Mass Effect 3 Endings Reception

Mass Effect 3 Endings Reception

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Updated Aug 17, 2015 at 08:18AM EDT by Z..

Added Mar 12, 2012 at 01:51AM EDT by I am monkey.

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Editor's Note: This entry contains spoilers.



On March 6th, 2012, BioWare's action RPG Mass Effect 3 was released amidst high anticipations from the online gaming communities. The title was heavily promoted through viral marketing campaigns prior to the release, including teaser trailer videos and interactive events between the fans and the game's production team on social networking sites. The game received critical acclaims from several major game review sites like IGN (9.5 / 10), Game Informer (10 / 10), 1UP (Rated A) and Edge (8 / 10).


However, the cinematic ending of the game was rather poorly received by the fans and became a source of grievances. This is mostly due to the fact that all the choices made by the player over the series boiled down to what color the explosion is in the closing cutscene. As a result, a large outcry over the anticlimactic ending has arisen, mostly stemming from the BioWare forums and social networking groups.


The controversy over the ending sequence arose one day before the release of the game. On March 5th, 2012, a community poll on the Bioware Social Network[1] asked what the fans thought of the leaked endings. The response was almost entirely negative. 90% of users voted "The Endings Suck" while only 2% deemed it "Fine As It Is". The poll has since received 300,000 views and become a focal point of the "Take Back Mass Effect" movement.

Endings suck, we want a brighter one. 90% (45157 votes) Endings are fine, we just want the Normandy strand on Earth or somewhere near Shepard 7 % (3366 votes) Fine as it is. 2% (1047 votes)

On March 9th, YouTuber ImRodyle posted a Hitler reaction commentary video titled "Hitler finds out about Mass Effect 3's Ending," expressing anger over BioWare's ending sequence falling short of the fans' anticipation.

On March 11th, BioWare forum user Pro5 started another thread titled "Bulleted list of reasons why the finale is getting such reaction," in which he explained his main reasons in disapproving the Mass Effect 3's ending sequence. Some of the more notable points included:

No matter what you choose, it feels like a failure (MOST IMPORTANT, imho).
bq. Decisions throughout the game (and the whole trilogy) have no impact on the ending you get.
bq. It contradicts the established ME1 canon.

Similar sentiments resonated throughout the gaming review blogosphere, with virtually every gaming news site reporting on the growing tension over the game's ending, including Kotaku's article "Why Mass Effect 3’s Ending Was So Damn Terrible,"[5] The Escapist Magazine's "Why BioWare Shouldn't Change Mass Effect 3's Ending"[6] and GameFront's "Mass Effect 3 Ending-Hatred: 5 Reasons The Fans Are Right"[7] among others. In contrast, GameSpot defended BioWare's decision to stay put with their original work in a column article titled "Why BioWare Shouldn't Change Mass Effect 3's Ending."[8]

Ah yes, "your choices matter" Tuns aiting in dark We have dismissed that claim

In addition, a Tumblr blog called "Retake Mass Effect"[2] was launched to provide the latest developments in the fans' rally against the current ending and a Facebook page titled "Demand a Better Mass Effect Ending"[3] was created to serve as the hubsite for petitioning for an alternate ending. Meanwhile, the grievances of the fans inevitably resulted in the creation of "Scumbag Bioware" image macro.

Reaction Videos

The outrage over Mass Effect 3's conclusion did lead to some positive developments, with the fans' rally against Bioware gaining substantial comic value. The debate quickly spawned hundreds of YouTube reaction videos, often re-contextualizing various clips of celebrities and fictitious characters as their reactions to the game's ending sequence in typical Downfall style of tongue-in-cheek criticism.

Bioware Responses

Despite the overwhelmingly negative reception of the ending, Bioware initially stood by its decision and proceeded to go forward with multiplayer downloadable-content (DLC) rather than producing an alternate ending as requested by the fans. In an official statement released via official website[10] on March 16th, the game's executive producer Casey Hudson insisted that the production team has been always open to suggestions and there will be additional features and improvements available for download in the future. This decision has only served to fan the flames that are already engulfing the company's Twitter feed.

Online forums BIOWARE CORP Lock the negative Threads because we don't like them Make Mass Effect 3 DLCWARE CORP Cut out parts of the final game, release it as DLO    WHAT DO YOU MEAN NONE OF MY CHOICES MATTERED?

On March 21st, 2012, Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka published a blog post to the official Bioware website[9] in response to the influx of criticisms. In the post, Muzyka claimed that the Mass Effect team had been pooling together data about the reactions to the game and would be working to create additional game content to address the issues which would be revealed in April of 2012.

TO MASS EFFECT 3 PLAYERS, FROM DR. RAY MUZYKA, CO-FOUNDER OF BIOWARE POSTED ON MARCH 21, 2012 BY DARKLARKE To Mass Effect 3 players, from Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I'm very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we've yet created. So it's incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game's endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics-but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds, and who have the uncontested right to provide constructive criticism. At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3's endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.

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Top Comments


1. Make a kickass game series with a large fan base.
2. Make the sequel game even more kickass than the predecessor(s).
3. Make a terrible ending to it.
4. Wait for fans to beg for a DLC for a better ending.
5. Make a slightly better DLC ending.
6. Repeat 3.(x[insert number here])
9. Repeat for infinite muneys.


If Harry Potter's ending was like these:

1. It turns out that there was someone else behind Voldemort all along.
2. That someone else explains that wanted to rule the world with an iron fist to prevent wizards from ruling the world with an iron fist.
3. He starts explaining how friends are meaningless and how there's nothing really worth living. Harry, despite the overwhelming evidence of the contrary, accepts it.
4. There are multiple endings but Harry Potter dies in every one of them. There are almost no differences.
5. None or insufficient closure is given to almost all the characters.


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