Those who refuse to play Mass Effect 3's multiplayer will find there is nothing "walled off" from the single-player campaign, BioWare has insisted.
Completists will get an "amazing ending" just by playing single-player, BioWare Edmonton general manager Aaryn Flynn told Eurogamer.
Mass Effect 3's multiplayer sees up to four players team together in standalone missions against waves of enemies. Their completion influences what's called your Galactic Readiness, which you can increase by playing single-player and/or multiplayer.
Some fans have reacted angrily to the news, and expressed concern that Mass Effect 3's multiplayer will negatively impact the traditional single-player campaign.
Not so, according to BioWare.
"It's a fun and novel way to increase that number and open things up by having a diverse range of experiences," Flynn explained. "At the same time, you don't need to. You can stick to the single-player campaign. I'm sure there are a lot of completists out there who want to do that. They'll have amazing experiences and they'll get to see all the cool stuff they want to see just by doing single-player stuff.
"It's very optional. There's nothing walled off to you because you didn't play multiplayer and you're going to be running around at midnight saying, I need three friends! Quickly! We've got to find a BestBuy that's open! No. You'll get your amazing ending and amazing experiences just by playing single-player if you want that way."
However, Flynn admitted BioWare expected questions around multiplayer from those "who were passionate about the series". He said that as more information is released, fans will "understand what we're doing".
But why add co-op to what has been a single-player only franchise in the first place?
"Multiplayer has come up in the past at the studio," Flynn explained. "But with Mass Effect 3 it felt like the right time, especially because of the setting. The technology matured nicely. We had good success with the single-player campaigns. We thought, now it feels like the right time, with the setting we have, of an entire galaxy at war, to put something together that can be fun with multiplayer.
"With Mass Effect 3, we were setting up an entire galaxy at war. It made sense that we could tell some pretty cool stories and weave a very interesting multiplayer mechanic into that setting, and that's what we decided to do."
Flynn hopes the addition of multiplayer will broaden the audience for Mass Effect 3. "The idea there will be players who are very social gamers and want to play with their friends, maybe they'll pick the game up now because now there's a way to play."