The big hot button issue right now in the gaming industry is, sadly, the ending to Mass Effect 3. Essentially, diehard Mass Effect fans are upset that the ending didn't deliver and are demanding BioWare create and release a new, "better" ending. Typically, this would be something to laugh off and then move on from. However, BioWare is starting to feed into the hysteria, even going as far as posting on their Facebook account that the company isn't ruling out the possibility of "fixing" Mass Effect 3's ending.
Here's what BioWare said:
"We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending.
We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.
Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive."
If BioWare gives in to the pressure it will be a sad day for the gaming industry. It's one thing to be disappointed with a title's ending and voice your criticisms in a constructive manner. It's another thing entirely to follow that up with demands of compensation, in this case being a completely new ending.
When push comes to shove, Mass Effect 3 is a work of fiction and BioWare gave us the ending they intended. Whether you like it or not, that's the long and short of it. As a creative force, BioWare has the right to wrap up their saga any way they choose. And frankly, they couldn't possibly appease every single fan when expectations were as high as they were.
I'm not going to dive too much further into this topic because writing about it just makes me angry. I've already voiced my opinion on the subject recently with my "3 Severe Cases of Gamer Entitlement" article. As a companion piece to that, my co-worker Mike White wrote up a great piece about being a better gaming consumer. I think a lot of these Mass Effect fans demanding a new ending would do well to read it and think long and hard about what they're potentially doing to the greater gaming industry if these bullying tactics work.
Imagine a world where alternate endings can be turned into premium downloadable content? Believe me, publishers will find a way to turn this kind of controversy into a money-making scheme. That's the slippery slope we might be traveling down if BioWare gives in to these obnoxious demands. Nip it in the bud, BioWare. And do it fast.
We'll be reporting back if anything comes of this story. But our fingers are crossed that this hysteria quickly dies down.