For those too young to remember, back in the day the top muckity mucks at Coca-Cola decided it was time for a “change” and that they should change the formula of Coca-Cola to something “new & different” in order to boost sales, their image and “keep up with the Joneses” (i.e. Pepsi).
Needless to say this change was met with great consumer outrage and horrible PR for Coke. So a few months later they changed the flavor back and came out with “Coca-Cola Classic” which is why you see the word “classic” on your Coke cans today.
At least the execs at Coca-Cola had the humility and courage to acknowledge the errors of their ways, admit they screwed up and give their paying customers what they wanted. CNBC did an entire special on Coca-Cola in which they admitted this and talked about it openly. You can watch it on Netflix or Hulu.
Will we see the same humility and courage from Bioware? So far, I think not. Their response to the public outcry about the ridiculous ending to Mass Effect 3 has been smug and arrogant at best. Bioware changed their successful “formula” in the creation of the ending to Mass Effect 3 just as Coca-Cola changed their formula for the Coke the world had come to know and love. Same song, different key.
What if Coca-Cola had said, “It’s OUR beverage and ‘artistic vision’.” “WE are the creators of Coca-Cola and we can make it taste any way we like.”, etc.,etc. Would the media have jumped to their defense as many mainstream game media have with Bioware? I think not.
The fact is that any business, any PRODUCT, has a responsibility to give its paying customers what they want or risk going out of business. Anything “created” can frankly be considered “art” because art by definition is the creation of something. But, as soon as commerce enters into the equation, the task at hand expands and must by necessity include the ability to exchange that “art” with one who will in turn pay money. If someone won’t pay for it, then commerce makes a quick exit and viability crumbles.
So Bioware and EA, what you need to do is recognize that you are in a COMMERCIAL business and as such have a responsibility to deliver art that people want to pay for and are happy with in order to stay in business. If you just want to be “artists” and “do your own thing customers be damned” then go ahead and make your “art” your own way. But don’t try to sell it or make a business out of it.
My suggestion is that Bioware, EA and especially Casey Hudson and the other execs behind the so called “artistic vision” of the Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco take a lesson from the good old billionaires at Coca-Cola and eat your humble pie, knock off the arrogance and turn out a NEW, APPROPRIATE ending to the game, then “sit back on the beach and live off the royalties from the vids” purchased by your now HAPPY CUSTOMERS.
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