I think we need to stop calling out people who get upset when a company makes a deliberately controversial move in order to monetize. There's nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but when they have a popular franchise like DA or ME, they typically have a lot of people who become attached to that product... if the company deliberately chooses to pursue monetization over keeping their fans happy, then they should expect a backlash; expecting anything else, or, worse, dismissing the backlash, is a stupid thing to do which ends up making people even more upset. If they voluntarily choose to, say, abandon their fans in order to reach a more lucrative demographic, then why on their right mind should the fans not be upset??
I want to respect the escapist cast, but I lose a tremendous amount of trust in their journalism whenever they attempt to justify BioWare's poor PR or when they seem to imply that the consumer is not justified to be upset when BioWare or EA pull a foul move at the consumer's expense. The worst case scenario is to let companies that play dirty get away with it, and it seems that cast of the escapist does this regularly... come on guys, take the moral stance on this, please.
Bioware's decline is definitely due to EA. The decision to force people to play MP to get the best ending or even the decision to put MP in ME3 at all is most likely forced by EA. While I hate EA as a gamer, this is what a good business should do. They buy up studios with good potentials, then milk them for all they can, after they milked them dry and all the creative forces left, they will shut down the studio. But by that time they already made money out of the deal, so they will just find another studio with potential and do it all over again. This is much easier to do than to nurture a studio and keep them making top quality games at a lower margin. So I'd say to the Bioware staff that says the forums are toxic, either don't read it or don't work for EA.
Bioware's decline is definitely due to EA. The decision to force people to play MP to get the best ending or even the decision to put MP in ME3 at all is most likely forced by EA.
It was handled by a different team, so it is unlikely to have taken much focus away at Bioware. Also the best ending wasn't good ...
EA caused a lot of the problems with DA2 by rushing it, but any rushing in ME3 is completely overshadowed by the atrocious writing which did a 180 degree turn into grim dark. If EA forced multiplayer then I must thank EA, because it was the only reason I did not regret my purchase.
Just as an aside, the Gamecube microcon controller by Mad Kat's is my most favorite controller ever.
And nice appearance Nasrin!