THE BUZZ: At a recent talk about the art of video games, BioShock creator Ken Levine chimed in on the topic of Mass Effect 3‘s controversial ending.
EGM’s TAKE: The talk happened last weekend as part of the Smithsonian’s new “The Art of Video Games” exhibit, which featured speakers such as Levine and BioWare/Mythic senior creative director Paul Barnett. At one point, Barnett was asked about the current arguments over Mass Effect 3‘s ending, and about the idea of the community having influence on a game’s story.
As part of the conversation, Levine spoke up, saying that he’d like to also comment on the topic.
“I think this is an important moment. I think if [fans] got what they wanted and [BioWare] wrote their ending, they would be very disappointed in the emotional feeling they got because … they didn’t really create it. I think this whole thing is making me a little bit sad because I don’t think anyone would get what they wanted if that happened.”
It’s an argument where I can see both sides. If the community decided on what the ending of a game should be, there’d never be an ending, because fans would never be able to reach a decision. Also, would we as fans really want to play a game where we had been a part of crafting a game’s storyline—thus ensuring that we already know what’s going to happen?
At the same time, while entertainment is the creation of an artist or team, in the end it’s being created for an audience—and if that audience is seriously upset by something that’s been presented, that should be taken seriously. Look at the whole argument over Star Wars: Sure, the movies are the creations of George Lucas, but once he’s released them to us fans, in a way they become our movies. Saying that the only importance voice at this point is his feels like a slap in the face to all of us who created the market where he had the ability to make more movies.
There needs to be a careful balance between what’s good for the creators and what’s good for fans.
Source: The Verge