Hat-tip G0ldmember at the BioWare Social Network for stumbling onto this article from Erika Morphy at E-Commerce Times. Here’s the link to the discussion thread and I have to say that those commenting aren’t particularly happy with Michael Pachter calling them a very small “vocal minority” that will have “no impact on Electronic Arts as a company unless they cave to the vocal minority and create an alternate ending.” Here’s the full quote from the article.
…”Mass Effect 3″ is the highest-rated game of the year and one of the highest-rated games ever, Pachter pointed out. “That means that objective reviews think it is just fine, making repercussions highly unlikely.”
The players complaining are a vocal minority, he said — a very small one.
“There will be no impact on Electronic Arts as a company unless they cave to the vocal minority and create an alternate ending,” suggested Pachter. “Then, consumers will learn that they are wimps, and will complain about ‘Madden NFL’ because their quarterback doesn’t throw the ball far enough.”…
It’s clear from these statement that Pachter is ignorant about what’s been happening since this debacle began. Arrogance isn’t a substitute for actual knowledge, and yet Pachter is just the latest uninformed individual who decided to weigh in this issue which they obviously no nothing about. For anyone who hasn’t been following the backlash to Mass Effect 3′s endings, it’s pretty clear that the ‘Retake Mass Effect’ movement is far more than a “vocal minority.”
The first sign of this backlash came from early user scores posted on Metacritic’s Mass Effect 3 page. While many puzzled by these incredibly low scores, including Forbes’ Erik Kain, as the gaming media had praised the game as the front-runner for any number of ‘Game of the Year’ awards. Despite efforts by loyal Mass Effect fans and Metacritic to balance out the overall score by writing glowing reviews of the game and deleting a number of the negative reviews, as of now, the score still stands at a dismal 3.7/10. By this fact alone, it should be clear that this movement is far from a “vocal minority,” but let’s continue anyways.
The low Metacritic user scores were echoed by an apparent majority of Mass Effect fans who showed their distatisfaction of the game’s endings by voting in a number of polls, most notably this one. Despite the efforts of those wanting to dismiss these early polls as the work of a “vocal minority,” subsequent polls from a variety of other websites showed the same results. Undeterred by further proof that undermines their claims, those like Pachter continue to dismiss all this evidence and point out that not all those who own Mass Effect 3 have weighed in. So there is a “silent majority” that’s okay with these endings? Where’s proof of it’s existence? Considering that thousands have already voted, how does one ignore polls results with such a large sample size?
It was shortly after this that ‘Retake Mass Effect’ took off. Websites like ‘Demand a Better Ending to Mass Effect 3′ Facebook page, as well as ‘Retake Mass Effect’ which is also collecting donations for Child’s Play, helped rally more to the movement and get attention for the cause. The fact that the gaming media is weighing in on the backlash to Mass Effect 3′s endings also suggests that this movement isn’t something that’s small enough to ignored. These points, however, ignore a key fact, the impact of this debacle is having on game sales.
Despite being released earlier this month, the game is being sold on Amazon.com for as low as $41 American and as low as $49 Canadian on Amazon.ca. The drop in price reflects the drop in demand for the game and the noticeable slow down in its sales. Does Pachter also want to dismiss this evidence as well? How can a simple “vocal minority” have such a serious impact? It can’t, mainly because this movement no longer a “vocal minority.”
Dismissing ‘Retake Mass Effect’ as a small group which can be ignored is exactly why BioWare find itself in this predicament. Instead of listening to Mass Effect fans and following through on their promise of a satisfying conclusion to the story of Commander Shepard, they released an unfinished game with a depressing and incoherent ending. Michael Pachter can keep pretending that this situation isn’t the public relations disaster it clearly is, but his detachment from reality won’t change the fact that BioWare is in full panic mode, trying to figure out a way of salvaging their game and appeasing series fans. All Patcher’s arrogant and ignorant comments do is make this situation worse.
HOLD THE LINE!
I already linked to it in the article above, but for those who still haven’t liked ‘Demand a better ending to Mass Effect 3′ on Facebook, if you feel as myself and thousands of other Mass Effect fans do about Mass Effect 3′s endings, go and do it. Once again, I also recommend those who do go to ‘Retake Mass Effect’ and make a donation to Child’s Play. It’s for a very good cause.