Quixotic Mage

Life, love and liberty. What more does a man need?

Posts tagged EA

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Retake Mass Effect - M&M campaign

To learn about the lovely M&M campaign, please visit this page.

In short, it is a campaign to send customized M&Ms to BioWare to encourage them to change the ending.

The first shipment will have a picture of a heart, ME1, and We Still Believe.
The second shipment will have a picture of a heart, ME2, and the message UR Biotic Gods.
The third shipment will have a picture of a broken heart, ME3, and the message This Hurts Us. A picture from the Group Photo campaign will be used for a poster and shipped to BioWare to put a human face on the message.
The fourth shipment will be two simultaneous shipments with the following messages: ABC, DLC, Keep Calibrating, Remember Promises, Hold The Line, You Are Legendary.

It’s incredible, the amount of love this franchise is getting. This alone should humble the devs.
A month and a half after the endings, and people are STILL spirited about making it right.
I continue to be blown away by all of our campaigns. There’s always something happening. People do not falter. It ain’t over till it’s over.

Filed under RetakeME3 RetakeMassEffect mass effect mass effect 3 me3 me3 ending me3 endings mass effect 3 endings mass effect 3 ending Bioware EA

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EA, this hurts you

The Mass Effect 3 sale counts can be found here.  According to this website, word of mouth matters. We hurt their bottom line.

"Figures show Mass Effect 3 sold between 1.3 - 2 million copies worldwide. Figures also show Mass Effect 3 shipped between 3.5 - 5 million worldwide. After the first week, sales plummeted by over 78%. We held them accountable.” - fellow Retaker.

I am conflicted. Don’t know if I should be happy or sad. Am happy because EA/Bioware deserves it, am not happy because Mass Effect deserved better.

(PS: Above all else, Mass Effect deserved better from its own devs. From EA/Bioware.  We were right to react like we did. I would do it again in a heartbeat. But I am sad that a series I love had to end on such a bitter note.)

Filed under Bioware EA mass effect 3 mass effect 3 ending mass effect 3 endings me3 ending me3 endings HOLD THE LINE REtakeME3

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hastur asked: "I have no idea what 4128 means? Are you referring to the #Retake Movement? It has 53,000 members on FB and growing." So that means that there are 48,872 members in the silly retake asshattery that do not even want to commit to the cause in any possible way. (Because clicking "like this" in Facebook really shows your absolute commitment and demands great effort, right?) And even if there really were 53,00 members, then congratulations, you just broke 1.5% mark. Time to pop the bubbly, oh yeah!

Great effort? Clicking “like” shows that you agree that the ending was a nonsensical, plothole ridden, character breaking, lore defying mess. In a consumer oriented economy, people should only need the opportunity to state their opinion.

Most of the people who have joined our cause have contributed in some way or another, beyond the simple clicking of the ‘like’ button.

Nonetheless, whether people want to go the extra mile or not, it’s up to them. Whatever they choose to do does not invalidate their opinion on the ending.

I’ve already explained how polling works. If you are going to ignore my arguments, I am going to ignore your statements.

I have to ask though, do you work for EA?

Filed under EA Bioware Mass Effect mass effect 3 mass effect 3 ending mass effect 3 endings me3 me3 ending me3 endings

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"Artistic Integrity" - I don’t think it means what you think it means

In my view, the problem with the current ending is exactly the fact that it is not true to the “artistic integrity” of the series. In fact, it violates that very integrity, and makes a stark contrast with the rest of the games. I understand that the original writer of Mass Effect no longer works with Bioware, so his vision of what the trilogy should have ended like was completely abandoned by ME3 writers.

This resulted in a bunch of abandoned subplots and an ending that ultimately fails to arise from the plot itself. Can we question whether the ME3 writers really had the idea of “artistic integrity” in mind when they wrote the ending of ME3? Or is this something they only thought of now, to counter the fanbase reaction?

Filed under artistic integrity Bioware Mass effect Mass effect 3 me3 me3 ending me3 endings mass effect 3 ending mass effect 3 endings me3 endings EA

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My response to Bioware co-founder Ray Muzyka

His response to the ME3 fans can be found here.


