Mass Effect 3 – ups, I shared it again
The case of Mass Effect 3 is ridiculous and unique among other leaks. There were no hackers involved, no blackmail, no ransom attempts – just a presentation of the game before the premiere and a huge discussion right after it. In 2011, someone, probably from Microsoft, mistakenly shared a beta version of the game on Xbox Live. The web quickly swarmed with screenshots showing an unfinished product without many textures and with other major flaws.
Although it didn't end up with a massive playthrough before the release, the clever datamakers scanned all the files and obtained the entire scenario of the beta, including the description of missions and endings. These materials appeared on the Russian BioWare fan forum. After the incident, the developers emphasized that this wasn't the final version of the game yet and many things were prone to change.
As with The Last of Us: Part II, the Mass Effect 3 leak caused a great deal of discussions and turmoil among fans of the series. Co-founders of BioWare – Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk – mentioned in one of the interviews that the leak really depressed the entire team working on Mass Effect 3. The story spoilers were not the final version of events, so discussing them should not have much importance in context of the released version. At the same time, the developers also tried to find silver linings. They tried to percieve the traffic around the leak as an opportunity get more people interested in ME3 and, as a result, better sales.
It was acknowledged that the script had already been modified in many places and that generally such fixes and tweaks happen constantly throughout the development process. The authors also stressed how much they value the opinions of fans, take their comments to heart and sometimes even implement them. Perhaps this suggested that some amendments were made thanks to fan feedback, but as we learned after the release, not everything was polished, especially not the ultimate endings.
- Mass Effect 3 in our encyclopedia