The Day After Winning Worst Company Crown, EA Does Something Nice For Mass Effect Fans

As much as we’d love to think that yesterday’s victory by Electronic Arts in the Worst Company In America tournament pushed them to do something nice, we have a feeling that it’s just a coincidence that the video game publisher has announced it will release some downloadable content — for free! — to appease angry Mass Effect 3 players.

We mentioned a couple of weeks back about how EA-owned BioWare had come under fire from ME3 fans for capping off its hugely popular trilogy of galaxy-spanning geth-slaughtering games with an ending that left many players wondering, “I spent 100 hours playing these games for this?”

The company had hinted it might remedy the problem with downloadable content, but given EA’s history of using DLC to squeeze every possible penny out of players’ pockets, some worried that Mass Effect fans would have to ante up for an ending that doesn’t have the quality of that one essay question you answered with only 30 seconds to go on your Art History 203 exam.

But according to Joystiq:

[T]he content will add “additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes,” which will apparently offer fans “further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3″ and “deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes.”

No specific date has been given on the “extended cut” DLC, other than saying “this summer.” But for some reason, EA has put an April 12, 2014 end date on how long it will be made available for free.

Mass Effect 3 ‘Extended Cut’ DLC free this summer, offers ‘further clarity to the ending’ [Joystiq.com]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. aja175 says:

    So it’s not playable content, it’s the videos that everybody skips.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Hah, of course it is. If it were actual playable content, EA would’ve charged for it, regardless of how angry it would’ve made everyone.

      • FacebookAppMaker says:

        Knowing EA and other game companies, the ending was already on the disc, but they are now releasing it as DLC. The only difference is this DLC is free.

    • Kestris says:

      From the sounds of it, and the lack of details, of course it is. It’s just a bone to appease the masses.

    • Sian says:

      Anyone who skips all the cutscenes probably wasn’t too distressed by ME3′s ending anyway, as long as they got the achievement.

  2. Robofish says:

    So this is to fix the ending that everyone hated? ( Not a Mass Effect fan, but I have tons of co workers who are, I also stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night )

    • Lydecker says:

      It won’t fix it, likely, but it will address it – trying to give a little bit of what players want, but not corrupting or re-writing their story.

      • Robofish says:

        I feel like this is a really fine line they are walking. On one had this game had a lot of choice so you would expect more endings ala Star Ocean etc. But at the same time, they had their own overarching story and wrote the ending the way they saw fit.

        I guess what I’m getting at is, what is preventing complaints against other games to change / extend their endings?

        • scurvycapn says:

          I think the issue here is that the users expected the choices they made over the series to make an impact on the ending. Instead, you pick A, B, or C and that’s the ending you get.

          This DLC should hopefully add in additional scenes to reflect the choices you made. For example, maybe it will tell you what happened to NCPs X and Y because of how you treated them or something like that.

        • Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

          There is a very big difference between “Wrote the ending they saw fit” and “Abandoned past promises they made in a rush to meet a deadline to push the game out”.

          Based on their advertising and promises about how the ending would play out, that your choices would matter, etc… People bought the games due to how their character could interact and influence the world he was a part of. That was a major draw of the game. It isn’t “artistic integrity” where they shouldn’t fix the ending… That would assume that it was what they planned all along. It’s very clear based on quite literally everything they’ve ever done or said that it WASN’T supposed to finish with that heap of unfinished crap.

    • Fiona says:

      Unless it gives me a happy ending, I’m not playing it.

  3. Kestris says:

    Ah, but nothing they’ve said details anything as to what exactly will be in the DLC. So it’ll be interesting to see how they address the endings in which Shepard died.

    • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

      DAMNIT YOU GOTTA SAY “SPOILER ALERT” AT THE BEGINNING OF A POST LIKE THAT!!!… I have NOT played through the game yet and had, until today, avoided getting spoilers.

      And by “not played through the game” I mean never even played 1 second of ME1 nor do I even know who Shepard is nor will I probably ever play the game.

      :o)

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Now you can return the game and spend the money on gas for your auto-mo-bile.

      • Kestris says:

        Heh, never played any of the ME games either. But damned if you can’t figure out that that’s what people are pissed off over pretty quickly.}:P

      • jefeloco says:

        Well it sucks for you that ME2 starts out with Shepard getting rebuilt from a few scraps of charred meat…after he/she dies in the interlude…

        Oh, wait, spoiler or something :)

    • NickJames says:

      It honestly doesn’t have to do as much with Shepard dying than it does having everything you worked for in the ME1 mean nothing in the end. Self sacrifice would have been fine but in the end you die for nothing.

