news\ Mar 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

Player feedback to determine future Mass Effect 3 content


If you haven't heard by now, fans are kind of upset over the Mass Effect 3 ending.  BioWare, however, continues to emphasize that they hear you and that they are listening to player feedback. 

BioWare has yet to issue a formal explanation of the game's ending, or lack thereof.  Fans are upset over the ending for a number of reasons.  I won't spoil exactly what happens, but the overall consensus seems to be lack of closure and a letdown in the amount of "different" endings.

Mass Effect 3 executive producer Casey Hudson has, once again, sent another message to fans assuring they will "keep listening".

Speaking through the BioWare forums, Hudson admitted that they "recognize some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories - and these comments are equally valid."

"Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series," he added.

In fact, your feedback could help shape future Mass Effect 3 content.  BioWare is once again turning to fans to help shape a story that Hudson describes as a "shared experience between the development team and our fans - not just a shared experience in playing the games, but in designing and developing them."

"An outpouring of love for Garrus and Tali led to their inclusion as love interests in Mass Effect 2.  A request for deeper RPG systems led to key design changes in Mass Effect 3," he justified.

"Your feedback has always mattered," Hudson reassured fans.  "Mass Effect is a collaboration between developers and players, and we continue to listen."

"So where do we go from here? Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content.  And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard. "

Was Hudson hinting at something with that last statement?  Will future Mass Effect 3 DLC change the ending of the game - as many fans have requested?

Unfortunately, probably not.  In a Mass Effect 3: Final Hours interview (via), Hudson revealed that future Mass Effect 3 content "would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3 - not after."

So while future Mass Effect 3 content won't "change" the ending of the game - as some have suggested based on leaked DLC images - it could provide further explanation or clarification or "closure" for Mass Effect fans.  It's hard to explain exactly what it could clarify without spoiling the actual endings, but either way it doesn't look like BioWare has plans to change the aftermath of what happened. 

For those who have already experienced the ending of the game, read below for some of Hudson's thoughts on it - or at least BioWare's intentions.

For the last eight years, Mass Effect  has been a labor of love for our team; love for the characters we’ve created, for the medium of video games, and for the fans that have supported us.  For us and for you, Mass Effect 3 had to live up to a lot of expectations, not only for a great gaming experience, but for a resolution to the countless storylines and decisions you’ve made as a player since the journey began in 2007. So we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a series of endings to key plots and storylines, each culminating in scenes that show you the consequences of your actions.  You then carry the knowledge of these consequences with you as you complete the final moments of your journey.

We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending—to do otherwise would betray the agonizing decisions Shepard had to make along the way.  Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending; in a story where you face a hopeless struggle for basic survival, we see the final moments and imagery as offering victory and hope in the context of sacrifice and reflection.

Once, nothing said explains anything about the ending of Mass Effect 3, BioWare's Chris Priestly did say earlier that the company plans to engage in healthy discussions in the future, "once more people have had time to complete the game."

Hopefully, the ending of Mass Effect 3 is clarified via DLC and not some lame BioWare explanation like "we wanted a polarizing ending to get people to talk about the game."  Yes, Hudson did actually say that.

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