Mass Effect became a much-loved franchise as soon as it debuted in the distant 2007 thanks to the good shooting game experience it offered, mixed with RPG mechanics that allowed the development of the character to such a degree to forge emotional relationships with other NPCs. This feature even allowed for non-heterosexual romance and caused so much controversy with an American news outlet that it caused BioWare to remove this option in Mass Effect 2.
Among the characteristics that Mass Effect presented and that the fans liked is that they could put some customization to their adventure, since the game gave the possibility to choose between a female or male version of Commander Shepard, as well as to make romances with different characters.
Precisely one of these romance options involved Liara an extraterrestrial who, although she belongs to a species that presents only one sex, her gender is female and that was enough to be classified as a gay, homosexual or at least non-heterosexual romance. This apparently was very frowned upon at the time – despite the fact that it was a video game – as the Fox News network caused controversy after publishing a report discussing sexual representation in Mass Effect.
Thus, Mass Effect was in the midst of controversy and today in an interview by The Gamer with Brian Kindregan, in charge of the script of Mass Effect 2 , it was revealed that the repercussions were so great that they caused BioWare to modify its creative vision in the sequel. .
A CONTROVERSY CAUSED BIOWARE TO ELIMINATE OPTIONS IN MASS EFFECT 2
Specifically, Kindregan mentioned that the romance options were limited due to controversy, since a pansexual character had to only have romance options with the male commander Shepard, something that was strange to the players, because in the adventure Jack she hinted at her pansexuality, having romantic encounters with non-male characters.
According to the creative, the affected character was Jack, a woman of the human race. Being pansexual, this character would feel sexual, romantic or emotional towards men and women, that is, regardless of their gender. Jack was pansexual for much of the development, but at an advanced stage the options for romance with a female Shepard were discarded in order to prevent her community from being criticized and being involved in a situation like the one that happened with Liara; In other words, Fox News criticism ended up influencing the game.
” Mass Effect had been very strongly and unfairly criticized in the United States by Fox News, which in its time … perhaps more people in the world believed that there was a connection between reality and what is discussed on Fox News, ” Kindregan attacked. “The Mass Effect 2 development team was a very progressive, open-minded team, but I think there was a major concern about whether [the first] Mass Effect, which was only in a gay relationship, Liara – which on paper was not technically gay because it was kind of unisexual – I think there was a concern that if that had caused controversy, Mass Effect had to be a little more cautious. “
Fortunately, creative freedom prevailed after the events of Mass Effect 2 , as in Mass Effect 3 the creative vision was respected and the romance options became even more important.
“I’ve worked with lesbian developers who have told me like, ‘Why isn’t Jack interested in me?’ And I have to tell them, ‘I’m sorry, it’s partially my fault.’ But I still support the question of keeping it with a more varied history. Maybe one day Jack will be portrayed as bread, “Kindregan said.
What do you think of this situation? Do you think BioWare was right to change its creative decision in Mass Effect 2? Tell us in the comments.
In case you do not know Jack and the other Mass Effect characters because you did not have the opportunity to play this series in their time, we have very good news for you because very soon the first 3 games of the franchise will arrive on modern consoles and PC with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a remastered edition.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will debut sometime in the spring of this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and will also be playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S.