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Bioware shares details on ‘Mass Effect’ facial customization statistics

Mass Effect
Mass Effect
Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts, used with permission

While Bioware’s Mass Effect series allowed fans to customize the appearance of the games’ protagonist, only half of all Mass Effect 3 players actually bothered to use the feature. The general manager for Bioware’s Edmonton and Montreal studios Aaryn Flynn revealed on May 16 that 50 percent of all gamers chose to simply use the default face for Commander Shepard instead of creating their own.

Flynn also stated that there was a large discrepancy in the number of players who actually modified Shepard’s appearance depending on the selected gender of the character. Like all recent Bioware games, Mass Effect gave fans the option to choose the sex of lead character Commander Shepard.

Those who played a female character turned out to be far more likely to customize Shepard’s face over gamers who controlled a male Shepard. Of the total number of female Shepards created in Mass Effect 3, 80 percent actually featured player-modified faces. Fans were much less concerned with the appearance of male characters as the masculine version of Shepard was only customized by 42 percent of all players.

Bioware also revealed metric data earlier this week on the most commonly used first names that fans assigned to Commander Shepard. Once again, gamers chose simply to rely on the developer’s default choice as both John and Jane were the most popular selections for the series’ lead character.

The fourth installment of the Mass Effect franchise is currently under development. However, little is actually known about the game other than the fact that it will introduce a new protagonist. Commander Shepard’s story was fully told within the confines of the original Mass Effect Trilogy and Bioware is now moving on to put a new main character in the spotlight. Bioware has yet to provide an estimated launch window or even what platforms the next Mass Effect game will appear on.