Controversy Surrounds Bioware’s Epic Finale to Mass Effect 3
There is an uproar in the gaming community over the ending (s) of Mass Effect 3. While not wanting to give anything away for those who have not yet completed the campaign, I will say that the way the trilogy concludes seems to have a large portion of the gaming community up in arms and making demands for Bioware to change the games conclusion.
For a game full of choice, there seems to be a consensus among the gaming community that the choices made throughout the game seem to have little impact on the concluding events of the series. The outcome of the first two varied depending on the choices made by players throughout the game. This was a huge draw for gamers everywhere. A game that could be played through several times with different outcomes. The ability to choose dialogue, sacrifice or save squad members, and the choice to respond virtuously or in a nefarious manner to become either a paragon or renegade gave Mass Effect fans countless hours of gaming. And then, they pissed the gamers off.
So, the internet is buzzing with fans demanding that Bioware change the ending of Mass Effect 3. This outcry leaves me feeling unsettled. I am concerned that if Bioware gives in to audience demands, what message is being sent to the game industry, as well as the creative minds of the team that create and develop games? If the masses can demand change of the end result by the creator, we would most likely have seen revisions to the last two Transformer movies as well as other titles. I strongly believe that we would without a doubt have vast revisions to the Unholy Trilogy (Star Wars, Episodes I-III).
I feel the argument can be made that much of what is produced in the gaming industry can be considered art. We are taking part in a vision and story that is born from the imagination that many of us lack. How many of us have shelled out extra money to purchase special editions of games that include artists concepts of the worlds and characters of our beloved games. The characters, planets, cities, vehicles, weapons, enemies, and big bosses are created through the imaginations of artists. Much of the gaming public appreciates the creativity and imagination that are required to create some of our favorite games.
We have all read a novel, or series of novels that ended in a matter that was unexpected and different from what we expected. We do not demand that the author re-write his/vision to suit our needs. We have had the same experiences with a movie or sequences of movies. We do not demand that the writer(s) and director(s) change their vision.
All of us have had games in our possession that we love or that we hate. We have the choice to purchase games or let them collect dust on the shelves of retailers. No one has pointed a gun at me and said “buy this game or else!” I have made the conscious decision to purchase every title in my collection, as well as the titles that are no longer in my gaming library. Many of the games I have purchased have brought me hours of enjoyment and interest in the journey of the protagonist I am controlling.
Many of us have enjoyed the journey that our version of Commander Shepard has taken since the first Mass Effect game. We have controlled the aspects of this character from appearance to types of weapons used to love interests. We have even been able to choose the words that we use while interacting with the other characters. Some of us have become full renegade, full paragon, or somewhere in between. We have gone on a journey throughout the galaxy and visited a myriad of planets. Like all things, this to, at some point, must come to an end. Having a perpetual game would undoubtedly lose the interest of most gamers. We like and need closure. Unfortunately, the closure we get is not always what we expected or hoped for. Just like every other story that has been told, the creator(s) had an idea of the direction the story should go in and how it should end.
I believe artists should not have their creativity stifled. They should have the freedom and right to pursue their vision(s), whatever they may be. If there is a market for their work and people are willing to pay the price for what they produce, then where is the problem? Would someone purchase a painting and then days or weeks later ask the artist to change the painting? I’m quite sure this would not happen.
I hope Bioware is willing to stand by their product and artists.
Gamers, we would love to hear from you about this.