In a nutshell: When playing games that offer a binary choice of being good or evil, what path do you choose? If you prefer to be a saintly hero, you’re not alone. According to former designers at BioWare and Telltale, most people like to play as the good guy/girl.
Responding to a viral tweet about how players often choose the 'right' path in games with morality systems, former Mass Effect cinematic designer John Ebenger revealed this was certainly the case with Mass Effect. "Yup. Something like 92% of Mass Effect players were Paragon. And we put a lot of work in to the Renegade content too," he tweeted in response.
Yup. Something like 92% of Mass Effect players were Paragon.— John Ebenger (@EbengerJohn) February 19, 2020
And we put a lot of work in to the Renegade content too :( https://t.co/lywwx7n4Hy
Former Telltale narrative designer Matt Boland said the same thing was true with its games. “People always want to be the good guy. The trick was always pitting what they wanted to do against what they SHOULD do. [Mass Effect] had a ton of these too," he said. Ebenger replied, "Yup, We also always tried getting them to get attached to characters with opposing needs and make them choose who they loved the most. Direct conflict between beloved characters is great!"
Yup, We also always tried getting them to get attached to characters with opposing needs and make them choose who they loved the most.— John Ebenger (@EbengerJohn) February 19, 2020
Direct conflict between beloved characters is great!
Kotaku notes that people appeared a lot happier to play the baddie in Mass Effect 3; its statistics show 35.5 percent of players were Renegade. That could count multiple playthroughs, though, not just the first. Like many people, I prefer to take the good path before replaying the game as a total asshat just to see the different content.
Do you like to play as a clean-cut hero/heroine in games, or do you let your dark side shine through? Let us know in the comments below.