Bioware hinted a few weeks ago that it was thinking about changing the ending of Mass Effect 3, following a loud protest by the player community.
Looks like they're following through.
The developer has announced Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, a free, downloadable content pack that will give further clarity to the game's ending and hopefully put an end to the debate. The expansion is due this summer for all versions of the game.
It's unclear, at this point, if the Extended Cut will actually add any sort of gameplay to the title, but Bioware promises it will feature more cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes that the developer hopes will give insight to the current endings.
"We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team," said BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka in a statement. "Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team's artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe."
Players who weren't happy with the original ending of the game have been persistent in voicing their displeasure. Their efforts have included a petition and a 'Retake Mass Effect 3' Facebook page, which has amassed more than 60,000 supporters, and an associated Twitter account has nearly 6,000 followers. One player even complained to the Federal Trade Commission, saying the possible endings amounted to false advertising on Bioware and EA's part. (He also complained to the Better Business Bureau.)
Muzyka had previously described the community's reaction to the endings as something that "genuinely surprised" the developer — and the criticisms were "incredibly painful" to the team.