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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.

Go deeper

Sci-fi game “JETT” is a “moonshot” with mixed reviews

"JETT: The Far Shore." Screenshot: Superbrothers/Axios

The co-creators of “JETT: The Far Shore” spent a decade making their ambitious and strange new sci-fi game, only to release it at a tough time and to mixed reviews.

Why it matters: Outright success or failure are the familiar storylines of video game development, but “JETT”’s odd creation, and the spot its developers find themselves in now can be instructive too.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.

New report hits DOJ over lack of police shooting data

Demonstrations followed the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies in 2020. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new government accountability report says the Department of Justice failed to consistently publish an annual summary of police excessive force data from 2016 to 2020, as required by federal law.

Why it matters: The data is crucial for the DOJ to monitor excessive force cases, and used to investigate law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse. The DOJ can pivot off it to pursue court action to force reforms.