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Are Gamers Killing Creative License?

The hailstorm that came from ME3's ending was unprecedented. I can't remember the last time I saw a unified mob of gamers shaking their fists at something so vehemently. While some (like me) understood why things happened the way they did in that game, there are many, many others who feel as though they've been cheated and from a consumer's standpoint, that is the worst feeling a buyer (even more so if you're loyal) can have.

Do I feel as though gamers should get their money back? Absolutely not. Do I feel as though gamers should take whatever the developers give them without saying anything in return? Again, absolutely not. I do feel that there is a sense of investment that comes with buying a form of entertainment that costs $60 to enjoy that is different than the movie theatre experience or the PSN/XBLA purchase. You don't spend as much, so you don't care as much.

More than anything I believe wholeheartedly that angry gamers are affected by their nostalgia. They loved Mass Effect 1 and 2; they loved Jade Empire, Dragon Age (somewhat) and KOTOR. Why? Because there was little to no grey area in the games: you were either extremely good, extremely bad or even keel but you KNEW where you were headed. The games (especially Jade Empire and Dragon Age 1) were self-contained whereas Mass Effect is not. You're looking at an investment of at least $180 (new) from part one to now before DLCs. To me, THAT is why people are so upset--they spent good, hard money on a series of games that once played cannot be un-played. The experience cannot be made new, no matter how many times you go back and re-make choices the initial experience is seared into your head forever.

It's good we're so vocal. But it's bad in what we're vocal about.

Bioware aims to give us gamers the best quality story they can and when they see how patrons react, best believe they take notice. We ask for new ways to play, new things to shake up the tried, true and tired format we're used to and are starting to fall out of love with and they give us what they think is the best way to do that. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if their games from here on out end happily no matter how much of a douche you are in game because it's obvious that anything even slightly on the side of realism doesn't go over well.

We're so caught up in the moment we fail to see that even as cool as video games and developers are it is still a business. One that can't thrive on unhappy customers, bad reviews or high numbers of retail chargebacks. That means strict adherence to what works, no deviation, a repackaged tale we've played a million times with one or two "ooh" features *ahem EA Sports* that ultimately do little for building on the foundation built already. No acknowledgement that many of us can appreciate the subtleties of karma catching up with us at the end. I don't want to see Bioware or Quantic Dream end up like that when there's so many others that are completely happy "towing the line". Enjoy the creativity for what it is or reminisce on it for what it was.

Just sayin'.

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SilentNegotiator2243d ago (Edited 2243d ago )

Nope. Because it's all in BioEA's power to decide if they give us significant multiple endings that we should have had in the first place.

We can't "kill" their psychedelic dopey funnel endings. That's up to them.

If they want to keep their promises of choices having a significant affect, they can do that. If they want to actually END a trilogy instead of just setting up DLC/sequels, they can do that. If they want to listen to consumers and answer to their concerns and complaints, they can do that.

We cannot. We can voice our opinions, and probably be ignored or sold additional DLC.
No one is a threat to BioEA's "creativity"

Megaton2242d ago

Nostalgia? For what? The other 95% of the game?

Mass Effect 3 was a phenomenal game up until the last hour or two when things started getting wonky, showing obvious signs of a shift in the development process. The knowledge that better, more fleshed out endings were already developed and cut makes our asses hurt even more.

They screwed the landing, big time. Flaming wreckage and mangled crowds of onlookers.

People can climb up their pedestals and pretend to "get it", but taken at face value their ending is simply bad. It's poorly written and executed in a way that goes against the entire trilogy. Dropping plot holes like it's going outta style, contradicting established lore, and robbing the player of the closure Casey Hudson and Mac Walters had promised to deliver. It's indefensible.

Of course you also play into the lingering fallacy that fans are enraged because it's not a happy ending. This simply will not die no matter how many times it's confronted. While I can't speak for every single angry person, I can say that the vast majority has no problem with a grimdark ending as long as it's not an incoherent mess.

xXxSeTTriPxXx2242d ago

i wish more people would read this, is all i have to say.

Hicken2242d ago

Geez, even as someone who hasn't played 3 to the end, I've listened long enough to know what people's complaints are.

Part of it is about the promises: before release, ME3 promised significant impact of the ending based on your choices. By all accounts, no such impact is present. This alone is a reasonable excuse to be upset, especially after, as you noted, people have spent $180 or more on the series, and invested hundreds of hours of playing time.

Another part is that the ending presents plotholes that otherwise did not exist. I'm not well-versed in the particulars, but those who have absolutely no problem seeing them. This is compounded by the existence of the "leaked" ending, which is not in the game, but would represent Bioware's true vision (or truer) for the game's end. That ending caused less conflict with the story than this one, and it was Bioware's choice to change it, so naturally people would be upset that they opted for a less polished end.

Third is the quality of the ending. The different endings have a total of about four seconds of difference, and are in different colors. To go through the game a second time and receive an ending that is almost identical in every way is a slap in the face to every person that plays it.

Lastly is this nice new tidbit: two years ago, in the official Bioware forums, the ending was predicted as just what it is, and all present agreed that it was a bad idea.
That simply reeks. I can't think of another way to put it. Atrocious, I suppose.

In the end, a developer MUST please the gamers it sets out to appeal to. If it doesn't, then who exactly did it make the game for? If those gamers are not pleased, they should speak up. And the developer should take responsibility for their mistake. Because there are no two ways about it: not pleasing the fans IS a mistake.

Developers and publishers and everyone else in the gaming industry have all gotten so busy raping people's wallets that they forgot about that part.

dedicatedtogamers2240d ago

I'm sick of hearing about "creative vision". Creative vision is only allowed up to a certain point. You still have to deliver a reasonable game to your fans, especially when you make explicit promises to the effect of "your choices will have a huge impact on the ending".

coolbeans2240d ago

The **** did I just read? So now control over your own creative vision deserves to be hampered if your fans deem it to not live up to certain expectations? Wasn't their untouched vision initially what made us fans in the first place?

2234d ago