We Are Spoiled Gamers
A video game, like a movie, TV show, music album or whatever else that has been written or worked on by someone, is a work of art and a form of expression. It’s ok to critique since it’s proven that anything that can be critiqued is art. But is it ok to request to alter its final product due to unsatisfied fans?
Mass Effect 3 suffered from this big polemic where, after five years of the series’ run, the ending of this third instalment didn’t satisfy the majority of the fans. The people wrote to BioWare, the studio responsible for the making of one the most expanded and story-driven game the industry has seen so far, to reclaim an alternate ending.
BioWare, very responsive to its fans ‘criticism and always taking note of their feedback, decided to alter the ending to the campaign that Mass Effect 3 offered, only after 3 weeks to its release. The studio seems to be very content that the people always have a voice and are more than pleased to satisfy its clientele.
But to what extent is this considered acceptable to demand that someone’s work and immense universe to be changed for one’s satisfaction? The video game industry has marked a milestone by be able to take “constructive criticism” and take action on it. The video game industry is, and will, probably be the only type of commercial entertainment to go out of their way by revising what has been done, and change so that people can stop arguing about it.
I’m sure that many people weren’t satisfied with the ending of Inception, or how The Sopranos shut that metaphorical door in our faces, but isn’t it part of the author’s scope to give us what they want us to see? I’m sure people complained about these obvious examples, but it sure didn’t get the studios, writers or producer to say, “Hey, let’s rewrite it, people are clearly unsatisfied”.
The Gears of War franchise was fun, but let’s get real and accept that the story was nonsensical and poorly written. The ending of Gears 3 proved that the game wasn’t meant to be played because of the story. After humanizing the bad guys and making us invested in that mess, they abandoned that ideology like nothing really mattered. I don’t recall people asking a rewrite on Epic’s part, and even though all that, still fun game. We should try to remember that everything needs to be appreciated as it’s given to us and a little more considered given that hundreds of people busted their asses off to work on those games we like to play so much.
The point is, gamers clearly have a voice in the business and it’s not a bad thing. But it’s one thing to criticise one’s work, and another to demand a redraft. As part of the gamer’s community, I think BioWare is wrong to take action on this matter and this will only spoil us, for many years to come. And in many ways, the studios put out the most immense and expansive trek gamers experienced in years, where not one single play through will be identical to another.
As today’s generation of gamers, we should consider ourselves spoiled by the industry. It’s one thing to complain and be unsatisfied about graphics (even though we really shouldn’t), but to go and call off the people who made it and demand reconsideration due a poor ending (which there are many possible ones) after it offered us a good and full 5 years of companionship in our living rooms and now our memories.