Passionate Gamers Go Beyond Just Being Heard

Mass Effect 3, the long awaited sequel to the hit Sci-Fi action adventure series was released earlier this month, and fans have been eager to get their hands on it so they could finally find out what happens to the game’s protagonist and beloved cast. However, shortly after it was released, gamers began to express their disappointment with Mass Effect 3′s ending.

When passionate fans are unhappy with a game’s story, they will react in a number of predictable ways. They’ll complain about it to anyone who will listen, vow never to enjoy anything from said creator ever again, or resort to writing their own fan fiction on any number of websites that publish such things.

In addition to these efforts, many fans of the game are going the extra mile to demand satisfaction from Bioware and Electronic Arts, the game’s developer and publisher respectively.  An online petition regarding the finale of the game has already garnered almost 12,000 signatures. The “Take Back Mass Effect 3″ campaign as it has become known, has 25,000 likes on Facebook, 3,000 Twitter followers and 40,000 backers in a Bioware forum poll. However not all the efforts are so level-headed, one fan was reportedly so disgruntled that he filed a false advertising complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

A piece of good news that has come from all this is that Child’s Play charity has unexpectedly gained a lot of support from the movement. The Retake Mass Effect Child’s Play page has raised over $75,000 for the charity. The campaign organizers state:

“We would like to dispel the perception that we are angry or entitled. We simply wish to express our hope that there could be a different direction for a series we have all grown to love and bring positive attention to our petition for an alternate ending to the fantastic Mass Effect series.”

With most gaming news lately being about fans getting involved in funding and creating the games they love, this is sort of a natural progression of the crowd’s effect on beloved franchises once they are released into the wild.  Bioware is currently “working hard to maintain the right balance” between developer control and fan input on this issue, the company is definitely walking a very thin tightrope to be sure. Hopefully this issue develops into something positive the software and creative industries can learn from rather than spawn an age where designers and developers second guess every decision they make during the production of the apps and games we all use.

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