It isn't as if bad endings are particularly new to video games. Three decades ago, when the form was still in its infancy, it was par for the NES course to be rewarded with "CONGRATURATIONS! YOU ARE GREAT" and a jarring return to the start screen. Even once gaming had moved away from its typically bare-bones narratives, there were still disappointments aplenty to be found amidst the epics. Who remembers the ending of Fable? And though I never played Knights of the Old Republic 2, a trip to Youtube reveals a game that culminates in a visually tedious ten minute conversation, a twenty-second cutscene, and then credits.
Obsidian, however, somehow managed to dodge the public flogging that Bioware has endured lately. Once held on high for their expansive, open-world RPGs, they're currently being pilloried all over the Internet for their handling of Mass Effect 3. Sure, few people were happy about KOTOR 2's famously rushed ending, but things died down soon enough. The fan outrage this time around is unprecedented; relatively level-headed expressions of disappointment, such as the Retake ME3 charity, were quickly co-opted by those rabid folk drawing attention to themselves by filing complaints with the FTC or boasting that they were able to get a full refund from Amazon after completing the game. Few concrete results came from all of this sturm-und-drang, naturally, as Retake ME3 degenerated into a mess of confused and angry gamers and the FTC doesn't care about Mass Effect 3.