Oct 22, 2021 - Technology

Controversial ending of "Mass Effect 3" revisited

Image from Mass Effect III

Image courtesy of BioWare

Ten years after the "Mass Effect 3" ending controversy its developers still have mixed feelings about the company’s choice to amend it — a decision that forced the team into extra crunch.

Flashback: After the release of "Mass Effect 3" release in 2012, angry fans demanded a better ending to the game through petitions and, in some cases, threats and harassment.

  • Some even went as far as to send cupcakes mocking the game’s final three choices to BioWare’s office, a move some of the team found jarring. "Now you’ve got people sending something to the place where you go to work every day," said systems programmer Mark Jaskiewicz.
  • About a month after the game’s release, BioWare announced that it would release an extended cut, which added a new, fourth choice and extra scenes.

The details: The game's developers share their side in a new documentary from People Make Games, explaining that BioWare's decision was born from a need to win back goodwill following Dragon Age 2's poor reception and the fan uproar.

  • Developers are split on whether or not the extended cut was a good choice. Some praised it as a way to tell a more complete version of their story.
  • Other disagree: "I think there’s a lot of people, including myself, who felt like we shouldn’t do this," said gameplay designer Manveer Heir. "That this is opening Pandora’s box."
  • Developers describe the work as a "morale hit," especially since it forced people into prolonged crunch. "The people who were crunching the hardest at the end now had to go back and start crunching again," said Heir. "They didn’t get good rest."

The full documentary is well-worth a watch over on YouTube.

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