Let me start off by saying I'm not equating the hordes of fanboys that may have initiated a "correction" to Mass Effect 3
's ending to evil in this case. While I do consider their ilk, as a whole, to be some sort of internet-bound omega bitch force, they're merely a catalyst for something that may have much worse ripples to come down the line. Sure, there were a lot of people who were upset by ME3
's closing options, and it would appear they may have secured something "better" in the reasonably near future. However, this could have a severely negative impact on in-game storytelling on the whole as time wears on.
You see, by becoming vocal enough to elicit such an overhaul in a finished, released game, ME3
tards have essentially punched content creators across the board in the mouth, telling them the stories and experiences they want to tell are invalid and can be overturned at any point based on the whims of the audience. If that's the case, than what is the point of trying to craft a story, world, or whatever else that may try something new or different? Whether or not such experiments are "good" or "bad" is not the issue; the problem is that, if things are that mutable based on after-the-fact feedback, creating anything that doesn't fit established molds for crowd-pleasing and profitability becomes that much more dangerous in the eyes of publishers. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd be particularly keen on throwing more time and money at a project I thought was done and sold already if I were any kind of businessperson.
That leaves us, at least in the mainstream, AAA-title sphere, with writers and directors who either recognize this risk and are too afraid for their paychecks to not conform to market expectations and thereby fail to push games as a medium forward in any way, and creators with
vision and talent getting shut down and rejected due to their concepts having particularly clear content margins. Sure, the latter may still find a home in the burgeoning indie game scene, but given how mainstream game production seems to be more and more bogged down by sequelitis, reiteration, and revisitation every year, reinforcing the idea that "innovative" and "moneymaking" are mutually exclusive cannot be healthy.
Never mind that such a punch in the face is also a pretty personal affront to said creative minds as well. How would you feel if you poured your heart into something, especially something three games long, only to be told you'd done it "wrong?" This kind of attitude is bound to at least slightly sour content creators' affinity and respect for their fans, especially if it continues to grow and spread across the board. Bad reviews and poor sales are hard and frequent enough trials as it is, but the shortfalls that lead to such things can just as often be attributed to lacking resources, subpar marketing, overly tight deadlines, and other demons of the business as they can be to developer ineptitude. But to accuse an established canon, especially one as beloved as Mass Effect
's, of being incorrect just for a few missteps? Combined with the gall to say you, individually or collectively, "know" what's "right" or "better?" That's absolutely uncalled-for.
In the fans' defense, the sequence leading up to the ending-determining choices does feel fairly rushed, and disconnected from the innumerable choices players make on their way to that finale. And whomever's in charge of Mass Effect
as intellectual property already showed some severe mishandling in farming out the novel Deception
to William C. Dietz, the writing ace who also gave us The Flood
, aka Halo: Combat Evolved: The Easy Playthrough: The Novel
. However, the corrections for which that book was retracted were already established as fact in the games' universe
, rather than in the imaginations of the fans
. Such an oversight in no way provides a precedent for the demands currently placed on BioWare, or potentially placed on any other developer down the line.
The optimist in me is hoping beyond hope that this is an isolated incident, and once fans are presented with an alternate ending or content further explaining the existing one, this whole thing will blow over and be forgotten. At the same time, we live in a world where the frequently malfunctioning and generally irritating trend of online passes continues to persist, and new and unique games already get buried under shovelware and retreads thanks to poor launch timing and lack of advertising.
Let us hope you needy brats haven't ruined things for the rest of us.
And that I'm done talking about this game, because it's really starting to hurt my brain.
Strip is from Penny Arcade. Given that they are hilarious, and they're responsible for PAX, which in turn is pretty much responsible for Destructoid, you should probably read their stuff.