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Mass Effect 3: Can it sell big - without selling out?

BioWare on getting the balance right...

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Do you ever consider going down the prequel route?
What I will say is that we designed Mass Effect 3 to be a new beginning. This series definitely doesn't end with Mass Effect 3.

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What are your sales aspirations? Do you look at another series and hope to match their numbers?
We're making Mass effect 3 to be the best game we've ever made. That would make it one of the best games ever, and we're hoping to see sales that reflect that.

Can you reassure us that Mass Effect 3 won't just be Gears Of War in space?
Yes. I can guarantee that. When I mention games like Gears, Assassin's Creed or Uncharted, it's in the guise of certain aspects: if you had BioWare's rich, detailed story where your choices mattered, where they could determine the future of civilisations; if you had all of that coupled with the heart-stopping action of games like Gears Of War, that's what we're going for.

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It's not, 'Let's make a game without story and a bunch of shooting.' It's not about that. People tell us we're amazing storytellers and we hope we are. We can't give you all-out galactic war by cheaping out on the action. It needs to feel an epic war against insurmountable odds. That's what makes the story even more emotionally engaging.

The DLC for Mass Effect 2 didn't review quite as well as the game itself. Are you mindful of that this time around? Have you learnt any lessons from that?
I think it's a slightly unfair question - I'd argue you're never going to see DLC that can match [the main game]. You've got a title that's epic and years in the making that's 30-hours long and you're going to compare a 2-hour DLC pack to it? It's not going to stack up. I'd hate to see the game where the DLC is better than the main title. What we're really trying to do is create more experiences for people to play in this universe; to feel more strapped in and get more context if they want that - whilst still maintaining the core beliefs that make up Mass Effect.

It's still keeping an epic story and lots of choices with major consequences. The fact that Shadow Broker gets a 90% vs a 96%, we're not losing sleep on that. But at the same time we're not resting on our laurels, and making sure that feedback we do receive on content is absolutely weighing in on how we design our games moving forward.

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