6 comments on “HOLD THE LINE! BioWare Chooses “Artistic Integrity” Over Pleasing Fans

  1. “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”

    So developers should sacrifice their integrity to please their fans?

    As a future developer who believes integrity is important, I hope you can see how disheartening that is. I tend to side more with this view:

    http://www.gamespot.com/features/why-bioware-shouldnt-change-mass-effect-3s-ending-6366066/

    • Complete and utter nonsense. “Artistic integrity” is a dodge and if you are incapble of understanding that, that’s your problem, not mine and the vast majority of Mass Effect fans who have spent $200+ dollar and 100+ hours on the previous two games.

      The utter lack of quality of many large budget titles from game developers like EA, Capcom and Konami has angered many gamers, and yet all we have heard is this nonsense about gamer entitlement. The truth is that gamers should feel more entitled, not less, especially when they were promised a product which they didn’t get. Marjorie Stephens, the director of marketplace services at the Better Business Bureau, recently weighed in on this controversy and felt that BioWare had essentially lied to gamers about the Mass Effect 3. Instead of addressing this point, psycophants like you and the those like Laura Parker in the gaming media are excusing dishonesty with hollow rhetoric.

      Would you also use “artistic integrity” to excuse the practice of purposefully withholding content from gamers to force them to pay more? Much of the “From Ashes” DLC is on the Mass Effect 3 disc, as well as the majority of the additional characters Capcom is adding to Street Fighter X Tekken. Is denying gamers access to that content “artistic integrity” as well? I don’t mind paying for additional content. In fact, I like the idea of paying a little bit more to extend my enjoyment with an already complete game. I shouldn’t, however, have to pay to unlock content that already exists on the disc. Am I entitled for pointing that out?

      If you’re hoping to be a game developer, forget this nonsense about “artistic integrity.” It’s fiction. You might very well see youself as an artist, but gamers are your “patrons.” Though you are given room to express yourself, you must ultimately produce something we will appreciate. This was the case for artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo and Sandro Botticelli. You want to do otherwise, prepare yourself for a life of poverty like Vincent van Gogh.

  2. Let’s get a few things straight…

    1. You aren’t a game developer. You have no idea what artistic integrity even means. Take a few years learning Actionscript 3.0 (along with basic programming) and then try making a simple game. You’ll quickly learn what artistic integrity really is. You make it sound like some pretentious bullshit that’s used as an excuse to avert responsibilities and whatnot. Only a clearly uninformed and ignorant individual (such as yourself) will hold this view. Once you’ve done that, you can tell which games value artistic integrity (Mass Effect 3) and which don’t (Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3).

    2. You have have big balls just blatantly lying your ass off and declaring that game units aren’t being sold and 75 reviewers were discredited. Seriously, cite it or drop it. Your lies have no place on this debate. I tried, in vain, to search for these discredit reviewers and unsold copies. I had a very tough time doing so. After visiting gamestops all around California and scouring 100s of reviewer profiles, I feel quite confident in saying that some of your research is bullshit.

    3. Gamers aren’t patrons. Get off your high horse, please. Gamers are consumers that invest into games for their own personal enjoyment…not for a developer’s continued career. If you guys are patrons, you sure have a funny way of showing it. Buying DLC for a game? People gave Leonardo da Vinci money to add a few brushstrokes to his masterpieces? You are an easily exploitable consumer that throws cash away at particular whims. If you have ever bought DLC for a game even once, you are this. Fact. Back in my day, we bought games as is. No strings attached, no flinch system. The very reason DLC exists (and why first day dlc exists) is because we were dumb enough to fall for it in the first place. It’s a company norm and it’s a trend that will not be dying anytime soon…not by the hands of Epic Games, Valve, Bethesda or even Mojang. It has no impact on artistic integrity. It’s just an extra revenue stream…pfft, I suggest you get a refund for that bachelor’s degree in economics since it’s clear that you did not learn about some basic cornerstones of economics. Clearly, being toyed with by greater forces seems to be a recurring trend in your life.

