How Much Control/Influence Should Fans Have?

Apparently, the ending for Mass Effect 3 was really bad, or at least very disappointing to many fans of the franchise. So much so that a lot of people in the gaming community are building petitions to have ending of the game’s story changed.

I’m a gamer. Have been since the days of Atari. I’ve played and finished hundreds of games. Some good, some bad. Do I wish some of the endings were different, or better? Yes, but I accept the crappy ending because that’s how the story ends. it is what it is.

From my point of view, I don’t see what the big deal is about Mass Effect 3’s ending is. Granted, I myself have not finished MA3 or ME2 or ME1 for that Matter, so I may not be as attached to the game’s storyline as many other gamers out there, but I don’t understand the need to have an ending officially changed to make people “happy”.

In that case, why not change the ending of every story that “we” think is “bad” or “disappointing”. I’ve watched plenty of movies that have crappy endings in my opinion, but I accept the crappy endings for what they are. It’s not my story. I didn’t write it. So, I accept it.

Fans to some extent may be the life blood of a product, but at a certain point enough is enough. In that case, Let’s change the ending to Romeo and Juliet, or the endings to all the other stories “we” don’t like. Stories are art. And art is subjective. I’m sure there are some gamers out there who think Mass Effect 3’s ending was fine. What guarantees that the “new” ending will be any better? And how much impact will it really have when everyone will know that it is not the original ending?

I wonder, How much power should/can fans have on a product/Art?

As a writer, I have stories that I want to tell, and sure, through the development and writing process things change throughout the story. But I think that once something, like a story at least, is officially put out, it should be left alone. Going back in, after the fact, and changing things, would cheapen it for me. It makes it all REALLY trivial. If we can go back in and change the ending of all things, then why not go back and change everything else?

11 thoughts on “How Much Control/Influence Should Fans Have?

  1. I agree with you. Regardless of how a story ends, it should not be altered once it is released to the general public. No matter how much you dislike the ending or how many people dislike it, the ending happened exactly the way the writer intended it to happen. Very intriguing post.

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    1. Hey, Moira

      How have you been?

      Yeah, I think it’s kind of silly really. I mean, it’s a fictional story. Of all things to start a petition over. It’s not like it touches race, religion, or civil rights. I just don’t see the big deal.

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      1. I’ve been good thanks.

        And again I agree. There are far more important things to devote your energy to. Things that could make a difference in the lives of others on an important level. Changing a story ending doesn’t fall into that category.

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        1. Hey, I really like the new look of your site. When did you change it?

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          1. Thanks! I changed it in April. Needed something that fit me better.

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  2. I’m a gamer. I have been for a long long time, and the Mass Effect universe had been (until the ending) one of my favourite games and settings.

    The Mass Effect 3 ending is bad on so many levels it defies logic. It is badly written, derails plots and character, renders everything that happens previous invalid, is filled with plot holes, contradictions and would have received a fail mark in any high school writing course. Worse, what happens is in direct opposite to what the gamers were told they would receive.

    It comes across as being hastily written and not really thought through.

    There are also rumours that, unlike the rest of the game, there was no peer review for the ending – the head writer wanted something artsy (when the rest of the series wasn’t written that way) and just ignored the established process.

    Rewriting the endings is not without precedence. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle retconed the death of Sherlock Holmes due to public outcry and another computer game, Fallout 3, changed the ending due to the fact fans were disappointed with it (though not to the extent Mass Effect fans are disappointed) – and whats more Bethesda were praised for it.

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    1. LMAO! Wow, dude, you make me not even want to attempt to finish the game now, lol! I hear what you’re saying and it definitely sounds like Bio Ware dropped the ball big time, which is a major fail on their score card. The whole thing sounds jacked up. Which, as you mentioned, defies logic when they seemingly did so well on the previous two games. Talk about missing the last shot of the game.

      Even with all that, personally, I don’t see the sense in rewriting the ending. I’d rather them put out another sequel to knock it out, rather than rewrite the ending.

      Kind of like with The Terminator films. T1 – Great! T2 – Awesome! T3 – WTF?, T4 – Cool, okay, now we’re back on track, lol.

      Would you play another sequel to the game if they released one?

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      1. 95% of the third game is great and lives up to the previous games – its just that last 10 minutes where it stumbles and drops the ball.

        The problem with a sequel is that there can’t really be one, not in the manner they left the universe. Not only have they stated that there would be no other games set after ME3, but the setting as we knew and loved no longer exists in that form.

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        1. WOW! Really? I wonder what the hell their reasoning was for such drastic move.

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          1. That is the question everyone wants answered but aren’t getting – which is frustrating.

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            1. Yeah, indeed. I would really like a answer.

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