Why Any Mass Effect 3 Ending Change Should Be Free

So, news! It appears that Bioware is either caving to the fan reaction on the ending, or they’re engaged in a spin campaign to appease the angry fans.

Heh. As someone who tries to appease angry fans on a regular basis, good luck with that…

Anywho, the question is: will Bioware charge for a fix to the ending of ME3?

…well, yes. Duh. Sorry, but development costs are rather high, and there does need to be a financial benefit to creating the dlc. As much as we’d like to say that you should do things for the art, there’s a LOT of financial burdens that prevent that sort of thing.

But, still, there are two good FINANCIAL reasons that Bioware should consider making any fixes for the ending free for all.

To Encourage People to Buy the OTHER DLC

One thing I’ve heard a lot of is that there’s a loss of interest in playing through the game again for a lot of people. I had three saves myself that I was intending on playing ME3 with, and I really am feeling not a lot of interest in seeing how their stories play out, simply because I already know the ending.

Take that and double it for paid DLC that doesn’t affect the ending. What’s the point when the end of the story is a lackluster finale that ignores most of what came before?

Making the DLC for the changed ending alone would encourage players to come back to the game without making themselves feel like they’re being extorted for what they feel they should’ve gotten in the first place.

And THEN you pull money out of their pocket with well designed DLC. Bioware showed with Mass Effect 2 that they were capable of developing great DLC that expands on the universe they created. Quality content is something people will be willing to pay money for. Extorting money out of players’ pockets will just make them less likely to pay money for your games in the future.

For the Future!

Bioware is a big name in the video game industry. Damn near a byword for quality, pretty analogous to Pixar for video games.

That is, this is what they WERE. The Day 1 DLC was not well received, for many good reasons, although it did probably make a metric ton of money (seriously, guys, you couldn’t wait two bloody weeks to release the DLC?). Dragon Age 2 wasn’t particularly well received either, and the Day 1 DLC didn’t do it any favors either. And, well, the rage about the ending to ME3…

In short? Bioware’s stock with their fans is probably at its lowest in a long time.

And they have Dragon Age 3 coming eventually, too. And their going to have other projects coming in the future.

They need to start worrying about their reputation. I know, it’s hard to sell the long view in corporate America. I run into that problem more or less once a week. But ever so often, it has to be done, and Bioware needs to take a long, hard look at how people are reacting to their decisions. Releasing any revised endings for free will do a great deal of good for their public relations.

And, to be honest, they’ve been handling the furor very well. Their twitter feed has encouraged people to voice their concerns on the forums, been very polite all around, and have been quite diplomatic (although they are downplaying the nature of a lot of the complaints, but I can hardly blame them) and in general there’s not much more I can ask of them.

Well, from a PR perspective, anyway.

Still, looks like the Indoctrination Theory is bunk. Which is sad, but not surprising.

Still, can’t wait to see what they do. It’s going to get a whole lot more interesting, I imagine.


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  1. #1 by Screw fanboys on July 3, 2012 - 12:42 PM

    Whiny fanboys should either grow the fuck up or go straight to fuckin’ hell where they belong.

    • #2 by wraithfighter on July 3, 2012 - 12:50 PM

      Leading aside the comments I could make about the notion of “grow the fuck up or go straight to fuckin’ hell”, because, really, that’s such a fertile ground for mockery that it takes all of my effort not to go after…

      The points I made in this article have, actually, little to do with the quality of the endings or my own personal need to have a satisfying resolution to this series. They are objective, business-driven reasons why it would be a good idea for Bioware and EA to make the endings free for all.

      Evidently, Bioware and EA agreed with me, because they did release them for free.

      I’ll also make one other note about fanboys: While the term is pejorative (and I use it to refer to myself for comedic reasons), what is marks is a person, and most often a paying customer, who cares a phenomenal amount about a series or a work and is willing to tell the world how much they care.

      For all the negatives that Fanboys can bring? They bring a lot more good, and I dare you to find a single publisher, developer, artist, writer, director, actor or whatever that will ever wish that they did not have fans.

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