    You want real patrons? Publishers are patrons. Guys that give tips on free flash game sites are patrons. Donors are patrons. You are not so stop trying to steal our label. I’ve developed games and invested into other games for years. All you are is a guy standing on top of a box with something to say: an uninformed opinion. You are the cancer killing game developers, sadly.

    4. This game was the farthest thing from an expensive failure. More than likely, Bioware made the money back that they were supposed to make and I’d venture to guess they made a decent profit too. Not as good as Skyrim or WoW…but something worthwhile. However, I can’t really make that claim seeing as how Bioware never released production data.

    Overall, I found this whole controversy thing amusing. In reality, gamers are just a bit too full of themselves. I remember how the Resident Evil series progressed from Survival horror to sci-fi shooter and it practically served as a giant F-U to survival horror fans everywhere. However, we still bought RE5, plenty of us bought Op:RC and we writhe with anticipation for RE6. I’m sure a botched ending for ME3 won’t be as bad for the future of the series as people are making it out to be. However, so many gamers love to use hyperbole to justify their reasoning when they lack the wit and mental capacity to do so logically. At the end of the day, no matter how much people b*tch and moan, they still cave in to get screwed over by the same “betrayal” they fell for before. Skyrim, Gears of war 3, Modern Warfare 3, every Capcom game on this generation of consoles…even the beloved Left for Dead series by Valve (ie, the best damn consumer-friendly game devs of all time) have f*cked people over. You are arguing about something that has become a common practice long before you had this blog.

    The stupidity of all this is mind-boggling. I HAVE WRITTEN VOLUMES about this to people that play my games (free and pay-to-play games, mind you). I tell them: You don’t have to play this. I’m doing this the way i want to for my own reasons. If you don’t like it, you can learn to deal or play a new game. Lo and behold, millions of views/plays and 10s of 1000s of purchases of 2 sequels later, those same people show up. Some still complain, others praise me for some odd reason. Consumers, gamers…neither really knows what he/she wants. They just like to pretend to be producers because they don’t how to develop their own game OR (the easier solution) they don’t know how to bugger off and just play something else.

    TL;DR

    Your opinion is largely invalidated by current trends, you are ill-informed and you need to discuss something worth debating. Gaming has no intrinsic value other than that of entertainment. Trying to talk down to people or rage rant in order to satisfy your deeply-rooted opinion of a game’s nature is a farcry from intellect (read: ego-stroking). There is no right or wrong on this issue. Bioware is free to do as they want (and most likely, they will prevail) as this is the way of our species for such a subjective topic. I simply came here not to argue against your points but rather to argue about your arguing. Certain things can e argued in video games: Provoking violence, causing obesity, etc…these topics have qualitative data conducted by professionals. The opinion about a game’s direction or a developer’s stance on a programming choice? Might as well argue with people about LdV making Mona Lisa brunette as opposed to blonde.

    TL;DR TL;DR
    Go home and be a family man.

    • Where to start? What’s nice is that you numbered every mistake you made.

      1. You start discussing all the work and effort that’s put into a game and then assume that because of that, there’s artistic integrity. Wrong. Regardless of whatever educate you need or how long the project itself takes, it is still, when all is said and done, a product put out to market. Your work can have a definitive style to it, but that is meaningless unless someone wants to buy it. Screaming about how that’s not the case only makes you sound like a moron.

      2. Guess someone hasn’t been paying attention. Let’s start with Metacritic. Notice the vast difference between the critic review score and the user review score? This is the very heart of the Mass Effect 3 scandal. I also recommend you give this post by Forbes’ Dave Thier a read. Do you understand or do I need to keep going? Oops, forgot it was you I was talking to.

