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Why Mass Effect 3 has Kinect support

June 13, 2011 • Gadgets and Gaming

Capt. Shepard will have a tough battle ahead

With all the announcements over and done with at this year’s E3 conference in Los Angeles, it has left many gamers looking back at the event and wondering why some developers announced what they did.

One aspect that gamers are finding a bit baffling, is the inclusion of Kinect support for Electronic Arts’ upcoming science-fiction role-playing game Mass Effect 3.

Kinect support will (among others) allow players to voice conversation points, instead of manually selecting them with a controller, but EA Games’ Frank Gibeau said that they would like to expand their market.

“Grow the audience and make it more accessible,” he told Eurogamer. Gibeau highlighted that they would like to make it easier for new players to understand the mechanics of the game. “Mass Effect has a fairly complicated combat system. You’ve got story and choice. For some fans that don’t buy 12 games a year and maybe buy two or three, some of those things can be intimidating. We wanted to open up the accessibility without hurting the depth or the quality. Kinect is a fantastic technology that allows us to do that.”

In essence, although the game will be in its third instalment, Gibeau still feels that they need to access a wider market. “For core gamers, they just liked the fact they could even be more powerful with it. With new gamers they felt they could get into it much easier,” he continued.

“You have to think about not just the core gamers but the hit buyers and the more casual buyers; having a design and a story and an interface that works across all of those segments without losing the core. It makes life interesting.”

But there is (as always), a business model attached to that. “When you’re in this business now you have to be able to get to the widest possible audience. Games are so expensive to build now that you can’t have a sustainable business if you’re in the million unit seller range. You’ve got to be multi-million units.”

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