Mass Effect campaign demands new ending to series

A screenshot from Mass Effect 3 The Mass Effect series was launched in 2007

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Gamers angered at the ending of Mass Effect 3 have campaigned for an alternate conclusion - and raised more than $70,000 (£44,000) for charity.

Players have complained that decisions taken during the game have little effect on the ending - a key selling point of the series.

Canada-based developer Bioware has stood by the conclusion which it describes as "bittersweet".

However, they hinted extra material could be made available to download.

"We'll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be," executive producer Casey Hudson wrote in a forum post.

"This is not the last you'll hear of [main character] Commander Shepard."

Since the series' first release in 2007, players have been able to make moral decisions throughout all three games - all with an impact on the end of the saga.

Owners of Mass Effect 3, which was released at the start of this month to great critical acclaim, could upload save game files from the first two titles so these decisions could be carried forward and impact on the new game.

Start Quote

Some of our most passionate fans needed more closure”

End Quote Casey Hudson Bioware

The campaign for an alternative ending is being publicised in the UK by Sebastian Sobcyzk, a boutique clothing store owner in Chelsea, London.

He told the BBC that gamers feel cheated by the game's conclusion.

"They just completely destroyed the whole game for us.

"If I wanted to get my soul crushed, I could just turn on the TV and put the news on."

Mr Sobcyzk said backers of the campaign had "voiced their displeasure with their wallet" by donating to Child's Play, a charity which provides toys and video games to children in more than 70 hospitals worldwide.

Backers had raised $70,000 (£44,000) by Tuesday morning.

Screenshot from Bioware Mass Effect 3, released earlier this month, is said to be the final instalment in the series

Mr Sobcyzk called for a downloadable patch to be made available to add additional endings. On gaming forums, fans of the series have complained that no matter how "good" you are during the game, the ending is still a sad one.

"The game is about choices and consequences," explained Mr Sobcyzk.

"You do good things and bad things. We were promised by the developers to have 16 different endings.

"All these choices you make and you get a choice of three different endings which are exactly the same, minus a couple of tweaks here and there."


Another disgruntled gamer, going by the forum handle of "El_Spiko", said he had filed a complaint with the US trading standards organisation, the Federal Trade Commission.

El_Spiko wrote: "After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims."

However, not all gamers are pressing for change. A counter-campaign, Support Bioware's Mass Effect, is backing the developers' decision.

In response to complaints, Bioware's Mr Hudson said the "underlying theme of sacrifice" throughout the series as reflected in the ending.

However, he added: "We also recognise that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories."

Mr Sobcyzk said the time - and money - invested in the game by fans needs to be rewarded with a more fulfilling end.

"If this was a Hollywood film, and they had a test audience, they would have never released the ending like that. It would have just not happened.

"For the love of God, give us the good ending!"


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  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    ME3 is almost a masterpiece. There are few movie experiences which compare. Unfortunately, the ending was badly thought out and betrayed the core vision of the entire series. Mr Hudson has a very peculiar idea of the meaning of 'bittersweet'.
    Victory tinged with sadness and loss is bittersweet. Apocalyptic loss and the destruction of everything you have fought for is bitter and soul destroying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    This is actually about a lot more than the ending of a video game. It's about the trust we put in a company to allow a form of escapism that is important in this world. It's about corporations undermining their consumer base. It's about unfulfilled promises.
    When we consider that this is spread across 3 games and downloaded content, it's a big time and money investment for little emotional reward.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    Saying fans don't like the ending because its bittersweet is wrong, I was expecting it to be so, but for a good cause, seeing the results of choices made throughout the story. Instead they throw in a Deus Ex Machina ending full of plot holes that makes no sense, essentially rendering every choice made pointless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    I do not agree with this, the ending was out together beautifully, it's was sad and emotional yet clever and powerful, all this talk of a new ending is pathetic