      So I’ve given you two pieces, the Metacritic score and an outsider’s analysis. For a timeline of events, I suggest you go read Forbes’ Erik Kain’s breakdown of this. EA and BioWare release statements attacking the Metacritic users as homophobes, but then that falls apart upon closer inspection as almost every complaint is about the ending. From here the question is, if the ending is as bad as gamers are saying it is, why wasn’t any review discussed the ending? Could it be that many didn’t even get that far? Steve Bogda at damnlag.com points out that Greg Miller, an editor for IGN, admitted in his review for Dead Island that he didn’t even finish the game. Let’s not forget that IGN’s Jessica Chobot was in the game, so that’s more reason not to trust IGN’s review of Mass Effect 3. Then we have the case of Jeff Gerstmann, fired from GameSpot because of his negative review of Kane & Lynch. It isn’t GameSpot though that has been involved in such a conflict of interests. Ben Kurchera at arstechnica.com wrote a long article discussing bribery within the gaming industry. There have also been allegations of game companies offering expensive trips and even prostitutes to game reviewers from some of the larger websites.

      It could simply be that game reviewers are detached from the gaming community because reviewing games is their job, but, as I showed, there is also a more sinister reason for this. As for GameStop, having worked for EB Games previously (same company), I can tell you from experience that, while there are honest people working at these stores, most will lie to customers just to sell a game. In fact, when I asked the manager of my local GameStop as to why he was selling Mass Effect 3 for full price consider the backlash from the game’s ending, he said everyone was, and that if I said otherwise, I was misinformed or lying. Left the store after a short argument, walk to the adjacent Wal-Mart, which had the game on sale for $29.99. The reason? Because so many people complained about the game’s ending. That proof enough?

      3. Gamers are patrons, that’s a fact. DLC is just additional content for a title. People buy it because they want to extend their experience with a game they enjoyed. What don’t you understand about that? As for Leonardo da Vinci, considering how enthusiastic Lorenzo de’ Medici was about art, and how he considered himself and was considered by others to be an artist in his own rite, I imagine that he regularly visited Leonardo’s studio to give advice as to what he wanted the finished project to be (Don’t weigh in on a subject you know NOTHING about). Myself and others have spoken AT LENGTH about this point a number of times. I suggest you read what we wrote before babbling on about this relationship.

      4. Is Mass Effect 3 an expensive failure? Probably not, but it sure isn’t the blockbuster EA was hoping for. In fact, considering all the negative coverage it has received, as well as the fact that this scandal contributed to EA winning “The Worst Company in America Award” from the Consumerist, which resulted in a sharp drop in its stock price, I’m pretty sure EA and BioWare aren’t counting it as a outright success.

      People didn’t cave in and buy Mass Effect 3 because of pressure. Myself and others pre-ordered the game because we were promised a different conclusion to the series we spent 100+ hours playing and $200+ for all the games and DLC. Gamers complain because they paid full price for something that deliver what they were promised. This is also why Amazon and other retailers were giving full refunds for games people played and didn’t enjoy. Your opinion, which is devoid of logic, doesn’t change the facts of the matter.

      As for your final comments, where to start? Modern western culture, not video games, is to blame for problems with obesity. High stress jobs, including the lack of sleep the 9-5 slog provides, the convenience of unhealthy foods, etc Video games might not be helping with children, but it doesn’t explain obesity among those in the previous generation. Video games provoking violence? Violence in society existed long before Pong, and those who are looking for reasons to be violent will find it outside video games. I doubt ‘Occupy’ is upset that Link was right-handed in the Wii version of Twilight Princess. As for comments on direction of the industry, it’s consumers who decide that, not “professionals.” This is why BioWare itself is taking a step back and promising to listen to fans input for Dragon Age 3 (Forbes’ Paul Tassi has the details).

      If you’re going to respond, I suggest you educate yourself first and put together something coherent. All I got from you was the ramblings of someone without an informed position.

    • If I didn’t have assignment after assignment to write for class, I would be writing blog posts. The problem is that lately I have been VERY busy and I have no time to even put up a quick one.

      Thank you for the comment though. I’ll see about putting up a blog post soon, but no promises ;)

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