I took a break from blogging about Mass Effect 3 until there was news about the additional content BioWare had planned. No use in wasting time speculating when there wasn’t any information to be found about what BioWare was planning. Suffice to say, things have gone from bad to worse.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BioWare, a Label of Electronic Arts Inc. announced Mass Effect™ 3: Extended Cut, a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of the critically acclaimed Action RPG. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will give fans seeking further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3 deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes. Coming this summer, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be available for download on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC for no extra charge*.
“We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder of BioWare and General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label. “Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe.”
Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series added, “We have reprioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player.”
The Mass Effect franchise is one of the most highly decorated series in the history of games, having earned over 250 awards from critics around the world. Mass Effect 3 launched last month to universal critical acclaim, receiving over 75 perfect scores. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or “like” the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect. Press assets for Mass Effect 3 are available at http://www.info.ea.com.
Second, a statement from BioWare’s darklarke, as to what “Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is and isn’t.”
An official press release went out today announcing how we are re-prioritizing the Mass Effect 3 post release content schedule to provide a more fleshed out experience for our fans. For many of you the “Extended Cut” will help answer some questions and give closure to this chapter of the Mass Effect story. Oh and it’s at no cost to you – the fan.
Here is a mini FAQ to help you understand what the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is and isn’t:
What can fans expect from the Extended Cut DLC?
For fans who want more closure in Mass Effect 3, the DLC will offer extended scenes that provide additional context and deeper insight to the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s journey.
Are there going to be more/different endings or ending DLCs in the future?
No. BioWare strongly believes in the team’s artistic vision for the end of this arc of the Mass Effect franchise. The extended cut DLC will expand on the existing endings, but no further ending DLC is planned.
What is BioWare adding to the ending with the Extended Cut DLC?
BioWare will expanding on the ending to Mass Effect 3 by creating additional cinematics and epilogue scenes to the existing ending sequences. The goal of these new scenes is to provide additional clarity and closure to Mass Effect 3.
When will the Extended Cut DLC be available?
Currently the Extended Cut DLC is planned for this summer, no specific date has been announced at this point.
Why are you releasing the Extended Cut DLC?
Though we remain committed and are proud of the artistic choices we made in the main game, we are aware that there are some fans who would like more closure to Mass Effect 3. The goal of the DLC is not to provide a new ending to the game, rather to offer fans additional context and answers to the end of Commander Shepard’s story.
Will there be more Mass Effect 3 DLC?
More content is being planned and we will release information at a later date.
So there you have it. Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding.
Summer is coming…
It’s clear that, despite what Dr. Ray Muzyka said, BioWare didn’t listen to fan feedback. Mass Effect fans, particularly those involved with ‘Retake Mass Effect’, were loud and clear as to what they wanted, new endings which reflected the choices they made throughout the Mass Effect series. They were even willing to pay handsomely for these new endings. Instead, BioWare decided that “artistic integrity” meant more to them than pleasing their fans. As an added insult, they justify their decision by pointing to the 75 perfect scores Mass Effect 3 received from now-discredited reviewers.
The stupidity of all this is mind-boggling. There could literally be volumes written about the ongoing public relations nightmare EA and BioWare are suffering through. “Winning” the “Worst Company in America” award from the Consumerist should have been a wake-up call for EA, it should have kept them and BioWare from releasing a statement which serves only to make their predicament worse. This is exactly what happens when companies don’t listen to fan feedback. What’s even worse is that neither seem able to grasp as to why they’re in this situation.
Do I have any sympathy for either company? No. EA’s questionable business practices of late have earned them a poor reputation and Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” award. BioWare, on the other hand, betrayed their fans for the sake of their “artistic integrity.” This announcement won’t get disappointed gamers to buy additional content for Mass Effect 3, nor will it help sell the game itself, no matter how low the price is now (the Walmart in my area has the Playstation 3 version for a mere $29.99 and it’s not even been out for a full month yet). It doesn’t matter that this additional content is free when it’s exactly what the vast majority of fans didn’t want. All this announcement does is show why EA and BioWare deserved to be in this situation.
HOLD THE LINE!
For those who still haven’t already 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, do it. I would also recommend that my readership think about making a charitable donation to ‘Full Paragon’, which is supporting Kids Need to Read, and/or Fisher House. Both are worthwhile causes that could use our support.
UPDATE: The more and more I think about this, the more frustrated I get. The sheer arrogance of this decision is infuriating. Mass Effect fans were loud and clear as to what they wanted, and it wasn’t “clarity and closure.” Since this backlash began last month, the vast majority of fans have stated that they want endings which reflected the choices they made throughout the Mass Effect series. They were even to pay handsomely for these new endings. Why would BioWare, knowing all this, refuse to even acknowledge that they made a mistake with Mass Effect 3 endings, let alone change them?
Clinging to “artistic integrity” will not change the fact that Mass Effect 3 isn’t selling. Units shipped aren’t games sold as store shelves are filled with unsold copies that gamers are refusing to buy, even at it’s substantially discounted price. From a business standpoint, it makes no sense to spend money developing content that doesn’t address the main problem with this game. If they will not fix the game’s endings, they should abandon Mass Effect 3 entirely. It’s possible that BioWare could salvage the Mass Effect series by telling fans what their plans are for future games. That being said, I really don’t see how there can be another Mass Effect game considering that Mass Effect 3, as of now, is an expensive failure.
I could go on and on about how confusing and infuriating this whole mess is, but for my own sanity, I will stop for now. It’s better to spend my time with games I enjoy rather than wasting it discussing one I don’t.