For the masses of video game fans, fanatics and consumers up in arms over the disappointing ending to the Mass Effect trilogy, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East was game developer Bioware's last chance to explain themselves. The Mass Effect PAX panel, which took place on Wednesday, went off without a hitch, as the developers onstage polled the audience, promised an extended cut in the near future (to rowdy applause), and discussed the process of creating the game.
Before diving into the details of the panel, it should be noted that if anyone still questions the devotion of the Mass Effect fans who have displayed an impressive degree of coordination in their protests this photo gallery of gamers in Mass Effect 3 costumes at PAX East should speak for itself.
The Mass Effect panel was one of the most popular at the expo, and fans lined up early to secure their spots inside following mass speculation that the crowd might turn ugly. Particularly, representatives of Retake Mass Effect, an organized group of gamers demanding a new and better ending to the game, would use the opportunity to voice their own, possibly disrespectful, opinion and demands.
Instead the panel went off without a hitch as developers explained the process behind writing and creating some of the game's central scenes and levels, polling the audience via show of hands to determine the popularity of specific choices. While the audience frequently yelled things at the developers on stag the tone was positive throughout.
Discussing the controversial ending, Bioware producer Mike Gamble confirmed the extended cut, but declined to offer any information regarding its content.
So yesterday we announced the Extended Cut, Gamble said. To be clear, the extended cut is not a re-imagining of the ending or a new ending... We're currently building it right now. Our cinematics team is on it. Our writers are heavily involved. It's coming together.
Gamble did, however, explain the overarching purpose of the additional content, which will likely come out this summer.
We want to give more closure about some of the questions you have, Gamble said, In general we wanted to give the players a sense of personalization with the endings. Many people mentioned that some of the choices they made in the game are not necessarily reflected in the ending scenes. We're definitely going to focus on things like that. We want to make sure that when you see the ending of Mass Effect, you now have the information and context to be satisfied.
It's more than just a few cinematic scenes, Gamble added. We're happy to be doing it.
The panel claimed that this content was absent from the original product because they did not know fans wanted it.
The dev team stands by what was released in the core product, and we're very proud of it, they said. It was important though for us to listen to the community, and a lot of that feedback didn't come until the game came out. Once we were listening we decided to include the extended cut. It wasn't in the game because we didn't know there was such a huge demand for it, to be honest with you.
It appears that for the time being Bioware has won over its consumer base by promising additional content for Mass Effect 3 and taking gamers' opinions into consideration. Whether 'Retake Mass Effect 3' will respond positively the panel's results remains to be seen.