Mass Effect 3 Outrage Causes Unrelated Game to Change its Ending

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Mass Effect 3 Outrage Causes Unrelated Game to Change its Ending

If you beat Frozen Synapse this week, don't be surprised to find a t-rex in a sweet hat waiting near the credits to teach you about personal expectations and moving on.

As a somewhat unexpected consequence to the recent furor over Mass Effect 3's ending, an entirely different, unaffiliated game has rewritten its own final moments while BioWare considers changing its own. PC and iOS tactical shooter Frozen Synapse may have attracted much of its fan-base for its acclaimed multiplayer mode, but the game also boasts a robust single-player experience that, up until recently, didn't conclude with a troll-faced pony, a top-hat-wearing t-rex, nor a snarky yet, perhaps, important message for gamers.

"This is the ending to a computer game," the new final cut scene reads beneath a hand-drawn picture of the aforementioned animal duo. "We don't care if you like it ... but at least the pony and dinosaur are happy." As the screen fades to black, the message continues in a small, but stark white font. "We go through a lot of things in life," it reads. "Not all of them are under our control. But that's ok because it's all water under the bridge, right? We can't expect the outcome of our stories to conform to our own perceptions."

The game then shifts gears, and informs its community that they are both "moist and dolphin-proof."

Yes, this is the new, non-optional, total replacement ending for Frozen Synapse ... at least for about a week. After that, things will supposedly revert to normal. Paul Taylor, co-founder of the game's developer, Mode 7, has already commented on the potentially controversial decision, claiming that the move was mostly a personal experiment.

"This is not a criticism of Bioware or anything they have said/done," Taylor remarked. "It is an experiment: I wanted to know how this felt. Honestly, it felt like vandalizing my own work, which was interesting."

If BioWare eventually caves to the demands of certain outspoken fans(?) of Mass Effect 3, and does change its ending, perhaps Taylor's experiment is one that more developers would be interested in exploring for themselves at some point in the near future. While a decision to alter the conclusion to one of the most successful game series in recent history wouldn't create a stone mandate for other developers' own actions, it would certainly set some kind of precedent that would, at the very least, form a wake sure to attract the industry's acute notice moving forward.

Source: Kotaku

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So they are going with the "happy ending" argument. Well then, no real relevant opinion to see here then.

Though as I have said before, I am quite conflicted on how/if this debacle should be resolved.

Mike Kayatta:

If BioWare eventually caves to the demands of certain outspoken fans(?) of Mass Effect 3, and does change its ending, perhaps Taylor's experiment is one that more developers would be interested in exploring for themselves at some point in the near future. While a decision to alter the conclusion to one of the most successful game series in recent history wouldn't create a stone mandate for other developers' own actions, it would certainly set some kind of precedent that would, at the very least, form a wake sure to attract the industry's acute notice moving forward.

And that's one of the things that makes me conflicted. Someone will probably say "Gotcha! Slippery-slope fallacy, so your concern is automatically wrong!". But we've seen a great number of slippery slope "fallacies" come true in gaming over the last decade.

I'm really getting tired of people saying things when they shouldn't be allowed to. Can we end this whole 'everyone is entitled to their opinion' thing and make it so that you have to pass some kind of test to ensure that people actually learn how to read and comprehend what is being said to them?

Yeah forget about things like integrity and trust.
The ONLY thing that matters in life is making sure the dinosaur and pony are happy.

Toys and prams come to mind... On many levels. Still, entertaining.

Pure awesome. Now if only I did not absolutely loathe that game from having to play it during the steam winter sale contest Id go off and buy it again, somehow.

-.- really .....

changing the ending for no reason? wonderful -.-

how about we wait to see if the fans get they're panties in a twist first

Of course, future game designers could avoid having to "sabotage" their work - no matter what precedent has been set - by writing good games. I know that's a bit of an extreme concept, but just putting it out there...

Just change the ending. Game development is a collaborative effort, why not take input from the people that matter, your fans. People need to stop defending Bioware, they fucked up and need to fix it. That ending is not art, Mordin's death was art, Grunts last stand was art. These things evoked emotions, the ending evoked nothing and then because of that nothingness people became angry.

It's amazing seeing the comments under this video completely misunderstanding the whole thing =)

Even though I really hate the current ME ending, I have to admit...