Dear Bioware,

Please acknowledge that 50,000 people (and growing) in the online community do not represent merely “some of our more loyal fans”, but the majority of your fanbase. You cannot assume that the people who aren’t saying anything have thoroughly enjoyed the ending. The best you can assume is that they just don’t care to give you feedback.

We understand that devs were hurt by the fanbase reaction. And we’re sorry for your pain. But so were we - we were hurt by the ending, and this is something that we have been constantly mocked and humiliated for by official review websites, ever since the #RetakeME3 movement started. Is this behavior of the major reviewers something that Bioware condones? If not, then why does Bioware constantly cite those big review websites that have given ME3 good ratings and then proceeded to mock and humiliate the fans that were hurt by the endings, with names such as “entitled whiners”, “crybabies” and others?

Another aspect to take into consideration is that NONE of the big reviewers even as much as mentioned the ME3 endings until the fans emerged with a unified outcry. Doesn’t that render their ratings more or less useless in terms of how good or bad the ending was? None of us is complaining about the game as a whole, but specifically about the last 10 to 20 minutes of the game. Why even bring up the official reviews that DON’T mention the endings?

I agree that video games can be an art form, and that the devs have the freedom to express themselves artistically. But once Bioware has decided to sell that art, it became a commodity and nothing more. Was it not EA’s original intention to sell this art form to a target audience and earn a profit from it? If the criticism of the audience is a violation of your artistic expression, then why sell the game at all? Why turn it into a commodity, that is subjected to the same rules of a “supply and demand” economy as any other product out there?

It is surprising for me to hear that Bioware is convinced that Mass Effect 3 is the best game they have ever crafted, in spite of the overwhelming amount of fan complaints about the ending. This tells me that Bioware is not yet willing to admit that the ending is a failure with the audience for which the game was intended, although the devs do half-heartedly agree that “some” of the fan criticism may be legitimate.

I ask you this: who is the ultimate judge of a video game? Is it the official reviewer who gets the game for free and is paid to review it, or the players who buy the game and have no personal interest to praise it?

Most of us are telling our friends how we feel about the game as a whole, including the fact that the ending manages to unravel 100+ hours of absolutely breathtaking gameplay.

Thank you for your time and attention,

Hold the line

Filed under mass effect mass effect 3 ending me3 me3 endings me3 ending mass effect 3 endings Bioware Ray Muzyka EA

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Compilation of broken promises from Bioware

Taken from BSN::

Official Mass Effect Website:

“Experience the beginning, middle, and end of an emotional story unlike any
other, where the decisions you make completely shape your experience
and outcome.”

Interview with Mac Walters (Lead Writer):

“[The presence of the Rachni] has huge consequences in Mass
Effect 3. Even just in the final battle with the Reapers.”

Interview with Mac Walters (Lead Writer):

"I’m always leery of saying there are ‘optimal’ endings, because I think
one of the things we do try to do is make different endings that are
optimal for different people “

Interview with Mike Gamble (Associate Producer):

“And, to be honest, you [the fans] are crafting your Mass Effect story as
much as we are anyway.”

Interview with Mike Gamble (Associate Producer):

“There are many different endings. We wouldn’t do it any other way. How
could you go through all three campaigns playing as your Shepard and
then be forced into a bespoke ending that everyone gets? But I can’t
say any more than that…”

Interview with Mike Gamble (Associate Producer):

“Every decision you’ve made will impact how things go. The player’s also the
architect of what happens.”

“You’ll get answers to everything. That was one of the key things. Regardless
of how we did everything, we had to say, yes, we’re going to provide
some answers to these people.”

“Because a lot of these plot threads are concluding and because it’s being
brought to a finale, since you were a part of architecting how they
got to how they were, you will definitely sense how they close was
because of the decisions you made and because of the decisions you
didn’t make”

Interview with Casey Hudson (Director):

“For people who are invested in these characters and the back-story of the
universe and everything, all of these things come to a resolution in
Mass Effect 3. And they are resolved in a way that’s very different
based on what you would do in those situations.”

