You can't please everyone. It's an adage that's been true for as long as there's been more than one human being on earth, but BioWare's doing its damndest to prove it wrong. Via a winding apology letter, the developer's promised that its game about a thwarting Reaperpocalypse that'll leave less than one human being on earth is in for some major updates. These “content initiatives” will “provide clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey.” So basically, the relentlessly demanding fans – some of whom even complained to the FTC – got their way.
“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,” wrote BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka. “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.”
“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. 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.”
Which all sounds nice enough, but it's not hard to read between the lines: Fans got mouthy, and BioWare caved. And we can discuss the minutiae of Mass Effect's over-promised, under-delivered focus on choice and player control or the actual content of the ending all we want, but the fact is that a massive temper tantrum was massively effective. Will BioWare's eventual rewrites be detrimental to the story? It's too early to tell. But games are both an art form and a product. If artists are too afraid to honestly express themselves because it might make consumers upset, then we've got a much, much bigger problem on our hands.