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  • What more could be said about Mass Effect 3? If you aren’t a part of the fight to set things right (from a certain point of view), then you might be tired of hearing people talk about it. I don’t live in a fantasy world, though I wish I did, so I’m not under the delusion that the ending will be changed. I want it to change, but hey, at least Bioware is doing something.


    Still, a few things irk me about this whole situation. First, I am puzzled about one of the statements made at the PAX Bioware panel. Second, I’m floored by how there are no gaming media sites or magazines that seem to have done research before offering opinions, which leaves me feeling misrepresented. Third, the day one DLC, though possibly justifiable, doesn’t appear to be as justifiable in this case. And last, the EA public relations campaign has taken the negativity surround the conclusion to the game and spun it into a positive.


    So, the panel at PAX went off without a hitch. I’m not surprised given the facing other humans face to face tends to soften the urge to troll. I can’t help but respect Bioware for this great series, but that doesn’t prevent the strain put on my credulity by this statement: “It was important though for us to listen to the community, and a lot of that feedback didn't come until the game came out. Once we were listening we decided to include the extended cut. It wasn't in the game because we didn't know there was such a huge demand for it, to be honest with you.” Now, I appreciate that they want to listen to fans of the series, though if they had actually been listening, the extended cut would actually be the COMPLETE cut, but what really floors me is the claim that they didn’t anticipate demand for closure in the ending to this beloved series. I spent a day with my face frozen in a look of confusion after reading that statement. I can’t imagine how a team who has created some of the most compelling and insightful scenes in gaming could possibly miss that there would be a demand for closure.


    Now, I have seen article after article completely miss the point of the ending controversy and cry out for gamers to support artistic integrity. Its Bioware’s game they say, what right have you to demand a change to their story? I’ll leave aside the fact the ending(s) completely break with the narrative and established canon. I’ll ignore the various plot holes and inconsistencies. I’ll even accept the introduction of a god character in the final moments. What ties the complaints of the majority of Mass Effect 3’s dissatisfied fan base is the fact the Bioware’s marketing and answers to questions during development were very clear that the choices you made throughout the series would affect the ending in a very big way. The truth is that your choices do not matter. So, Bioware lied. Is there a media outlet out there that wants to put that statement out? There doesn’t appear to be. Because of this whole controversy, the image of almost all gaming news sites has been soured for me, not because they disagree with my stance on the ending, but because they aren’t reporting on the situation honestly and in a balanced way.


    I was far more upset about the ending to the game than the day one DLC. I purchased a boxed copy of the PC release, not the collector’s edition, so I missed out on the DLC altogether. It wasn’t until after I beat the game that I checked out what the DLC fiasco was all about, and then it really hit home what I had missed. Let me outline a scenario: You purchase a game on the day it comes out, and find when you get home that there is DLC already up on the online store. Checking it out you see that there are several new costumes, an extra gun of each variety, and some fun stuff to stick in your officer’s cabin. Great! I like character customization, so I might pick up some extra costumes, fun times! Here’s what actually happened: You purchased a game the day it came out, and found that there was already some DLC up on the online store. What could it be? New costumes or maybe some extra weapons? No, it turns out that it is an extra character and some story for a creature that has up until now mysteriously disappeared from the galaxy. The previous two games have been talking a LOT about these guys, so they are and absolutely INTEGRAL part of the story. I support DLC, it extends the life of games I love. This is not the same as that; the character should have been a part of the main story line. That’s why people are pissed, and yet again, there are articles claiming that gamers hate all DLC, and we should understand the development process and blah blah blah. Hey, every gaming media site and gaming company, it is up to YOU to understand YOUR customers, not the other way around. We learn about you by choice, you learn about us by necessity. Take a page from CDProjekt RED’s book, they get it.


    And of course, the last, and most disturbing for me, was the advertisement put out by EA/Bioware for the recent DLC adding to Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, in which they quote an article from Entertainment Weekly: “…Mass Effect 3 has provoked a bigger fan reaction than any other videogame’s conclusion in the medium’s history.” If that isn’t the biggest middle finger I have ever received as a fan of anything, I’ll eat a bucket o’ scorpions. Of all the terrible PR moves, this has to be the worst ever perpetrated my EA. In a single stroke they have completely dissolved absolutely any good will I had left for them or Bioware, and have effectively welded my wallet completely shut forever. When I saw it, I couldn’t even believe it was true. That they could be so crass about wrongdoing and turn it into a positive note, it just boggle’s the already boggled mind. In a medium where fun is supposed to be the order of the day, this has all been a decidedly unfun misadventure.


    Anyhow, there’s my rant. Let me know what you think. Also, thanks for reading my wall of text.

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