Mass Effect 3's Extended Cut DLC is "about taking the things that are there and making them shine even more," according to lead writer Mac Walters, as opposed to "trying to change and adapt what's there to reach for a broad audience that's looking for something that was just never intended."
The Extended Cut releases tomorrow on Xbox Live, adding "cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes". It's entirely free. Speaking in a BioWare podcast, executive producer Casey Hudson reiterated that the pack is designed to elaborate on the existing Mass Effect 3 endings, rather than replace them. Skip the following if you're averse to indirect Mass Effect plot spoilers.
"Ultimately our passion is entertaining people, so delighting them with our stories and giving them amazing worlds to escape to, that's what we love to do, so in this medium it just wouldn't make sense for us to make some kind of artistic statement, and then turn our backs on it forever," he said.
"There was some feedback that we can't address. There are people who just outright rejected the whole concept of the endings, and wanted us to start from scratch and redo everything. And we can't do that because that's not our story, we wouldn't know how to write that story.
"What excites us is the challenge of learning how people consume our stories, so it's a learning process for everybody. And then incorporating that feedback, that's how we make our work better."
Fans have proposed a range of alternative endings, including one in which Shepard is revealed to be subject to Reaper indoctrination. Hudson and Walters praised the breadth and depth of fan feedback, insisting that BioWare is fine with negative feedback providing it's respectful and practically minded.
"When things are really constructive like that, even when it's critical, it means a lot to us, because when you think about the artists and writers, all the people here - they work because they're passionate about games," Hudson went on. "They're passionate about making a really great experience for players. So when they get constructive feedback, constructive criticism, they're really excited about that.
"You can never completely satisfy everyone. We've seen a whole range of feedback, ranging from people who wanted a total redo, to people who had concerns and questions about the original endings, to people who loved the original endings and have told us they don't want to change anything.
"So there's no doubt that there will be a whole new wave of discussion and debate, maybe even controversy. But we didn't do the Extended Cut because we're trying to make everybody happy, make it perfect - we just saw an opportunity to expand on things that we felt could add value to the experience, for those that appreciate it."