The folks at GameZenith were in attendance during the GDC lecture given by BioWare's Christina Norman, and have since been prompted to pen an article that more-or-less chastises the company for "watering down" the RPG elements in Mass Effect 2. Specific quotes from Christina's lecture are included:
Mass Effect 2 (ME2) which released earlier this year, created a lot of controversy and continues to do so even now. ME2, the second act of a trilogy is technically called an Action-RPG, a hybrid of RPG mechanics mixed themes and elements seen in action games. I bring this up because this on really hits close to home as I am a huge fan of theirs feel as if Bioware deliberately in attempt to draw in a larger audience (outside of the core RPG audience), water downed the RPG mechanics and played up the shooter aspects. By doing this, the game seems less daunting to casual RPG players or non-RPG players as the RPG genre can be very convoluted. In their endeavor to appeal to a larger audience, core RPG aspects of the game were literally taken away! There is no inventory what so ever and the player statistical progression is at a very minimum. Bioware would swear up and down that an inventory is still present there, in some capacity but that is completely false! I should be able to pause the game and pull down a window that shows me all of my available weapons and armors and have the ability to switch at any given time, like a customary RPG would. Then the statistical progression is a miserable attempt to ease the level-up process to appease to the shooter audience.
"Fans complaining (About lack of RPG experience in ME2) is a small percentage of the overall post (In the Bioware forums)"
This is a real slap in the face to those core RPG gamers who have followed Bioware over the years. It is as if Bioware does not care about the lesser percentage of their audience, as long as the larger percentage loves it and they get their profits. Bioware seems to not recall who built them in the first place. They fail to remember who bought their products and put money into their pockets from the beginning. I know Bioware is on a quest to seek profits, thus broadening their audience, but please do not act like the voice of RPGers are not that important because we are a (small percentage). RPG gamers are loyal and will support you as long as you respect their desires. Shooter gamers are itinerant, once you think you've gotten their attention, they will move on to the next big thing. Remember this Bioware while developing Mass Effect 3.