Interview with Casey Hudson (Director):

“Fans want to make sure that they see things resolved, they want to get
some closure, a great ending. I think they’re going to get that.”

“Mass Effect 3 is all about answering all the biggest questions in the
lore, learning about the mysteries and the Protheans and the Reapers,
being able to decide for yourself how all of these things come to an
end.”

Interviewer: “So are you guys the creators or the stewards of the franchise?”
Hudson: “Um… You know, at this point, I think we’re co-creators with
the fans. We use a lot of feedback.”

Interview with Casey Hudson (Director):

Interviewer: [Regarding the numerous possible endings of Mass Effect 2] “Is that
same type of complexity built into the ending of Mass Effect 3?”
Hudson: “Yeah, and I’d say much more so, because we have the ability to
build the endings out in a way that we don’t have to worry about
eventually tying them back together somewhere. This story arc is
coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot
more different. At this point we’re taking into account so many
decisions that you’ve made as a player and reflecting a lot of that
stuff. It’s not even in any way like the traditional game endings,
where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got
ending A, B, or C…..The endings have a lot more sophistication and
variety in them.”

“We have a rule in our franchise that there is no canon. You as a player
decide what your story is.”

Mike Gamble (Associate Producer):

Mass Effect 3 will shake up the player’s moral choices more than ever
before, even going so far as allowing the Reapers to win the battle
for Earth, according to BioWare’s community representative Mike
Gamble.

In an inteview with NowGamer at Gamescom, we asked if BioWare was taking risks with Mass Effect 3’s plot, including a negative ending in which the Reapers win. Gamble simply said, “Yes”. We asked him again to confirm what he had just said and he said, “Yes”.

Mike Gamble (Associate Producer):

"Of course you don’t have to play multiplayer, you can choose to play
all the side-quests in single-player and do all that stuff you’ll
still get all the same endings and same information, it’s just a
totally different way of playing”

Casey Hudson (Director):

“The whole idea of Mass Effect3 is resolving all of the biggest questions, about the Protheons and the Reapers, and being in the driver’s seat to end the galaxy and all
of these big plot lines, to decide what civilizations are going to
live or die: All of these things are answered in Mass Effect 3.”

Casey Hudson
(Director):

“There is a huge set of consequences that start stacking up as you approach the end-game. And even in terms of the ending itself, it continues to break down to
some very large decisions. So it’s not like a classic game ending
where everything is linear and you make a choice between a few things
- it really does layer in many, many different choices, up to the
final moments, where it’s going to be different for everyone who
plays it.”

Befitting melody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFPooqKllA&ob=av2e

Filed under mass effect me2 mass effect 3 endings mass effect 3 Bioware Casey Hudson mac Walters Mike Gamble EA mass effect 3 ending me3 endings

66 notes

Holding the Line: 7 Strategies from a Former EA employee

lozartist:

lywinis:

magepride:

From here:

1) Remain polite and positive, but firm on your positions. Don’t flame or rant, even when you want to. We’re right about the endings. They really are incoherent, underdeveloped, and unworthy of the franchise we love. We don’t need to rail at the…

I’m pretty sure it’s really arrogant and self-entitled to demand ANY developer change the ending of their game because YOU didn’t like it. No matter how politely you put it.

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxrl33g5gS1qal8n4.gif

Oh yeah, God forbid that consumers may actually have an IMPACT on the industry. How self-entitled of them. And God forbid that products put on the market may actually respond to consumer demands, right?

I mean people should just accept whatever is thrown their way by big corporations, and not even as much as demand that they are given what was advertised by the corporations themselves. Who cares that the devs have a moral and legal obligation to stay true to their advertisements?

God save us from all of those consumers who have the gall to actually ask the developers to provide what they promised!

Filed under Mass Effect 3 drones meet sarcasm mass effect 3 ending me3 me3 ending me3 endings mass effect 3 endings Bioware EA

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hastur asked: "i would say things aren’t looking well for EA" - ME3 is going to sell more than ME1 or ME2 ever did and you think that things are not looking well for them? Seriously? They've created their very own Intellectual Property that interests people about the same or even more than Star Wars games currently do, and you think that things are not looking good for them? Just because some people with entitlement issues didn't like the ending, it doesn't mean that EA is in any sort of a trouble.

