[Spoiler Warning is in effect]
So, the great and powerful Adam Sessler has written another article dismissing the fans disappointed in the ending of Mass Effect 3 as “entitled.” This is the fascinating thing about the controversy. The fact that the majority of the gaming media seem to refuse to acknowledge any of the complaints as valid is frankly amazing.
There have been several well written articles by people far more articulate than me about why the ending of Mass Effect fails to be a satisfying conclusion to the franchise. There have also been some really good video responses (my favorite at the moment is Angry Joe’s video.) And yet the majority of the responses that has been received from video game journalism has been at best dismissive and at worst little more than childish name calling.
I think this post I found on a forum really hits the nail on the head as to their reasoning.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
The ME3 ending outrage is a direct assault on the judgment of Bioware, but also an indirect indictment of video game criticism. For most professional video game critics, admitting the ending is bad means admitting that they lacked the judgment to notice that themselves.
Usually, when critical opinion and popular reception diverge, it’s easy to say that ‘most people don’t get it.’ Sometimes that’s even true – there are justly critically acclaimed games that simply don’t sell very much. But there’s a reason that the justification many* critics offer is ‘it’s art, and you just don’t get art’: anything else is an admission of incompetence.
That, more than any issues of EA ad money or access to future games, is what keeps most critics from acknowledging why people actually hate the endings.