Bioware games. For people not familiar with Bioware's unique brand of storytelling, let me break it down for you. Bioware is all about how a person chooses to play a game, sort of like those old choose-your-own-adventure paperbacks back in the day. Except in Bioware games, players don't choose what happens. There's only one narrative. But we do choose how it happens and it feels less like cheap (or kinda not cheap) entertainment and more like...well, life. It's all very meta. Or it can be, if you choose to think of it that way (ha ha). The point is we get to create our own idea of the main character, and we get to choose the world that results from the actions of the character we create. To some extent, there's even a level of romance in how much importance is placed on individual choices.
Plus, it's a crazy science fiction future with it's own politics and ethical problems. I've already talked at some length about this kind of science fiction when I read through "Dune" so I won't go into all that again. But I will say Bioware's storytelling has always felt incredibly immersive, and has a lot in common with some of the best science fiction stories out there.
Bioware's case about it, and I'll admit I myself was also pretty disappointed. (But I consoled myself by replaying just about every other Bioware title I own, instead of ranting on the internet, because even when the graphics look dated, they're all really enjoyable games.) There was rending of garments and gnashing of teeth on all sides. Fans wanted a rewrite from Bioware, and gaming journalists (yep they're out there) wanted to defend the artistic integrity by telling fans to shut the hell up. Both sides kind of had a point, and both sides were kind of being jerks about the whole thing and it was very sad all the way around. This went on for a few months.
BUT! (and I will admit it's pretty incredible that there is a 'but' to the story, because Bioware didn't have to do anything really. We all know of science fiction franchises which have torched the goodwill of fans pretty unapologetically. It's sad, but it is an artist's right, I guess.) BUT, as I was saying, Bioware didn't let the whole Mass Effect franchise end on such an ugly squabble.
They didn't rewrite the ending either.
But they did give us fans a little more of a resolution in a free add-on extended cut. Some fans are still poo-pooing the effort as too little too late, but ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you, it's a brilliant ending, and the folks at Bioware did a really excellent job. Fans who still have their panties in a knot about the whole thing are...well, just plain wrong. That's all there is to it. The extended ending accomplishes everything that the original ending missed and does it beautifully; and folks, I've sunk years into this franchise. Years. I love it just as much as anyone, maybe more. But I also really love Bioware for giving me the ending my years of emotional investment really wanted.
So this is me, thanking Bioware for giving me a trilogy I'm already replaying for a fourth time. I'm not entirely sure what the moral of the story is (the whole kerfuffle about the ending, I mean. Not the game.) To some extent artists have every right to make art without any consideration to what people want, but it's hard to have a relationship with fans if artists see fan opinion as combative and adversarial.
Sometimes, a negative opinion is an act of love.
Other times, fans really should just shut the hell up.