I lol'd. Well played Mode 7.

nathan-dts:
Just change the ending. Game development is a collaborative effort, why not take input from the people that matter, your fans. People need to stop defending Bioware, they fucked up and need to fix it. That ending is not art, Mordin's death was art, Grunts last stand was art. These things evoked emotions, the ending evoked nothing and then because of that nothingness people became angry.

Because under no circumstance are you actually part of the creative process. The choices you made throughout those games were designed BY BIOWARE. There is only one type of art where the consumers/fanbase gets a part in creating it: bad art.

Anyway, this is some mighty trolling. Heck, I'd even say it's a proper critique of Bioware's spineless reaction. If they're going to sell their integrity so readily it sets a bad standard for games as narrative media.

How unnecessarily smug. And missing the point, I might add, since "Happy End" or not has never been the issue.

Experiment, he says? Nice. It worked ...
I was gonna check out this game, he gave me a very nice reason to stay the fuck away. :)

Oh and My. Synapse (lol) let me say it again: Ending-O-Tron cannot be considered art.

TheCaptain:
How unnecessarily smug. And missing the point, I might add, since "Happy End" or not has never been the issue.

Yeah, very much so ... Really nice customer relations move, eh? :)

i just had an idea (bad idea i know). take a game thats released.. and for the next 12 months or 2 years various story elements are changed depeneding on when you play it. so the game is different when you play it in 9 months than when you initially play it.

heck of a lot of work but still i wonder how it would work

Aiddon:

nathan-dts:
Just change the ending. Game development is a collaborative effort, why not take input from the people that matter, your fans. People need to stop defending Bioware, they fucked up and need to fix it. That ending is not art, Mordin's death was art, Grunts last stand was art. These things evoked emotions, the ending evoked nothing and then because of that nothingness people became angry.

Because under no circumstance are you actually part of the creative process. The choices you made throughout those games were designed BY BIOWARE. There is only one type of art where the consumers/fanbase gets a part in creating it: bad art.

No we are not, but if the owner of a restoraunt punches you in the face with absolutely no reason whatsover, you will inquire and go "WTF, Man?" and consequently demand at least an explanation or more to the point an apology.

The ending betrays the entire game series, destroys all essence of art that Mass Effect carried, which smells like Bioware rushed it out for no discernable reason, I'm not pointing fingers at the culprits who pressured Bioware(I'm looking at you EA), but people STILL.DESERVE.AN.EXPLANATION.

PingoBlack:
Experiment, he says? Nice. It worked ...
I was gonna check out this game, he gave me a very nice reason to stay the fuck away. :)

Oh and My. Synapse (lol) let me say it again: Ending-O-Tron cannot be considered art.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Bravo. Bravo indeed. Guess I'll have to check this out when I get home

Captcha: Face the music...lol irony

If you are going to make any statement you should first:
1. Read through everything Casey Hudson and the lead writer said about the game.
2. Have a basic knowledge of Mass Effect lore.
3. Play the game.

If you still think this is about changing an artistic vision of the ending you are delusional. This is about lack of quality and false advertisement. If this makes a precedent for anything is that consumers are much more aware of PR BS than companies thought they were - the artistic integrity of video-games in the future is completely safe.

If the guy of the game had made his research, he would understand this movement is much more about removing a pink dinosaur than adding one.

It is not the first time media is changed because of public input (Fallout3, movie pre-screenings, Sherlock Holmes, the revised The Witcher, I could be here all day citing examples).

It is not the first time Bioware changes or add to a product because of fan input (Shadow Broker, Deception).

And the only ones accountable for their integrity are Bioware themselves. For all we know the ending could be vague just to sell more DLC (which is not very artistic at all).

Escapist: be more responsible with your writing and stop adding wood to the fire blowing things out of proportion. I understand things getting out of hand with the fans because there is emotion involved. I expect more from a news outlet that I honestly admire.

It felt like vandalism but he can make that choice because its his piece of work, same as bioware, people will moan if they don't change it, people will moan if they do, even if that change is for the better, people will remark that they fell to the fan boys pressure, when bioware could've taken a new look at the endings and thought, "you know what, that really doesn't make any sense, we should change it", they'll be remembered as the company that gave in to the critics

Now, if only they'd STARTED with the T-rex and Pony, then replaced it with the ending that makes sense, the situation would have been analogous to what Bioware's being asked to do. :-P

Seriously. The last 15 minutes of Mass Effect 3 have more plotholes than the rest of the series, and the only theory I've seen that explains them implies that Bioware intentionally ended the product we played for with a fever dream rather than an actual conclusion to events.

