Mass Effect 3 has had more than its fair share of controversy. So much controversy, in fact, that it seems reasonable for BioWare's director in charge of Mass Effect 3 to give his thoughts on a number of pressing issues. Casey Hudson agrees, and conceded to do an interview with Digital Spy on a number of the issues surrounding Mass Effect.
Hudson starts the interview positively, reassuring fans that BioWare is always listening to feedback. Surprisingly, Hudson makes the case that player opinion may be more important than pure designer freedom.
"Well, to a large degree we always take feedback from every source very seriously. It’s very important to us because as a game designer, you and a small group of other people design a game–and everything that you have and everything that you know–to make it as good as possible. But that opinion really pales in comparison to the opinions of millions of people that actually play it under the intended conditions, buying the game, wanting to enjoy it as a piece of entertainment, and then providing their honest feedback."
For instance, Hudson states that it was only due to fans' wishes that Tali and Garrus were able to be romanced in Mass Effect 2. From here though, he take a much different stance. Here are his thoughts on Mass Effect 3's ending, and the disappointment many fans are voicing over the internet.
"I didn’t want the game to be forgettable, and even right down to the sort of polarizing reaction that the ends have had with people–debating what the endings mean and what’s going to happen next, and what situation are the characters left in. That to me is part of what’s exciting about this story. There has always been a little bit of mystery there and a little bit of interpretation, and it’s a story that people can talk about after the fact."
While not directly discussing the greater Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, including a growing petition to change the ending, Hudson nonchalantly brushes the entire issue aside. He is "excited" that the game's ending has had a polarized reaction, and that fans can talk about the ending after they've finished.
Hudson takes a similarly dismissive tone on the From Ashes DLC debacle. He covers his bases and repeats how developers' time has to be filled after production of a game is finished, but prior to launch. Then, he finishes the interview with a not so subtle jab at, "some people on the Internet."
"So in this case, we chose to work on a DLC which people really enjoyed for Mass Effect 2 and we also wanted to make sure that people had it as an opportunity to build it into their first play-through if they wanted that as an optional thing. That’s what they did and now that people have played it they can see that, yes, it was optional versus the way it was initially spun by some people on the Internet."
Whether Hudson actually has to justify any of BioWare's decisions after the game has sold millions of copies and is a huge critical success is neither here nor there. Still, it's surprising to see him state how player feedback can influence decisions on occasion, but then completely dismiss the controversies surrounding Mass Effect 3's end and the From Ashes DLC.
It was kind of Hudson to take the time to do an interview in the first place, even if it has gone through the PR car wash. Unfortunately, his vague and dismissive attitude may only stoke the fury of, "some people on the Internet."