of how THE PEOPLE thought the product should look like.