When EA decided to sell their game, it became a commodity and nothing more. The people bought a product and can and should voice their opinion on it.

Companies that provide goods and services are usually interested in customer satisfaction and Bioware has already made it clear that they too care.

A person with entitlement issues would make unreasonable or exaggerated claims on a company. All we are asking for is that we are provided with what was advertised and promised by Bioware themselves - which is 16 different endings, with closure, and where our previous choices matter.

Right now EA is being vague because they don’t yet know for sure how well their game is doing and which way they’re going to go about this. Clearly neither can you, because it’s impossible to asses at this time - the game has only been out for 12 days in America, 8 days in Europe and 2 days in Asia.

However, it is obvious that the game’s endings are having an impact all over, proven by the fact that this is the top subject on all Bioware forums, Twitter and Facebook pages, but also a major subject for gaming and review websites.  Every day, more and more people are talking about it and more and more players are joining the Retake group.

By all accounts, this issue is amplifying as time goes by, not attenuating as EA would likely have hoped. No amount of minimization from EA’s PR side is going to make that go away.

Filed under mass effect Bioware EA mass effect 3 me3 me3 ending me3 endings mass effect 3 endings mass effect 3 ending

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hastur asked: How many people are actually really upset about the ME3 ending? Let's calculate: 2661 contributors to the 'Retake', divided by 1.85 million copies sold during the first week (must be more by now, but let's use that number) equals 0.14 percent of people who have played the game. Which means that 1 out of 700 people who bought the game is throwing temper tantrums about it and the rest 699 are perfectly happy with it. Overblown much?

There are 35 000 people on Facebook and about 40 000 who have participated in the BSF poll. Some threads addressing the ending issue have garnered over 150 000 views on BSF. And these are just the members of the online community.

It is a very sound assumption that there are many more unsatisfied people who are not vocal. What EA needs to look at now is how this whole thing affects sales, namely how well the game sells after the initial hype of the launch wears off. Apparently, if you look at reviews by gamers (not review sites) and at how the game’s ratings are going down, i would say things aren’t looking well for EA.

I don’t see anyone throwing tantrums. We are calm, assertive and coherent and we have a unified message. We will keep the pressure up. We will hold the line. PR damage-control tactics will only get EA this far. They need to address this issue in a clear and serious manner.

Update: Moreover, if the majority of the people are happy with the ending, how come there are no polls or fan-based review sites to reflect this?

How much the game has sold based on pre-orders and first week sales is hardly proof that the public actually enjoyed the game’s ending.

Filed under mass effect 3 mass effect EA Bioware Mass Effect 3 endings Mass Effect 3 ending me3 me3 ending me3 endings

29 notes

PR guy explains Bioware’s damage control tactic. Hold the line!

This whole post is taken entirely from BSF and it includes the explanation of a PR expert going by the nickname atghunter, who is probably #RetakeME3’s most valuable war asset at this point. It’s a long read, but please bear with it and please spread the content.

It is incredibly revelatory:

I think the most important, and intelligent, post I’ve read on these forums since this controversy started has been this one from a user named atghunter. I shall quote his post:

atghunter wrote…

Posted this yesterday, I’ll repost here. Hope it helps to see what’s on the other side of the mirror atm.

I don’t think Bioware is out of touch with their customers though I agree with an earlier poster that right now they are assessing their options. Nor do I think that everyone speaking up for them at the moment is a “yes man” or shill. That said:

I don’t for a moment think there are any other endings, this was a hallucination, etc. Bioware/EA is letting these speculations go on for two reasons. First, they are letting people vent. Secondly, they are weighing options.