That said, this is just about the first I've heard of the Frozen Synapse folks, and I bear them no ill will. Rock on, and go in peace, I guess.

Aiddon:

nathan-dts:
Just change the ending. Game development is a collaborative effort, why not take input from the people that matter, your fans. People need to stop defending Bioware, they fucked up and need to fix it. That ending is not art, Mordin's death was art, Grunts last stand was art. These things evoked emotions, the ending evoked nothing and then because of that nothingness people became angry.

Because under no circumstance are you actually part of the creative process. The choices you made throughout those games were designed BY BIOWARE. There is only one type of art where the consumers/fanbase gets a part in creating it: bad art.

Anyway, this is some mighty trolling. Heck, I'd even say it's a proper critique of Bioware's spineless reaction. If they're going to sell their integrity so readily it sets a bad standard for games as narrative media.

I will repeat what I said elsewhere:

The ending is art and it evokes emotion - mostly anger and disappointment. If this is not the emotion the artists intended to emulate, I see no problems with them revisiting their work.

Specially because their work is also treated as a commodity by the artists themselves with a very clear objective to get money from us.

Akichi Daikashima:

No we are not, but if the owner of a restoraunt punches you in the face with absolutely no reason whatsover, you will inquire and go "WTF, Man?" and consequently demand at least an explanation or more to the point an apology.

The ending betrays the entire game series, destroys all essence of art that Mass Effect carried, which smells like Bioware rushed it out for no discernable reason, I'm not pointing fingers at the culprits who pressured Bioware(I'm looking at you EA), but people STILL.DESERVE.AN.EXPLANATION.

Cute. News flash: a shitty ending is NOT the equivalent of someone punching you. It's the equivalent of finding out the dessert you ordered was mediocre despite the meal which had actually being pretty damn good. Learn to keep the hyperbole in check.

zinho73:
If you still think this is about changing an artistic vision of the ending you are delusional. This is about lack of quality and false advertisement. If this makes a precedent for anything is that consumers are much more aware of PR BS than companies thought they were - the artistic integrity of video-games in the future is completely safe.

This is very well said.
You cannot demand artistic integrity, you freaking earn it through your works.

I don't worry about future either. Hopefully, public becomes educated enough so we can have that future sooner rather than than later. And what BioWare did kinda helped that. :D

Broken Steel turned out great. Maybe it happened and I didn't notice, but I don't remember anyone talking about how horrible it was that Bethesda sacrificed their artistic integrity or that they were vandalizing their own game.

That was awesome, I can't wait for more stuff like this to be created. It's a very good point, but obviously it is going to fly over most people's heads.

PrinceOfShapeir:
I'm really getting tired of people saying things when they shouldn't be allowed to. Can we end this whole 'everyone is entitled to their opinion' thing and make it so that you have to pass some kind of test to ensure that people actually learn how to read and comprehend what is being said to them?

Yes because it is just wrong that some people think differently, that don't think exactly like you.[Sarcasm]

I for one loved ME3 endings and all. It really doesn't matter that 31 flavors of endings to try and appease everybody. The hole way through the game I felt like my choices mattered, and that was enough. When I got to the end, I guess it was the exaggeration of all the people complaining about it, but witnessing it, I was meh, really, this little thing people were creating such a stink over. People just need to accept that things won't always end like they want.

Scabadus:
Of course, future game designers could avoid having to "sabotage" their work - no matter what precedent has been set - by writing good games. I know that's a bit of an extreme concept, but just putting it out there...

BioWare did write a good game, a great game, it impacted me more than the previous games. It is just that there are a small group of people that didn't get exactly what they wanted. I can say that I have have never read, watched, or played a story that had all of its loose ends tided up.

Aiddon:

nathan-dts:
Just change the ending. Game development is a collaborative effort, why not take input from the people that matter, your fans. People need to stop defending Bioware, they fucked up and need to fix it. That ending is not art, Mordin's death was art, Grunts last stand was art. These things evoked emotions, the ending evoked nothing and then because of that nothingness people became angry.

