Mass Effect fans seem to have a serious bee in their bonnet about how the story of Commander Shepherd ends. So much so that they’ve raised $77,000+ to donate to charity as a way of raising awareness for their petition for BioWare to have the game changed.
Mass Effect 3 culminates the saga’s storyline with an epic climax that brings Commander Shepherd and crew to Earth in the midst of a gigantic alien invasion. It’s enormous, thrilling, and it has major repercussions for every major character. And yet…
The game’s ultimate resolution has left many players feeling mighty unsatisfied. The end of the game [MAJOR SPOILERS HIDDEN HERE] offers three choices that all result in Commander Shepherd’s death, the destruction of the mass relay network, and the crash landing of the Normandy on an unknown alien world where its crew becomes permanently stranded. [/END SPOILERS] The fans’ argument stems from two issues:
- Since one bedrock of the trilogy is how it lets players choose how to react to every scenario that’s presented — and every choice then creates long-lasting repercussions that combine to give each player their own, customized experience — these fans feel that the three possible outcomes of the game don’t truly play out in the spirit of everything that came before.
- The three endings currently available don’t give closure to the characters and lingering mysteries related to the plot.
In essence, they think that the finale of the Mass Effect trilogy simple isn’t the against-all-odds heroic victory that Commander Shepherd deserves. So the fans got organized, creating a peaceful petition they call “Retake Mass Effect.” To raise awareness of their petition, they created a charitable donation opportunity for fans who sign it, reasoning (rightly) that dollars speak louder than words. At the time of this writing, the Retake Mass Effect campaign has donated more than $77,000 to the Child’s Play charity.
And their actions haven’t fallen on deaf ears. To its credit, BioWare has responded with some words of wisdom about balancing the creative integrity of their work with the passionate response they’ve received from the fans that have made this series such a success. Right now, their solution appears to involve some new downloadable content packs — which BioWare was already planning for the game — that will “help answer the questions [of fans], providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey.”
They promise to reveal details about this DLC in April.
What do you make of this? After the success of Double Fine’s recent Kickstarter campaign — in which fans crowd-funded a new adventure game from the legendary Tim Schafer — fans are again taking matters into their own hands (and wallets) to get what they want from the gaming industry. Is this a trend that will continue? Should it?