Its been two weeks since Mass Effect 3 was released, but gamers all over the internet still cannot get over the controversy regarding the ending, and theyre certainly letting BioWare know it. From getting everyone talking about it on the internet, to starting charities, to trying to get the government involved. Theres hardly any way to get on the good side of these irate gamers, but thats not going to stop Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare. What does he have to say? Read more, dear reader.
The doctors letter, in full:
To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare
As co-founder and GM of BioWare, Im very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work weve yet created. So, its incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the games 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.
I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism. At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game. Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us. This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. Were already working hard to do that.
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. The Mass Effect team, like other teams across the BioWare Label within EA, consists of passionate people who work hard for the love of creating experiences that excite and delight our fans. Im honored to work with them because they have the courage and strength to respond to constructive feedback.
Building on their research, 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. Youll hear more on this in April. Were working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback weve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.
The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and were planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, Im proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better. Some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.
If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team we respect your opinion and want to hear it. Were committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can. In return, Id ask that you help us do that by supporting what I truly believe is the best game BioWare has yet crafted. I urge you to do your own research: play the game, finish it and tell us what you think. Tell your friends if you feel its a good game as a whole. Trust that we are doing our damndest, as always, to address your feedback. As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support. Thank you for your feedback we are listening.
Reading the letter, you can tell that BioWare is very proud of what theyve done, and it hurts to see so many people react so negatively. And I can certainly agree with that; when fans are reporting you to the government because they feel you wronged them, that hurts. And sure, that happens when a really bad game comes out (despite the latest Call of Juarez being awful in more ways than one, many people spent years working hard on it), but to think that BioWare is in a situation where they made a great game that will probably end up on a few Top 10 lists at the end of this year, but the last half hour or so of the game ends up causing a bunch of negative press and creating a lot of destructive comments from their fans, that sucks.
My personal fear for this situation seems to have been avoided by BioWare, as they are striving to clarify the final events for everyone, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the original story. BioWare seems to be painfully looking over every bit of criticism, while looking for a way to address those problems in as neat a way as they possibly can. Itll certainly be interesting to see what they come up with.