Saying Mass Effect 3’s ending was controversial might be an understatement at this point. Yeah, we know the ending’s going to be changed or something will be added to make sense of it all, but what do the writers behind the game really think?
Well, wonder no more as a writer from BioWare allegedly vented his concers over on the Penny-Arcade forums. I’m saying allegedly because the original text has since been deleted and other “evidence” in the forum has been edited to remove incriminating texts.
The writer who allegedly disagreed with the game’s ending was Patrick Weekes. Weekes also kniwn in the Penny-Arcade forum as Takyris stated that the ending was decided entirely by Executive Producer Casey Hudson and Lead Writer Mac Walters without any discussion from the rest of the team. Not only that, but he also revealed that protests from other writers were ultimately ignored.
The reason this alleged vent holds water is because the text seems to have some merit and one of Gameranx’s firsthand sources have confirmed that the posts did originate from Weekes’ Penny-Arcade account. While that might not be proof that Weekes did indeed pen it, it’s also something that can’t easily be dismissed either.
An excerpt of the text can be read below, keep in mind that there will be spoilers so read at your own risk.
I have nothing to do with the ending beyond a) having argued successfully a long time ago that we needed a chance to say goodbye to our squad, b) having argued successfully that Cortez shouldn’t automatically die in that shuttle crash, and c) having written Tali’s goodbye bit, as well as a couple of the holo-goodbyes for people I wrote (Mordin, Kasumi, Jack, etc).
No other writer did, either, except for our lead. This was entirely the work of our lead and Casey himself, sitting in a room and going through draft after draft.
And honestly, it kind of shows.
Every other mission in the game had to be held up to the rest of the writing team, and the writing team then picked it apart and made suggestions and pointed out the parts that made no sense. This mission? Casey and our lead deciding that they didn’t need to be peer-reviewe.d
And again, it shows.
To read the text in its entirety, click here.
BioWare’s Community Manager Chris Priestly, who contacted Weekes after the incident said that he thinks it’s nothing more than an imitation.
While no one inside BioWare will confirm this, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was indeed true. Of course, I expect Weekes to vehemently deny it to no end, lest he, y’know, wants to get fired or fed to the Reapers.
What do you think? Is there an internal struggle between BioWare and their creative writing staff? If so, would you prefer Weekes’ ending compared to the one we have now?