BioWare may change the Mass Effect 3 story based on feedback to the game's leaked script, the developer has told Eurogamer.
Speaking in a Eurogamer interview ahead of their lecture at BAFTA in London this evening, BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk said if the high-profile leak of the game generates extra interest in Mass Effect 3, then the episode will have been a positive one.
"In the big picture, some more stories are generated around it and more interest in the game," Muzyka said. "We're really proud with how it's shaping up. It's going to be the best Mass Effect yet.
"It's hard to say something like that having a positive benefit, but if it gets more people to check out Mass Effect 3 that would be a positive benefit, and I think they should, because I think it's a great game."
A demo version of Mass Effect 3 leaked online after Microsoft published it to gamers previewing the Xbox Live autumn dashboard update.
The game's script was then leaked online after a Russian website mined the build. It wasn't long before fans began discussing the story online, and spoilers, including detail of the ending, appeared.
The leaked script generated much debate among fans, and it is this feedback that BioWare may use to tweak the story ahead of the game's 2012 launch.
"We listen to our fans all of the time," Muzyka continued. "We listen to them on the forums, their feedback from stories. We're reading it all. If we can get ideas out of it that will make the game better, sure. We're not adverse to taking feedback. That's part of our core values, is humility. Any time we get a good idea from fans... they're our audience. They keep us in business."
Muzyka reiterated the statement BioWare released when the leak occurred, and insisted Mass Effect 3's story was still in flux - but noted the impact on the development team.
"It was disappointing for them, yeah. They're moving on. They're making a great game. The script, frankly, has changed a little bit from what was released, too. It's been edited. They're always tuning it. They're always making it better. But yeah, it's tough when you see your work displayed. You realise only a small number of people are probably going to look at those spoilers in advance.
"It is hard on a team when they see their work revealed in an early form like that. It was a pre-release demo. The script was certainly not intended to be released in that form and that early. Here it is! It's not even out yet, but you can read through it. It's a summary.
"But they're going to get through it because they're a strong group. They really care about delivering a great game to the fans. They're committed to making this the best Mass Effect."
Muzyka urged the fans to stay clear of story spoilers because they script is out of context.
"You edit it continually. It's a living process to build a game and it's also a living experience to play through it. You're seeing the graphics, you're seeing the choices, you're seeing the characters. Words alone on a page, they're not delivered in voice over, they're not delivered in the interface, they're not delivered as your character, with your choices up to that point imbuing them with meaning and purpose and identity, the emotion part of it.
"A lot of the art now in video games is developed in an interesting way where subtle expressions and facial animation, a tilt of the head, the way the camera is positioned, the lighting in a room, they can set the tone and the mood, the sound effects, the layer of audio that's put over the top of a scene, that stuff is really important.
"What I would suggest to the fans is, we're going to make sure we deliver an awesome experience as we have in prior Mass Effect games. Don't spoil the story. The fun of the story is uncovering things and exploring and finding new points to adventure in. I hope they don't lose that joy of discovery."