Well here is a rather interesting bit of news, Bioware maker of Mass Effect 3, a hugely successful and unbelievable game, has decided to change the controversial ending of the game. This change has been spurred by outrage and criticism from fans across the internet pleading to Bioware to change the ending in order to provide more closure to the final chapter in the Mass Effect series.
I’ve played through and beaten the game, and the ending did leave a lot to be desired. It felt cut off and just ended, there wasn’t really much of anything to say, no closure, no resolution, and in all honesty anticlimactic. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Fans have started a “Retake Mass Effect 3” Facebook page which has amassed over 50,000 followers, along with a Twitter page that has over 5,000 followers. Along with that, one fired up fan went so far as to file a complaint with the FTC saying that the ending amounts to false advertising by EA and Bioware. That is certainly out there and I think that the Facebook and Twitter pages got more than enough attention from Bioware, and is more generally acceptable means of getting a company’s attention.
Regardless it’s worked, the company co-founder, Dr. Ray Muzyka took to the company’s blog to address the criticism. He said the criticism was “extremely painful” to the team which he had hoped would please the fans. Unfortunately some Fans have taken their complaints a bit farther than just complaints, some have gone as far as threatening.
Dr. Muzyka went on to say “We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received.” “[However]. some of the criticism that has been delivered in the heat of passion by our most ardent fans, even if founded on valid principles, such as seeking more clarity to questions or looking for more closure, for example — has unfortunately become destructive rather than constructive. We listen and will respond to constructive criticism, but much as we will not tolerate individual attacks on our team members, we will not support or respond to destructive commentary.”
So basically, constructive criticism can get the attention of big game developers who care about their fans and understand their core audience. But if fans take things to far, well nothing good can come of it, so if you like the companies that make your games, give them feedback that will make the games you want better, not feedback that will make them turn away from you.