The lights are on
BioWare says it's working on game content that will hopefully bring closure and clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3.
A new letter posted by Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka addresses the issues and concerns the team has faced since the game launched earlier this month. Muzyka said the development team is working on a number of game content initiatives that will "help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey."
Muzyka adds that some of the fan outrage has gone a little too far. "We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary," he said.
He concluded by saying fans will hear more about BioWare's plans for Mass Effect 3 in April.
Below is Muzyka's letter in full:
To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare
As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. 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.
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, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism. 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.
Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us. 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.
To that end, since the game launched, the team has been poring over everything they can find about reactions to the game – industry press, forums, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. The Mass Effect team, like other teams across the BioWare Label within EA, consists of passionate people who work hard for the love of creating experiences that excite and delight our fans. I’m honored to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback.
Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received. 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.
The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and we’re planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, I’m proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.
Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example – has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.
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. In return, I’d ask that you help us do that by supporting what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted. I urge you to do your own research: play the game, finish it and tell us what you think. Tell your friends if you feel it’s a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damndest, as always, to address your feedback. As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support.
Thank you for your feedback – we are listening.
1. Don't tolerate me think EA and Dudson are sell outs. OH NO you're angry. I'll just not buy EA or Bioware products anymore. You sure showed me guy!
2. The critics = more important then the people who ACTUALLY PAY for the game, as not one GI person didn't get this game for free. Whatever.
3. The majority of fans hated the ending. Sorry it's 100% true.
4. Experimenting on the final installment of a trilogy is dumb. Adding on Multiplayer, over the top DLC revenue streams (Most horrible exclusive), and then a dumbed down version for rail shooter extrodinaires, wasn't a smart idea. Could have waited until the next installment to start tinkering w/a no fail formula.
5. Besides the plot hole filled ending the game was amazing. The ending spit in the face of the previous X amount of hours.
6. With the way EA/Bioware had 100's and 100's of dollars of exlusive DLC most think you meant all along to have a "Real ending" (for lack of better term) to be purchasable DLC. Which is slimey.
I get that the endings are disappointing, but this is the same type of s**t people were upset about with DA2. Maybe Bioware made a bad decision on this one, nevertheless, they put their all into the making of this game, they can't make everyone happy, and obviously they didn't, not by a long shot. They shouldn't care what supposed "fans" of the series have to say, they made something they were proud of, as they damn well should be, this game, however disappointing the ending(s), is still a monumental achievement in game development history, never has a developer gotten a fan-base so enveloped in a series or created so many different FULLY VOICED outcomes based on the PLAYER'S choices, yeah, ME3 made some of those choices plainly vanish, (retrofitted Normandy, Udina counselor instead of Anderson, etc.) but people want to take ONE part of the game and tear it apart, and not look at what the ENTIRE SERIES has accomplished as a whole. So, if you claim to be a fan of Mass Effect, ACT LIKE ONE, and be happy with what you got, at least you didn't get recycled terrain which actually didn't bother me. ;P
Mass Effect is an amazing franchise that has captivated me from the beginning. The rich back-stories and lavish universe that the team at Bioware created was one the most accomplished feats of the current video game generation. Bioware has consistently taken the feedback of it's fan base to heart. When people had complaints about the frame rate, inventory system and the dialogue-to-action ratio in ME1 those issues were addressed and ME2 was a better game for it. When people complained that they didn't want to scan minerals or endure grueling fire fights to enjoy ME's narrative, Bioware responded by cutting back on the fat and giving gamers the choice of what kind of experience they wished to play i.e. action, rpg, or narrative. Still after all the things that the development team has done for its fans people still have to find a reason to nay say a brilliant video game full of meaning and emotion. I am a person who feels that it is important for video games to eventually be considered as an art form in the ranks of other media types such as film and literature. That cannot happen so long as people only wish to have their personal needs met in the area of story telling. I mean really, what would have happened had one of George Orwell's fans said that 1984 should have ended with the resistance winning, or that Animal Farm shouldn't have ended with pigs that resembled men. Continue to ask for better game-play mechanics, but let the writers do what they do best. Tell amazing stories.