Upon Mass Effect 3's release, the on-disc DLC debacle wasn't the only the instance where the title received negative reception from fans. The arguably unsatisfactory ending for the third installment in BioWare's action role-playing game also caused a huge furor.
The developer's co-founder and CEO, Ray Muzyka, responded to the concerns over Mass Effect 3's ending by promising they'd offer some clarity through an upcoming DLC pack. As promised, the studio has announced Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, a downloadable content pack that will address the ending via additional cinematic scenes.
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut aims to expand upon the events that occur during the ending phases of the game. BioWare is instilling both cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes for fans who completed the game and still have questions. The downloadable content pack will release on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC sometime during this summer for free.
Muzyka took the opportunity to thank executive producer Casey Hudson once again, as well as delivering his view on what Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is due to deliver:
"We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team. Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe."
Hudson, who also played his part in responding to concerns over the ending, added:
"We have re-prioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player."
It's certainly been a rollercoaster for BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts considering the amount of pressure that has been attached to the firms regarding concerns over Mass Effect 3's ending. It began with a few reviews (like ours) knocking the game's ending and was quickly followed by a fan petition which garnered over 60,000 votes, demanding a new ending. After some execs got defensive about the game, BioWare later gave an official statement saying they're listening to all feedback and will respond in due time.
It doesn't stop there, though; not content with BioWare's various responses, fans kept at it by lowering the game's Metacritic score and flooding the forums, and one particular Mass Effect 3 player poured his emotions over the matter in a pair of videos. There was the fundraiser that raised $80,000 for Child’s Play charity and of course, the 400 cupcakes (in three colors) being sent to BioWare's office.
Meanwhile, other industry developers provided their opinion on the situation, including BioShock creator Ken Levine who defended BioWare's right to keep the conclusion untouched.
It's a fine line when it comes to whether BioWare should or shouldn't release downloadable content to add to or augment the game's ending in response to to player feedback. The title has already sold millions for publisher and parent company Electronic Arts with extremely positive critical reception.
The bigger question is whether or not this DLC will actually satisfy fans. If it's simply cinematics, will it be enough? Will the cinematics be different depending on the player's final decisions? Will it make sense with how the game originally ended? Is the Indoctrination Theory correct?
The timing of the DLC comes right before PAX East where BioWare will be hosting a panel so it's safe to say they wanted fans to know this going in, to prevent a
riot Reaper invasion. So, after a full month of fans pressuring BioWare into ultimately providing a downloadable content pack to address Mass Effect 3's ending, what are your thoughts on the announcement?
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will release this summer for free on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.