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EA announced today that Bioware will be releasing an "Extended Cut" of the ending of Mass Effect 3 as free DLC this summer.
Fan outrage over the game's controversial ending has been staggering, leading to protests and complaints against Bioware to the Better Business Bureau.
The extended cut will include additional cinematics and extra cutscenes after the game has been completed. It will not include any extra gameplay elements.
Mass Effect 3 creative director Casey Hudson said the extended cut is the development team's attempt to address fans' concerns by providing "more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player."
Before you conspiracy theorists start your engines, let's be clear: Hudson said that the ME3 team "repriortized" their DLC development schedule to make the "Extended Cut". It was not part of the plan until after the game was released.
Bioware co-founder Ray Muyzka said this about ME3: Extended Cut:
"We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team. 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."
If you're haven't played the game yet and you think you might want to see the extra ending, I wouldn't dawdle too long: While the extended cut will be free when it's released, that offer will eventually lapse, forcing players to pay for the new ending. The offer ends on April 12th, 2014.
You know what? Feel free to take your time.