Who wins when Mass Effect 3's ending changes?

BioWare is revisiting its sci-fi series climax in response to fan outrage. See how the reactions of GameSpot and Giant Bomb editors compare with those from gamers around the world.

1329 Comments

This morning, BioWare released a statement from co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka addressing user uproar over the ending to Mass Effect 3. In light of the complaints, Muzyka said the development team is working on "game content initiatives" to answer lingering questions and provide fans with more closure. It's unclear what form those initiatives will take, whether they will change existing parts of the game, or if players will be asked to pay for them, with specifics on those expected next month.

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Mass Effect 3's ending has its fans up in arms.

While concrete details on the subject are lacking, concrete opinions are not. Rather than let one or two staffers speak for the site with stand-alone editorials, we've compiled the Twitter posts from staffers of GameSpot and new CBS Interactive sibling Giant Bomb, and present them below in chronological order, starting in the moments after BioWare published its statement. And to better reflect the full spectrum of opinions on the matter, we've also including a running feed of thoughts from readers who include the #gamespotme3 hashtag on their Twitter posts.

For those who want to know what all the controversy is about and don't mind the obvious spoilers, we've also embedded three of the game's endings in the videos on this page.

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Ryan Davis@taswell
BOO BIOWARE. F****** BOOOOOOOOOO

Brendan Sinclair@BrendanSinclair
Respect for BioWare… fading.

Jeff Gerstmann@jeffgerstmann

Fuck that. My Shepard's dead. Case closed, damage done. Can't unsee the awful dream sequences, can't unring the bell, so on, so forth.

Jeff Gerstmann@jeffgerstmann
Mass Effect 3's problems are larger than its ending. Slapping a happier-colored bow on the package doesn't fix any of that.

Giancarlo Varanini@gvaranini
So many of you wish it was George Lucas instead of Bioware right now.

Patrick Klepek@patrickklepek
Disappointed but not surprised at BioWare's decision.

Alex Navarro@alex_navarro
I hope the new Mass Effect 3 ending is just Shepard turning to the camera and flipping you dual birds while humming C-Lo's "F*** You."

Jeff Gerstmann@jeffgerstmann
Anyone complaining that I spoiled the ending: DON'T WORRY GUYS, THEY'RE WRITING A NEW ONE!!!!!11

Kevin VanOrd@fiddlecub
The Internet accused Bioware of selling out. Then, it demanded Bioware sell out. Congratulations, Internet: you got what you wanted.

Giancarlo Varanini@gvaranini
Just saying people wouldn't have a problem with Lucas changing more stuff, as long it was changed in the way they wanted.

Carolyn Petit@carolynmichelle
Bioware? More like BOO-oware, AMIRITE?

Kevin VanOrd@fiddlecub
Remember: something doesn't stop being art just because you don't like it; great art doesn't need your approval.

Kevin VanOrd@fiddlecub
Still, Bioware has joined a long line of novelists, composers, playwrights and filmmakers who have adjusted their creative visions.

Jeff Gerstmann@jeffgerstmann
I guess I'll avoid repeating it, but if you didn't think that was one of the several possible outcomes…Did you not play the previous game?

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Giancarlo Varanini@gvaranini
Loud voices!

Alex Navarro@alex_navarro
This whole ME3 ending thing has just brought out a very ugly side of the dev/player relationship. One that frankly makes me uncomfortable.

Kevin VanOrd@fiddlecub
I'm reminded of Beethoven, who made extensive revisions to Fidelio (and its overtures), in part based on audience disapproval.

Alex Navarro@alex_navarro
There's nothing wrong with focus-testing or fan feedback in updates. And if that's all this ends up being then I retract what I said before.

John Davison@jwhdavison
Hope they're serious about "maintaining balance" or this is a case of never being able to put genie back in the bottle.

Tyler Winegarner@THE_REAL_TYLERW
Now I gotta play ME3 before they s*** up the ending with kittens and rainbows and lesbians holding hands? So much for playing on MY time!

Alex Navarro@alex_navarro
But it's all taken on such an ugly tone that it's hard to sympathize. Coherent discussion is too often shouted down by the enraged minority.

