The Many Endings of Mass Effect 3

A friend and I were discussing the state of the video game industry and Mass effect 3 came up. I had no idea the extent of the controversy surrounding the game. I thought the fan civil war in the Star Wars fandom was hopping. It’s nothing compared to the decisiveness that Mass Effect 3’s ending has had on fandom and the industry in general.

I want to say first, that I believe this entire situation seems to reside on a slippery slope. What I mean by that is it seems that the developers can’t create enough endings to appease all the players, this game is a perfect example of this. Sixteen different narrative endings are featured in Mass Effect 3, and people were still unhappy and discontent. 

I had never played the Mass Effect series so I was looking in from the outside. When I first began looking into the game I was a little taken back, the game has an entire closet full of awards, like game of the year. It was met with critical acclaim for its characters, action, and improved combat. However the ending was widely viewed as a let down as it failed to meet fan’s expectations. The developer BioWare attempted to respond to fan’s complaints by releasing the Extended Cut Pack which builds on the original ending, which seems very gracious. 

I think that creators and studios and publishers go into the development process with a GDD, Game Design Document, that has been looked over by a lot of eyes. The development process in the video game industry is a grueling intensity driven marathon. Any deviation from the finished product to the fans or players expectations will take away from the original vision of the game. With that being said, all games are created to make money and the players have the money.


Winnie, Luke (2021, June 2). 10 years later, the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy still haunts gaming culture.

Jahns, Jeremy. (2012, March 13). Mass Effect 3 Ending And Why We Hate It.

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