Opinion: Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy

Oh boy.  Mass Effect 3.  Being a game designer, I love reading up on controversies like this one.

Quick recap: the Mass Effect series is a trilogy of games made by Bioware that boasted giving a player an unprecedented level of choice in how the story played out.  Alliances were drawn, rivalries developed, and friends lived or died based on decisions made by the player.  The final game was just released and the stakes were higher than ever.  Trust me, this game was deep.

The reviewers absolutely loved it.  The average player did not.
What's up with that?

It all comes down to the ending of the game.  Bioware made a very strange game design decision.  In a nutshell, the player got to choose one of three very similar endings.  These endings had little to do with any of the choices made up to that point.  It went against everything that made the game the icon it is today.  And this actually directly conflicted with many of the statements up to the game's launch. Hopefully you're starting to see why the fans feel burned.

Bioware is stepping up to plate by releasing an 'expanded ending'.  This ending should provide additional clarity and closure to the endings.  Not all are happy with this though.  Critics are saying that they're setting a very dangerous precedent, and that Mass Effect will lose its artistic integrity.

At the end of the day, this is a great achievementfor the video game industry.  Movies are often changed if they are not enjoyed by test audiences.  How many times have we seen an 'Updated Release' of Star Wars?  What about the new 3-D releases of Disney movies?  Media can not be left to stagnate.  When times change, people adapt and evolve.  Otherwise society goes nowhere.  The same can be said of any art.

I fully support the release of the extended ending DLC.  If anything, this will extend the life of the Mass Effect series, raising it to new heights.  The alternative is to leave the ending forever as a 'what could have been'.