Video games more than any other medium are subject to change. Putting aside the chaos of development, to have an industry that is tied so much to the internet, you’re bound to have changes post-release. Most of these can be minor patches and updates but sometimes rather major alterations occur.
It could be fan feedback, contractual obligations or something else entirely. There are a myriad of reasons why content gets changed, overwritten or simply deleted and they certainly present questions about media preservation.
Still, at the end of the day, the rights holders for video games will do what they want to do and we are merely here for the ride so it’s best not to get too mad.
As they say, we’ll always have the memories. Plus, in many cases, if you can’t replay the original version as it stands then it’ll be preserved online for all to ogle at and muse about what was and what came to be.
In this list we’ll take a look at specific examples of video game content that have been replaced, leaving the original to surely get left behind.
When it comes to Mass Effect 3, any debate about the game will always immediately be overshadowed by the outcry that its ending created. After three games of build-up and player choice, gamers around the world were aghast at the three identical non-endings that Mass Effect 3 served up that negated all of a player’s personal investment.
In order to try to soothe enraged fans, BioWare released the Extended Cut which bolted scenes into and around the existing conclusions to give better clarity to each final choice and the consequences. Reactions to this were mixed but it was at least better than nothing. It was a bandaid on the wound.
Thankfully, it seems that moving forward at the very least this plaster is staying on. Despite the mass controversy following the end of the trilogy, Mass Effect stayed popular enough to warrant the Legendary Edition rerelease. Naturally, the Extended Cut comes as standard, as does the Citadel DLC that bulks out the final act.
Whilst the original ending and its immediate, visceral player feedback will be remembered forever, hailed as an impressively poor choice on BioWare’s part, it’s never going to be canon again. The Legendary Edition proves that it’s been overwritten and will only remain as a sour memory and interesting case study on artistic expression.