Years ago, I worked for a PR damage control team and everything right now is going by the book. First, re-affirm and ignore (also known as doubling down), then try and define the detractors in the mainstream with things like “this is all a big mistunderstand”, etc. while remaining civil in the hopes the detractors go rabid. Meanwhile go dark and use countermeasures through third part sources to prop up your position and brand the outcry as driven by hacks, haters or a minority trying to wear out the detractors on these outlets or “shock troops” while protecting the corporate core. Next, offer something distracting (notice SWTOR is free this upcoming weekend) known as the “faux olive branch”/ask the angry people to explain their concerns (without agreeing to commit to a compromise), buy more add time (definitely going on right now), and hope it dies down. If the pressure is still on, determine the economic viability of 1) ignoring the outcry and banking on the fickle nature of consumers to get over it or 2) determining if we can make money off of fixing it.

If it is any consolation, the decision whether or not there is a fix DLC, etc, won’t be made by the writers so illusions to things they wanted to convey don’t matter much atm (to wit: the leads comments yesterday). I suspect he’s been called in and politely told by the PR guys to not do that again. This is now a corporate problem, not an artistic struggle with fans. Somewhere in the EA bunker, attorneys, PR guys, writers and brass are sharing numbers b/c in the end this will come down to hard currency.

As one who despises the endings, I’m hoping the suits tell the visionaries that the customers are loud enough and numerous enough to swollow their pride and get them out of this storm. For those that love them, I readily accept your position and respectfully disagree.



His post was written yesterday (Thursday, March 15) and today (March 16) Bioware announced the N7 weekend “Operation: Goliath” baloney encouraging gamers to play a weekend event that promises “FREE STUFF”.

social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/324/index/9993278/1

Sadly, a lot of the same people who were swearing off Bioware were posting in that thread asking how they can be a part of the event. I was persoanlly disgusted, so my question to everyone was - does no one see what’s going on here?

Soon after I created this thread, atghunter commented again.

atghunter wrote…

Greetings All,
 
First, I’m flattered someone would repost this. Many thanks. 
 
A couple follow-up thoughts for those wondering what is likely going on with the other side of the mirror in the last couple days:
 
First, Operation Goliath, the free Star Wars online weekend, and the recent noncommittal overtures to listen arefaux olive branches. Sorry. Customers intrinsically want to believe companies they patronize listen and when they stop believing that, the company has to say they are listening and do anything to get the detractors off-message.  There are a dozen names for this, but the most memorable was ”The Shell Game.” 
 
You will know that there’s a genuine need for dialogue in the corporate bunker when the message turns from “we’re listening” to “we acknowledge we may have a disconnect with our consumers and are willing to discuss a meaningful solution to the problem.” It signals an end to non-committed deflection and opening genuine talks to solve the problem (it’s knows as “Exposing Your Throat” btw). At present, you’ll notice Bioware/EA has only said they will “explain” the endings. That’s not a give, that’s a delay tactic.
 
But here’s the part that amazes me as an old PR guy and is totally new. The disenfranchised base here is changing the old methodology. It’s akin to comparing old-style bunker PR defenses to new blitzkrieg-style consumers. To date, the “bunker strategy” was always used because it was virtually foolproof. However, social media and the 24 hour news cycle have simply changed everything. Twenty years ago, you could not mass 30,000 protesters into a networked base without some luck, money, a GREAT cause and (most importantly) time. By the time you did get organized, folks were either burned out or lost interest. Groups like Take Back have altered the landscape and suddenly the contest is taken from the old paradigm to a crazy new (and wonderful IMO) place. Preorder sales took away customers biggest weapon in the past (i.e. don’t buy the product). Now customers who feel they have received poor value have been potentially re-empowered by the internet. Bioware/EA is feeling the full brunt of this thing while passion is hottest. They are deploying countermeasures faster than the old strategies ever would have ever suggested. To some degree, they are being outmaneuvered atm. But now it depends on how long the protest/outcry holds up.
 
Two more quick points and I’ll close. First, the Child’s Play movement was brilliant. Notice over the past few days how some of the most visceral detractors to the outcry have had to shift their vitriol from “you’re spoiled selfish haters” to “sure you gave to charity, but you are spoiled selfish haters.” Nobody is drinking that Kool-Aid. Better yet, some outlets are now saying “maybe the game has problem but its still art” from the precedent message “best game ever.” That won’t fly with the mainstream. If its one thing they know is that when “art” hits the marketplace, it is a commodity, nothing more. You’ve changed the countermeasures from “unbiased” critics of the movement into drum beaters simply trying to get you angry. EA’s PR guys probably envy you (grudgingly) atm.  
 
