PAX East 2012: Bioware Speaks Out @ Mass Effect Panel

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At this past weekend’s PAX East convention, Bioware held a Mass Effect panel where they faced their, uh, outspoken fans. Seated at the panel was moderated by Chris Priestly and featured Mike Gamble, Corey Gaspur, Patrick Weekes, John Dombrow, Reid Buckmaster. They began the panel by awkwardly acknowledging the current controversy involving Mass Effect 3′s ending and promised fans that they would continue to listen to and use player feedback. They also announced that an “extended” cut of the ending will be available for download (for free!) in the upcoming months.

After all the formalities, and pitchforks went away, two of the writers of Mass Effect 3 dissected one major plot point of the game and the multiple types of conversations they had to write. Without giving away too much of the game, the scene they discussed contains multiple characters that could be dead depending on player’s decisions throughout Mass Effect 1 and 2. This makes for a bit of a difficult job while writing. They jokingly said that they basically had to write a conversation between two characters that could both potentially be dead. Adding to the difficulty of the situation, they had to write both paragon and renegade story lines of those conversations. They threw out huge statistics of the amount of conversations that were featured in Mass Effect 3 and it was exponentially bigger than Mass Effect 2.

Bioware handled themselves incredibly well at the panel, staying calm and collected. I think they deserve some credit for getting in front of about 1000 angry gamers and actually volunteering to listen to and answer their questions (I can think of a few gaming companies that would rather run and hide than face their fans). My only complaint about the panel was the fact that they promised it would be a chance to discuss the Mass Effect universe and it turned into “let’s talk about the ending”. I, myself, haven’t beaten the third game yet, so I chose to leave the panel before the fan questions were being asked. I think that they should’ve respected the fact that the game is only about a month old, and most gamers haven’t beaten it yet.

Bioware had a large presence at PAX East in their Bioware Base, a room off of the main show floor. They had most of their team hang out there available for questions, comments, or just to talk about the universe.

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My name is LadySnip3r and I am a huge gamer. I also love to read, write, and shop. I'm a Canadian and am currently studying English and Film. I write an advice column for Nerd Vice and am the lead writer of Assassionista. You can follow me on twitter (@Assassionista) or challenge me on Xbox (gamertag LadySnip3r AM).