That seems to be where a majority of the audience checked out and stopped trusting the storyteller. If we look at the tone and construction of the games it tells a story about a development house that was transformed in both personality and focus, over the span of just five years.But while the ending is the source of the controversy, I don’t think it’s the source of the problem, and it’s not where the interesting changes take place. Companies change all the time, but few games give us such a clear view of such a rapid transformation.To those of us stuck on the outside of the company and who don’t follow the ongoing soap opera of equity firms and holding companies, the story of Bio Ware gets a little murky in 2005, when they teamed up with Pandemic studios.
Then in 2007 they sold themselves to Electronic Arts Or rather, “In November 2005, it was announced that Bio Ware and Pandemic Studios would be joining forces, with private equity fund Elevation Partners investing in the partnership.On October 11, 2007, however, it was announced that this new partnership (organized as VG Holding Corp) had been bought by Electronic Arts.”.In 2009 they opened yet another studio, this time in Montreal.The development of the Mass Effect series overlapped with all of this chaos.When work on Mass Effect 1 began, they were a single quasi-independent studio.
By the time the third game launched, they were a collection of three studios owned by the Borg Collective of games publishing, they were running one of the most expensive, high-profile, and ambitious MMO titles ever developed, and were developing Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles simultaneously.I don’t care how informed your leadership is, how nice and talented your employees are, or how much money you have in the bank.You can’t go through that sort of radical growth and shift in focus over such a short timeframe and retain your company culture. As long as you don’t mess with the equipment or the ingredients, your product can stay the same.For the last few years I’ve half-jokingly suggested that there is no upper limit on how much people are willing to discuss the Mass Effect games. This series is going to run for the next nine months, and by the end it will be the length of a novel. Yes, I have discussed this series to death over the years.In Spoiler Warning our group covered all three games, in excruciating detail, over the course of 36 hours of running commentary.You’d think there would be nothing left to say at this point.