Second, don’t buy the only X people voted in the poll out of 1 billion customers, so they don’t care. That’s bunk. Are there “drum beaters” on both sides of this issue that just want to see controversy, sure. But if I was sitting in an office looking at that Bioware poll, I’d be reaching for a cigarette.
 
Finally remember, they have much more data at their disposal. They know how sales are going, how much time people are playing that are synced into Origin, etc. They will watch those numbers this weekend. If sales slow, watch for price cutting within 10 days (just over the two week US release date). It will mean that retailers are getting nervous and will slow new unit orders. As I’ve said before, this will come down to hard currency. If the protests start having an effect on that front, the response will come.
 
I’m an older gamer and again appreciate the repost. To everyone (on both sides) continue to let your voices be heard. You are consumers and have every right to engage in this discourse. The boards being locked yesterday proves someone is watching and knows this is an issue.  I’m in the hated-ending camp to be sure, but I admire everyone one of you who is arguing for what believe on both sides!

Cheers.

Many men may be willing to die heroically for a noble cause, but few men will live humbly for one.  Wilhelm Stekel   
 



And tonight Casey Hudson responded precisely as atghunter predicted.

social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/324/index/10089946

And here is atghunters thoughts on Casey’s statement:

atghunter wrote…

Greetings All,
 
Really flattered with the responses.  Respectful regards and thanks to all.  Been spending a few minutes reading over Mr. Hudson’s response.  Here’s my PR insider perspective.  Hope it helps a bit.
 
First, let’s simply look at strategy over content. 1) They definitely released this on a Friday evening to bury it in the news cycle (because it does acknowledge in passing there are unhappy customers, but more next paragraph). Btw, kudos to those who pointed that out earlier in the thread-Solid catch. 2) Several of the “anti-ending” articles (most notably Forbes) are now creeping into front page searches for “Mass Effect 3” instead of “Mass Effect 3 endings” and they are hoping this release will knock those stories to page 2. 3) They are hoping to deflect some of the current silence anger by combining this message with this weekend’s faux olive branches (discussed earlier). 
 
All in all, the message release strategy is nothing too interesting at this point.
 
The content, however, is interesting. Most of the statement is doublespeak meant to let you see whatever you want as to as to the direction this thing is heading. Mr. Hudson then clearly tries to give validity to the greatness of the game by citing a couple news sources in the hopes of getting those stories more hits and onto search page one (nicely played EA PR), but the main thing is a clear acknowledgement that Houston has a problem with “some” fans. Mind you, he uses the term “some” and “most passionate fans” to try and minimalize the level of the outcry, but the disenfranchised fan base has reached the level of acknowledgement. That is important. Does it mean those disenfranchised fans have won? Not by a long shot. But Mr. Hudson’s statement was written (or at least approved by someone running damage control). And ultimately any time you have to acknowledge a problem with your product or customers, you have issues.
 
Does he continue on holding his own line that they intended “bittersweet” endings? Yes. Is the comment that you’ll see more of Commander Shepard an illusion to an “ending” DLC? Not certain but probably not at the moment. Does he utilize the “we’re listening to feedback but not promising we’ll do anything” line used on the boards yesterday? Sure.
 
It is clear most of his statement is insubstantial and leaves tons of room for spin either way down the road. Whether it gets used or not, management is trying to find some wiggle room in case they have to change course.
 
Last bit. A warning. PR guys know that right now many people’s emotions are on edge and often use a tactic called “Sound and Fury” (Shakespearean reference see Macbeth) to see if it gets people raging. It helps that strategy that people are looking at anything coming out of Bioware to detect wind changes. That said, I was reading through the thread burning with Mr. Hudson’s statement (though to be fair it is a Bioware/EA statement) and it seems for the most part folks are being passionate, but civil. EA PR will probably chalk up that aspect of this release as a failedruse de guerre (trick of war). 
 