      RIP Marauder Shields

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    I loved my Art History class immensely; for every exam you had to memorize 40 paintings, statues, mobiles, etc, know who made them, name the year, the period style (High Renaissance), the materials, important innovations during its creation, economic and social conditions happening in the country during its creation, compare and contrast them with artwork of other periods etc. It was harder than my money and banking classes probably because the teacher thought students taking the class would think it would be an easy A.

    • dolemite says:

      Lol, that reminds me of my art history class. Same deal. Just knowing the artist or name of the painting guaranteed you nothing. Those were the “given” questions, equating to pretty much your “free points” on the test. The real questions were like “for this painting, what was the name of the village the artist originally came from?” or “what was the name of the artist that was influenced by this painting?” OMG….

      • Blueskylaw says:

        Those were the good ‘ole days. I miss the academic atmosphere and stress of college.

  5. Lydecker says:

    And they also responded back to a letter writing campaign from a bunch of people who objected to their inclusion of gay characters and the option of same sex romances in games like Star Wars The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3, talking about some non-existent policy on avoiding ” advocacy representation,” and to think of the children (who, from the ESRB rating, should not be playing these games).

    And they called them out as not protecting children, but being about political harassment, emphasizing that they haven’t been pressured to include LGBT characters, but they meet with LBGT groups and forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums.

    Maybe they’ve been waiting until seeing how they fare before pumping out good news. But good news is still good news!

  6. dwtomek says:

    “I spent 100 hours playing these games for this?” If you ever say this to yourself, you are doing it wrong. If you aren’t partaking in it for the enjoyment of the experience, why not just watch the ending on youtube? That being said, having a consistent theme presented throughout a body of work (futility in this case) and then being shocked when the conclusion serves to continue that same theme…well I don’t know what to say about that. I guess narrative themes and power trip fantasies are not always compatible, but I don’t find that so surprising.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      “”I spent 100 hours playing these games for this?” If you ever say this to yourself, you are doing it wrong. If you aren’t partaking in it for the enjoyment of the experience, why not just watch the ending on youtube?”

      It’d be the same as if you read all of the LotR trilogy, only to find the ending being “and Sauron won and destroyed everything.” Spoiler alert: We learned that destroying a Mass Relay destroys the star in the system. So, at the end of the game, you kill trillions and doom countless others to starve as they have no way to get the supplies they need.

      Oh, and yourself and everyone you gathered in Sol, because the Charon relay went boom as well.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Which I think it the problem with video games today. It used to be the GAME that was important. The ending was just icing on a delicious cake. In a way, the ending was satisfying because of what you went through to get there and what you picked up in skills. it was the game relenting, “I give up, you’ve handled everything I threw at you. You rule! Hooray for you!”

      Hell, older games didn’t even have endings.

      *shakes cane harder*

    • manus manum lavat says:

      Er, what? The angst over the games ending was that all three games spent tons of narrative enforcing certain themes, and then the ending actively rejects those themes.

      • Valerick says:

        Wait, what? What themes were rejected?

        • manus manum lavat says:

          Well, the big one that got tossed aside was that: Across three games, you work to get disparate elements to work together, with the theme that diversity is good. Diversity may be in fact what saves this cycle. Even Javik points out that maybe the reason his cycle failed was because they were too homogenized.

          And what turns out to be the “best” ending for the game? “If we force everyone into becoming the same, then there’ll be no more wars.” It’s offensive by itself, and within the context of the world it’s just kooky. It’s like forcing all the Irish to practice Buddhism as a way to end the Catholic/Protestant conflict. Even side-stepping the issue that it’s immoral for you to force choices on other people, why would you even think that would work?

          • SerenityDan says:

            Ha ha that’s not the best ending. You were Indoctrinated good Sir. Best Ending is the one where you survive and wake up back in London.

            • manus manum lavat says:

              I’m not saying which ending I chose. Obviously I selected the ending that was less offensive than the best one, and that actually made sense in the narrative (and it turns out that was the one I survived). The indoctrination theory is just fan wishful thinking because the real ending is so incredibly awful in every way.

              Protip: If people hypothesize that you’re ending was all a dream and they’re excited and pleased to think that might actually be the true ending, you done messed up.

          • Valerick says:

            Diversity is “good”? Absolutely not. Diversity is “pain and suffering” would be far more accurate given the actual game and not some idealized new age revisionist version of it. In every single instance where there are differences in this game, there is conflict. Quarian v. Geth, Salarians v. Krogan, Turians v. Krogan, Synthetics v. Organics, etc. And in every case the solution is not “Hold hands and celebrate our diversity, Kumbaya.” The solution is put up or get out of the way. No one pretends that diversity is anything but a challenge to overcome and progress is only ever made when differences are ignored, not celebrated. The Salarians do not learn to appreciate the Krogan, nor do the Quarians ever get any further than tolerating the Geth on the battlefield and in many play-throughs not even that.