Because under no circumstance are you actually part of the creative process. The choices you made throughout those games were designed BY BIOWARE. There is only one type of art where the consumers/fanbase gets a part in creating it: bad art.

FOCUS TESTING. Portal 2 wouldn't have portals if the creators had their way. Peoples reactions are gauged and things are changed accordingly, shitty game mechanics and shitty writing are removed. Letting people do things without input is not a good syatem; you get the Star Wars prequels.

Yet another industry moron trying to use "art" as defence for shoddy workmanship.

Y'know what, Mode7? Best I can tell, you actually worked hard and made a good product. You're not in the firing line here because you're not a bunch of lazy assholes.

PingoBlack:

zinho73:
If you still think this is about changing an artistic vision of the ending you are delusional. This is about lack of quality and false advertisement. If this makes a precedent for anything is that consumers are much more aware of PR BS than companies thought they were - the artistic integrity of video-games in the future is completely safe.

This is very well said.
You cannot demand artistic integrity, you freaking earn it through your works.

I don't worry about future either. Hopefully, public becomes educated enough so we can have that future sooner rather than than later. And what BioWare did kinda helped that. :D

My guess this can only mean good things for the future of games. Next time:

1. Developers might think twice before moving the key writer of a franchise to another because the other will give them more money.
2. PR people will be more careful with their promises.
3. Developers might think twice before rushing a project because they are reaching the end of their fiscal years.
4. And think twice about removing content to sell as DLC.
5. They might not put a message in the end of their game saying "Buy DLC" because it really sells short the whole artistic integrity thing.

And so on.

I really do not see this amount of noise happening again because an ending is simply bad. It really needs a perfect storm of bad decisions and bad PR. This whole thing might be a lesson, but not a precedent.

hahahahaha, this is pretty crafty. XD

well played, Frozen Synapse guys!

You know what Game Developers, and very much, all of Media needs to shut up about?

Having critical comments posted on their work.

I would love to visit the world of game developers, because it seems like a magical place. Where everything you do is sacred. However, we live in the real world. Where just because you make something doesn't make it Holy and untouchable, just because you present it doesn't make it bulletproof.

The game got criticism. And if it was one or two people, ok, they are bitchy. But if it's the vast majority of people who are saying it... Yeah, the game's damn ending wasn't satisfying for a lot of people. Get over it, game designers. You tried for something, it fell flat with the masses. You ignore people constantly saying Mass Effect is one of their favorite series of all time because they said they didn't like the ending. Holy crap, people. Do you know how many people say they love Star Wars but the nigh Ewok Orgy felt completely out of place? And that's the one thing Lucas had no problem with keeping!

I write. I've had people love my work and have had the work fall flat. How full of myself would people felt if I lashed out at those who didn't like it? MORE OVER, how out of touch with reality would people consider me if I lashed out at them for not liking someone else's work, and I felt like somehow that could relate to my work in the future?

Get over yourselves. I try to be nice, but really, I understand what it is to be out in the world. People are judging everything you do. That's why some people succeed and some people fail. The ending was judged poorly. Developers AND gamers need to just wash their hands with the whole affair. That's the ending Bioware chose. Sorry. This is how the public feels about your choice. Sorry. There is still a vast world of imagination and game play to consider before we need to start hamstringing ourselves and distancing our fan base before we even get to 'negative' points!

If Mass Effect 3 had ended with that music I wouldn't of cared how it ended :P

... Not entirely sure what he was trying to prove by doing this... if he's going for some kind of biting commentary about the "Retake ME3" guys then the whole think kinda falls apart when you realize that THIS ending was better written and made more sense then ME3's. Or perhaps he's trying to illustrate that changing the ending of a game isn't nearly as big a deal as people think it is.

Regardless it still proves the infallible point that everything is better with ponies and top-hats.

edit

zinho73:
I really do not see this amount of noise happening again because an ending is simply bad. It really needs a perfect storm of bad decisions and bad PR. This whole thing might be a lesson, but not a precedent.

If nothing else they might realize making a single ending but investing some real effort in it will reap better rewards than souless Ending-O-Tron that gives you a coloring book choice.

I won't post the "color my explosion" meme here, as tempting as it is. Hehe.

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