Stay civil, stay passionate, and stay vocal no matter which side you take. For myself, I’ll shamelessly
 
Hold the Line



Shortly after Casey’s statement, a forum thread was created for Bioware rep Jessica Merizan to gather feedback from unsatisfied fans:

social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/355/index/10098213/1#10098213

Here is atghunter analysis of that:

atghunter wrote…

Greetings all,
 
I promise some individual answers (working my way forward from page 18 atm) and my wife thanks you all for letting me have dinner. But first, a take on the latest Bioware maneuvers from a PR perspective.
 
First, I’ve never met Ms. Merizan personally, but I’ve read some of her tweets and find her to be an engaging and personable individual online. She is a PR guys dream because I believe she genuinely has empathy for the players and it shows.
 
That said, please remember that she (like everyone else in this storm at Bioware is saying nothing more than they are being told/authorized to say).
 
So on to the post. Of course, we’ve covered the whole churning things out on Friday night to avoid the news cycle under Mr. Hudson’s post. Standard Operating Procedure there. However, the tenor of Ms. Merizan’s post is much better than what we’ve been seeing in the last 24 hours. Moreover, it is simply less of a CYA publicity statement acknowledging a situation but minimalizing the problem. Notice she drops the pretense of “most people love this but a few people may disagree” and heads straight into a quasi “throat exposure” by saying:
 
In order for a collaboration between the devs and the fans to work, I need you guys to CONTINUE being constructive, and organizing your thoughts. I know where to look, but I need you to help me by contributing to the dialogue.” 
 
It is a direct communication to the offended customers. No promise of change to be sure, but probably the first genuine offer to discuss this issue in terms of possible collaboration vs. discussion/explanation. It won’t make the news b/c of Mr. Hudson’s statement issued shortly before as a media “screen” (though honestly, this was probably the intended message the PR guys want us to have all along). 
 
As I mentioned before, once you gain acknowledgement, you have taken the first step in a PR campaign towards a compromise. Lots of road ahead, but to that end, well done.
 
Also take that Ms. Merizan acknowledges the positive aspect of the RetakeME3 movement. From a PR standpoint, it’s like acknowledging the people you are presently struggling with actually have virtue. You’re not saying they are right, but you aren’t simply acknowledging their presence either. Mind you this can also be a gambit to 1) deflect (as we’ve previously discussed) or 2) to enrage (i.e. hope that the players will refuse to communicate and thus be seen as unreasonable at this overture). Best PR counter response: strength, civility, a touch of wariness and loads of conviction. 
 
The only troubling thing I can see is the collecting feedback data for “weeks” comment when the game went into full release only about 12 days ago, but I’m guessing that was possibly a PR guy’s oversight who assumed (based on the historical curve of these kind of things) that this matter has devolved in a much longer time that has actually elapsed. But it is equally possible she has been keeping track as well.  Still doesn’t detract from the tone of the message. 
 
Much less deflection, a bit more acknowledgement. If it hasn’t become clear, these fights (and make no mistake, they are fights be it abet civil ones) are of move and counter-move. 
 
Continue to make your voices heard. Give them the concise arguments I’ve read on this forum a hundred times (regardless of your side). This is a game of choices, and call me an old optimist, but I have to believe there is enough room on my hard drive for some endings for both the producers and we consumers. Continue to post respectfully, but with the passion and conviction that inspires an old gamer like me. If you do, and this ultimately turns out to be a deflection, it is a dangerous one for EA/Bioware.
 
Here’s why. One of the greatest lessons of PR is don’t offer to negotiate, unless you mean it. Doing so and ultimately being outed is called “Brokering Solutions but Delivering Stonewalls”. Not to be melodramatic, when I did this work, we called it something else…
 
Sudden Death  



Updates as they continue.

Hold. The. Line!

Filed under Bioware PR retakeme3 mass effect mass effect 3 mass effect 3 ending mass effect 3 ending mass effect 3 endings mass effect 3 ending me3 ending me3 endings EA BSF