            This “diversity is good” thing is completely you taking your own perspective and projecting it. That is not a theme in the game that I played. And I imported a perfect ending so I got all kinds of happy outcomes that others didn’t.

            • manus manum lavat says:

              While you certainly *can* genocide entire races in order to “resolve conflict” (because differences are difficult!), I think that claiming the game promotes that angle is flatly incorrect.

              Most of the game is all about promoting understanding between different factions, not abolishing that which is different on the grounds that it’s different.

              Even if you could make the argument that playing as Renegade means “purifying” racial diversity, I still wouldn’t agree that an ending that decides that view point is the “correct” one – thus ignoring the game that at least 50% of your players were playing – is a good thing.

              • Valerick says:

                “I think that claiming the game promotes [genocide] is flatly incorrect.”

                Me too, but who made that claim? Surely you don’t think anyone here did, because it is clearly nonsense.

                “Most of the game is all about promoting understanding between different factions.”

                Also agreed, but besides the point. You are stating that diversity can be overcome, not that it is beneficial.

                “Even if you could make the argument that playing as Renegade means ‘purifying’ racial diversity, I still wouldn’t agree that an ending that decides that view point is the “correct” one”

                Agree with whom, exactly? I didn’t realize there was a “correct” ending.

                You’ll note that the whole game is about building numbers. At the end of the first act you have a choice between garnering the Salarian’s loyalty or doing right by the Krogan. These two races are polar opposites- the epitome of diversity. One, a science-loving race, another: war-mongers. And their differences make NO difference in the outcome of the game. Their diversity is only any obstacle to be overcome. Once you do overcome it, they all go into the war assets pile, their differences meaningless. Diversity is only ever an obstacle, NEVER an asset.

                I repeat that you’re projecting your own feelings onto the game and now you’re doing the same to my post, because quite frankly I had to do a double-take to see if you were possibly intending to respond to someone else as you so totally missed any of my points.

  7. Maz says:

    It’s also pretty much classic EA PR at work here. PAX EAST is this weekend and while there were no plans to riot at the BioWare/EA/ME3 panel, there were plans to basically do the “long, silent, stare with maybe a small cough” to put them on edge.

    Now when the panel occurs and people try to focus the discussions on the disappointing ending, they can say “You’ll just have to wait till our free DLC comes out. It’ll have the answers you’re looking for.”

    Not sure if the WCIA had anything to do with it or not. I’m pretty sure they were keeping this in the holster for PAX EAST.

  8. The Upright Man says:

    The vitriol over the game’s ending is overblown.

    • VectorVictor says:

      Only for the Johnny-come-lately folks that haven’t been with the franchise since ME1.

      In most comments, there seems to be a direct correlation between the length of time with the franchise and the outrage over the ending. Gamers that just saw ME2 or 3 as a ‘space shooter’ and skipped the dialog and exposition could give two ****s about the ending.

      Gamers who took time to enjoy the ME ‘universe’ since the beginning seem to be the ones who have well-placed outrage over how the trilogy (if it is even still a trilogy, EA?) ended.

  9. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Who cares? You don’t like the ending to a book or a movie, tough sh1t. That’s the way it was written.

    What kind of entitlement causes someone to think they get to dictate what the ending of a game is?

    Definitely blame the OP in this case. I have no love for EA…at all…but seriously. Get the f%ck over yourselves.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      “You don’t like the ending to a book or a movie, tough sh1t. That’s the way it was written.”

      True. But that’s why people write fan fiction. And when the ending of a book is bad, people typically say so.

      I don’t think it was the ending per se, that made everyone upset. It was that for a game that was all about options, there really wasn’t an option at the very end. Oh, and they suddenly revealed a new god character that had never been. And then you kill everyone.

      Imagine you’re reading this great Lovecraftian horror book and suddenly, right at the point of climax, Jesus suddenly appears and kicks their asses back to their watery prisons. You’d be a bit “what the…” as well.

      I for one liked the ending, but I do wonder if that’s going to be the “official” ending, how are they going to continue the franchise (as they’ve said they are going to do).

    • Maz says:

      Books and movies do not generally cost $60 (or in this case $70) bucks to experience. And that is the interesting issue with Mass Effect. Yes, it’s a game. But anyone will tell you that BioWare titles have always been primarily for the story and the game mechanics have been ‘meh.’ Nothing ground-breaking, but the stories are/were fantastic.

