Mass Effect 3 director and executive producer Casey Hudson has a letter up on the BioWare forums that directly addresses fans who feel put off by the way the recently released game brings the trilogy to a close. He makes no apologies for the creative direction taken, instead attempting to lay out exactly why Mass Effect 3 ended in the way that it did.
Hudson goes on to nod to the fans who have shared feedback with BioWare over the years. The studio has always sought constructive criticism from its fans, and that information is often used to help guide subsequent work. The same will be true for Mass Effect 3 moving forward. Hudson promises that work will continue on new content "throughout the next year," adding that "this is not the last you'll hear of Commander Shepard."
You can read through Hudson's most direct address of the ending -- fear not, it's spoiler-free -- in the following two paragraphs:
For the last eight years, Mass Effect has been a labor of love for our team; love for the characters we’ve created, for the medium of video games, and for the fans that have supported us. For us and for you, Mass Effect 3 had to live up to a lot of expectations, not only for a great gaming experience, but for a resolution to the countless storylines and decisions you’ve made as a player since the journey began in 2007. So we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a series of endings to key plots and storylines, each culminating in scenes that show you the consequences of your actions. You then carry the knowledge of these consequences with you as you complete the final moments of your journey.
We always intended that the scale of the conflict and the underlying theme of sacrifice would lead to a bittersweet ending—to do otherwise would betray the agonizing decisions Shepard had to make along the way. Still, we wanted to give players the chance to experience an inspiring and uplifting ending; in a story where you face a hopeless struggle for basic survival, we see the final moments and imagery as offering victory and hope in the context of sacrifice and reflection.
Of course head over to the BioWare forums if you want to check out the full letter. The Mass Effect 3 finale complaints spurred a lot of discussion last week when a petition demanding that the ending be changed gathered momentum. BioWare acknowledged the complaints in a brief statement, but Hudson's letter is the most specific response from the studio that we've seen so far.