Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the ending of Bioware’s Mass Effect 3.
According to Pachter, the backlash, although loud and overly publicized, was probably not representative of most Mass Effect gamers.
”As far as I can tell, it was a vocal minority of several thousand, but given that the game shipped 3.5 million units and likely sold through 2.8 million, I can’t believe that the backlash comprised more than 10 percent of consumers, and think it’s more likely closer to 1 percent,” Pachter told Forbes.
The analyst emphasized that Mass Effect 3 received over 75 perfect scores and won over 50 awards from critics around the world. In the end, says Pachter, Electronic Arts (EA) handled the issue just fine.
“They treated their customers with respect, addressed the situation directly and promptly, and are offering free DLC to satisfy those who hated the ending,” he explained. ”I [really] shudder to think what will happen if gamers don’t like the new ending choices.”
Pachter also noted that a vocal minority of “whiners” who complain about the way certain franchises turn out could ultimately damage the lucrative gaming industry – and warned against appeasing dissenters who will be even more demanding about changes to future titles.
“[Yes, companies] should give customers what they want, but it should not manage to the highest common denominator. The reason we get games like Max Payne and Alan Wake only every six years or so is that the developers strive for perfection, and whiny gamers are only going to cause their beloved games to take even longer between episodes,” said Pachter.
“The BioWare guys are prolific, but if they slow down development of future games to make sure that everybody is happy, consumers will have even fewer choices, and will have something new to complain about. Game development is a balance between delighting consumers and making a profit, and if everyone focuses on guaranteeing 100 percent satisfaction, development costs will rise unacceptably, and nobody will make any money.”