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Alex Navarro@alex_navarro
Whatever. Just Poochie the Dog the shit out of ME3 for all I care now. I want to get back to the important s***. Like new Frogger games.

Giancarlo Varanini@gvaranini
I rewrote the Super Mario Bros 2 ending years ago in my fan fiction. Turns out it was Bowser all along!

Kevin VanOrd@fiddlecub
We're all spending too much time talking about Mass Effect 3 anyway. More importantly, there is more Dark Souls coming!

Tyler Winegarner@THE_REAL_TYLERW
@fiddlecub Also, Sine Mora is out. lets talk about that.

Brendan Sinclair@BrendanSinclair
If BioWare's just making the same DLC as before and positioning it like this to appease angry fans, that's even worse.

Brendan Sinclair@BrendanSinclair
I guess it's time to start #RetakeJourney so TGC will give it a happier ending with "Don't Stop Believin'" over the ending credits.

Brendan Sinclair@BrendanSinclair
So if the government comes knocking, games are art. But when we hate the ending, they're products and the customer is always right. Got it.

Patrick Klepek@patrickklepek
Just spent 30 minutes talking with @EWDocJensen about the ending of Mass Effect 3, the concept of fan entitlement, and, uh, LOST, of course.

Lark Anderson@Larrrk
Bioware revisiting the Mass Effect 3 ending is literally the worst thing to happen since World War 2.

Carolyn Petit@carolynmichelle
@Larrrk I think it's a dead heat between that and the news that Michael Bay is making a TMNT movie.

Lark Anderson@Larrrk
TODAY IS THE WORST!

Kurtis Seid@KurtisSeid
I'm fine with the fact that your choices didn't really effect ME3's endings. It's not like it mattered in the last two games.

Lark Anderson@Larrrk
@KurtisSeid I am going to spoil your face with my fists #spoilers

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Chris Watters@CTWatters
Mass Effect 3 is a game about death, and viewing it as such provides an illuminating way to interpret the reactions to the ending.

Chris Watters@CTWatters
The end of the game is like the end of the trilogy, like the end of a life. Consider, then, The Five Stages of Grief.

Chris Watters@CTWatters
1. Denial - "This can't be the real ending, there must be DLC." "If you analyze it deeper, the symbolism points to a truer, better ending!"

Chris Watters@CTWatters
2. Anger - "Bioware has betrayed me! How could you distill the long hours I spent in Mass Effect to one stupid choice! CHANGE IT!!"

Chris Watters@CTWatters
3. Bargaining - "Look, I'm not bitter. I respect BioWare. But, please, I'll donate thousands of dollars to charity to support a new ending."

Chris Watters@CTWatters
4. Depression - "Nothing I ever did in Mass Effect 3 even mattered in the end. It was all just sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Chris Watters@CTWatters
5. Acceptance - "I may not like the way it ended, but I loved the time I spent with the Mass Effect series, and I'm thankful for that."

Brendan Sinclair@BrendanSinclair
@CTWatters The difference is that when someone dies, the Bargaining stage never works.

Kurtis Seid@KurtisSeid
Alright, a real ME3 spoiler: why does Harbinger have no lines and just leave Shepard alive? Doesn't this contradict its actions from ME2?

Kurtis Seid@KurtisSeid
Bioware needs to add scenes explaining Joker on the Normandy. Why did he leave Earth? When did he pickup the crew? Why is he using a relay?

Tom Mc Shea@TomMcShea
Bioware is the only developer brilliant enough to create Mass Effect and the only one spineless enough to cave under fan pressure.

Carolyn Petit@carolynmichelle
Sometimes art should let us down, depress, disappoint, frustrate. We do not get to mold the world or art to fit our expectations and desires.

John Davison@jwhdavison
The ending of my lunch wasn't what I wanted, I'm going to complain to the guys at the deli and get them to change it.

Eddie Makuch@EddieMakuch
(At least, this is what Eddie would have posted if he hadn't given up Tweeting for Lent.)
If BioWare offers a new ending to ME3, the studio is setting a dangerous precedent for its own future games, as well as others'.

Laura Parker@lauralovescake
I'm happy that BioWare at least acknowledged the existence of artistic integrity in all this, so here's hoping they stick by it.

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