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    It is easy to call these people sad and lonely. I mean those who do insult gamers must be so perfect right? However, this can be likened to the Christmas Lunch. Imagine spending hours preparing the meal for all to enjoy, you sit down, say prayers and dig in, only to find someone sold you a fake turkey that tastes like plastic. All that time wasted.... even if you enjoyed the process of cooking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    I was really looking forward to seeing how choices I'd made over the last 2 games would pan out, all through ME3 it was brilliantly put together, pulling in characters from the previous games, excellent dialog & acting. Then finally got to the end & no matter what I'd done I got to choose 1 of 3 endings I was so disappointed. I'd really like to see revised endings that reflect your earlier choices

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    The original ending was leaked. EA wouldn't give Bioware more time to write a new one, so the ending we see was rushed out. Real shame. Keelah se'lai.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    I've completed the trilogy after literally hundreds of hours of game play. I love the series and strongly believe they have made a truly fantastic Sci-Fi universe. That being said, after 99% of that trilogy fails to live up to promises made by BioWare. The various endings turned out to be 3 slightly different finale's which make no sense along with poor writing and a lack of any real closure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    As a big fan of mass effect I was looking forward to ME3 the game right up until the end is smooth and plays well. Then you get to the end and it well just bad. The end itself makes no scene at all and is full of plot holes. One is destroy the mass relay will destroy the system it is in. But nothing is said about the systems are not destroyed at the end. Is just one of them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    This group of gamers do have a point, to an extent.

    However they are fighting over the wrong thing.

    What they should be concerned about is the way the industry expects gamers to pay for the game @£30+ and then for content which should be in the game already via DLC, costing gamers even more - simply because they are a cash cow.

    15 less endings is only the tip of a very large iceberg...

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I do appreciate people's right to protest on account of not being delivered what was promised, and think non-gaming folk on here (and other sites) are blowing the whole thing out of proportion.

    "Fan" does not necessarily always mean "fanatic" (and before anyone points it out, I know that's what it's short for). Gamers (myself included) love a great story, and not everyone can be pleased with them

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    I completed this today, and really don't get the hate. I'm as emotionally invested in the characters as the next person but I don't see anything wrong with the ending.

    The end of a trilogy is just that: THE END. Everyone forgets that Bioware had to bring the story to a conclusion. I am satisfied with that conclusion.

    In my opinion it was a truly beautiful ending. Very well done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    @94: I've just been putting the following quote up to the claims of 'childish', personally.

    "Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves..... When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
    - C. S. Lewis

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Having completed Mass Effect 3 It was a let down.. Not just because of the lack of quality compared to the rest of the series, but by the glaring plot holes left by it.

    Also.. being able to control or destroy are the basic endings.. To achieve co-existance you need more war assets lol

    Sounds like several countires foriegn policies are being modelled in game :)

    Electronic Arts Strikes Again :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    I think its worth a note to those against a change to Mass Effect 3 that it is not as unprecedented a move as they may think. There are a series of Mass Effect novels out. The first three written by one author, the fourth by a second author. This fourth book, Mass Effect: Deception, was so full of plot holes and lore errors that Bioware is going to have it corrected and reissued.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Always going to be a few people on each side of anything that go too far. Cut off the 2% each end and focus on the real issues ;)

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    It may seem like a childish issue to some people looking in but for the fans we just want to see Mass Effect be everything it can be. Bioware set a truly wonderful precedent with the first two games in the trilogy and they got it right for the majority of this third instalment.

    I would just like to see one of the best stories I've ever had the pleasure to take part in be given a suitable end.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    lol Mass Effect fanboys. There are some endings to other games which I wish had different/alternative endings.

    I mean I wish The Boss didn't die in MGS3 but what can I do?

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    I've not read all of the comments, but I'm sure others will have raised the key issue that I (and many I know) have with the ending. It's about closure. I'd be happy with a paragraph on each of the party members/major characters that details their future. Dragon Age did it so they have a precedent.

    I can cope with a bittersweet ending, but I don't like one that feels rushed.


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