      So a serious theme disruption in the last 10 minutes, with no recourse because you cannot return a game the same way you could a book or movie is a big issue.

      And yeah, I consider the Day One DLC to be integral to the story. The character has dialogue and commentary recorded for every major mission. Most of that was already on the disc itself when it shipped. It’s not like Lair of the Shadow Broker or the Arrival, which were addons that could be played out of sequence with the rest of the game.

      • dolemite says:

        Actually, if you bought ME 1 2 and 3 and all the DLC, that’s probably closer to $200 invested.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          …so if I bought 20 copies of a $10 book, I should get to force the publisher to change the ending?

          The money spent has nothing to do with it. Sure, a game costs ~$60 these days. Take the wife and kids to a movie, you’ll spend about that much, and only get a couple hours’ worth of entertainment from it. Those people should totally have the right to force a re-do on that movie’s ending then too, right?

          • 8bithero says:

            Straw man and hyperbole.

            • YouDidWhatNow? says:

              No…direct correlation to the assertion that spending more money gives you more right to demand a change to the ending of the story. You fail. As do all the whiny b1tches who think they get to demand a change to the ending of a story.

              • 8bithero says:

                Well, with your obvious maturity level, I’m sure you are an expert on all things.

                Go take a nap, junior.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      “What kind of entitlement causes someone to think they get to dictate what the ending of a game is?”

      Death of Robin from Batman and Robin:

      Robin’s death took place during the Batman mini-series entitled “A Death in the Family.” These were issue Nos. 426-429 and published between 1988 and 1989. All of the issues were compiled together so future readers could read the complete story without having to purchase each separate issue.
      The new Robin of Jason Todd was so controversial THAT HIS DEATH WAS ACTUALLY CHOSEN BY THE FANS OF THE SERIES, NOT THE CREATORS. A 1-900 phone line was opened up so that fans could vote whether to kill him off or not. It was a narrow margin, but ultimately he was voted to die.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Yes, ok, so ONCE in a major market product did the fans dictate the ending. But they were *invited* to do so by DC.

        …and srsly, that whiny little b*tch deserved it.

    • SixOfOne says:

      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought Sherlock Holmes back to life after fan outrage at him killing his character, so yes, book endings have been changed in this context as well.

  10. BigDragon says:

    So what about the non-ME3 fans? ME3 isn’t EA’s only game.

    • mingtae says:

      I’m pretty happy with the EA game that I have – Tiger Woods 2012. I sunk the putt, I win the Masters.

  11. FirePuff says:

    My name is Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite post on the Citadel.

    But on a serious note, I really hope it clarifies the endings, even if it keeps to the endings that they blatantly said they would not do many moons ago, leading to the false advertising suits some put forward.

  12. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    because the end date needs to be AFTER the end of next year’s WCIA tournament?

  13. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    “EA has put an April 12, 2014 end date on how long it will be made available for free.”

    So people who get a used copy of the game in a few years won’t get to see the real ending.

    Gotta hand it to the EA folks, they just plain don’t give a fuck. Accolades are in order from the Troll Council.

    • mystery79 says:

      I would assume that any copies printed after that will have this free DLC on the discs. New used copies of ME 2 are maybe 2 or 3 dollars more than a used ones now. I think most people will pay that difference if it means updated content and no risk of a scratched/dirty disc.

  14. bkginsu says:

    Is it EA or Bioware?

  15. ScytheNoire says:

    Very lame EA.

  16. 8bithero says:

    Of important note, this new content does not change the ending nor add anything to it, which is why fans reacted badly towards the game in the first place.

  17. MadDog233 says:

    I agree, I think the timing was related to their having a presence at PAX East, and I’ll be curious to hear what happens at the show today.

    BTW, I did play all three games, really really enjoyed most parts them, but the ending to game 3 (which was the series finale) was really poor. It almost seemed like they brought in a different team that went off by themselves and quickly wrote what they thought might be a “deep” ending – but which had very little to do with the way events in the game unfolded, especially in the last game. Count me as a person who was really disappointed. And given that I probably spend $200+ in games and DLC, I think I have a right to let EA know that they suck. To a more constructive point, because of this I will never buy any more Mass Effect DLC and will try to avoid EA games as much as possible in the future.

  18. RocheCoach says:

    Pffft. I’m not buying it. If they did release the non-gameplay DLC for money, it would have ended up on Youtube, going balls-to-the-wall viral, within minutes. It would have been widely available before they could make $1,000 off of it. Screw EA for thinking that this is supposed to be them throwing us a bone.