Last year's script for Mass Effect 3 was a source of frustration for BioWare, the game's producer has admitted.
"I think it's like any art form," said BioWare's Mike Gamble, speaking to VideoGamer.com at a recent showcase. "If a copy of The Hobbit [the film] landed on someone's shelf and people were able to see it before it was done, the people involved would be very upset that it happened.
"You want to present something to a crowd as a finished piece of work, and let me tell you, over the last month to two months – knowing that the end is coming closer, to having to finish the game, we've been working extremely hard so we can actually get that polish there. So when people see things that are in their incomplete states, it's frustrating. But it is what it is, and they're not representative of what is going to be in the final game, so we just have to roll with it, I guess."
Leaked copies of the script appeared online last November, and this inevitably led to heated discussion as forums began to pick over the game's spoilers. But BioWare's Mike Gamble believes that even people who found faults with the script will still play the finished article.
"If you think about it this way... a person who has chosen to read the script for something that they know will spoil their experience – because there are spoilers in there – will go into it to see if they're going to be justified anyway. They'll play our game, and they'll find out a lot of things they read, or that they knew before, were incorrect – they've been changed. Then they can open a discussion about it.
"As I said, it's a bit frustrating, and people can do whatever they want with leaked content, but they'll just have to wait until it's on the shelves."
In terms of the finished product, Gamble remains confident that the studio has tied together the series' many plot threads – and that people will like what they play.
"I think we've nailed it," he said. "I'm confident that we have. There's a lot to solve. If you have an experience with a previous Mass Effect game, the characters and threads that we've started in those... they get resolved."
Mass Effect 3 will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 9. Click here to read our latest preview here.