This post came from Dr. Ray Muzyka himself (you know they aren't messing around anymore when the top guy responds to the fan outcry :P), please read it if you haven't already. I'll just jump right in to a couple things i found interesting in the blog:
Dr.Muzyka wrote: Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.
Okay that's all well and good but it sounds to me like you did the opposite by mentioning that lol. Defending your work is the natural thing to do, you did the same when FOX news attacked Mass Effect 1 so I would expect you to do it now. In fact I, along with many other people, ALSO supported you against FOX news and those who wish to censor video games... Can you understand why it hurts us (the fans) so much when you say these types of things? Making it looks as if we were all the bad-guys trying to destroy the Mass Effect series?
Also that's great that Mass Effect 3 got good reviews, I enjoyed the game a lot in fact. But what if the only people who buy your games are the critics because you made your fans THAT angry? Who are you going to point the good reviews to then? This is not some veiled threat i'm sending to you Bioware, it is a simple fact that some fans have clearly stated their intentions to never buy a Bioware game again, i'm just shedding light on it.
Dr.Muzyka wrote: I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds ... At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3’s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.
Yeah i agree, and who would disagree that it is the game designers right to artistic freedom and integrity? To clarify: we are angry that you may have confused "artistic integrity" with a 'linear story' for the ending. You said yourself the "power of our medium flows from our audience" so why is there no real choice in the ME3 ending? And why did none of the things we did in the entire series matter in those last 5 minutes? There is a line between "artistic integrity" and just plain old linear story-telling. The latter i could find in any RPG, the former I find in a Bioware game. Bioware has shown they can maintain Artistic integrity and still allow the player to choose their own actions (and therefore consequences) before, so why drop the ball now? That is why we are angry.
Dr.Muzyka wrote: This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. We’re already working hard to do that.
Dr.Muzyka wrote: This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.
I love the Mass Effect series, and i have every confidence that Bioware will not drop the ball on anything else in the future because i think they have learned from this mistake with the ME3 endings. Now that may be naive of me and if i'm wrong i will be the first to admit it, don't get me wrong, but for now i see no reason not to believe the co-founder of Bioware. As for the real meat of these quotes: it's great to hear that the folks at Bioware are working towards fixing the endings. One suggestion though: MAKE IT FREE DLC or i can guarantee a tonne of even more pissed off fans and even less support (again not a threat just judging from what i've observed of the fans)
Dr.Muzyka wrote: If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team – we respect your opinion and want to hear it. We’re committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can.
I have some constructive criticism for the Bioware devs: claim that the ending was supposed to be a cliffhanger to the real ending (which will be released as DLC) and that Shepard had been indoctrinated. Whether this was your true intent or not is now irrelevant because i think claiming anything other than 'Shepard was indoctrinated" will get you a tonne of hate, so the options are rather limited. I have faith that the Bioware writers will be able to come up with something good, but just make sure it shows the culmination of the players actions from all the Mass Effect games, i would recommend having a lot of cutscenes showing these things but i can also understand if the devs want to make it interactive as well. Also make sure the ending is definitive, the fans have already been through enough BS with the cliffhanger ending in the original game, make sure the ending doesn't leave the player with any more questions basically (unless that question is "will there be more Mass Effect games with Shepard?" - hype is always good for sales on the next game ;D)
And the last, and the most important point - i can not stress enough how important this is: Make the ending DLC free. Having the cliffhanger ending was a fairly troll-y move if you ask me, and i definitely do not like it now. That being said, I, along with a lot of other people i think, would look back on this event in a year's time thinking the move was genius because of the free epilogue DLC released a month or w/e after the game release. This would only work if it was free though, if it costs money (any amount of money) it is equivalent to an author not writing the last chapter of a book until a couple months after and then selling it for $10 - it's greedy beyond all recognition and just not good business practice.
If you guys have any suggestions for Bioware post them here.
- Admiral out