“My Dearest BioWare:

“The time we spent together in Mass Effect 2 were the best 386 hours of my life. And even though you never gave me Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic III or Jade Empire II, I still keep Star Wars: The Old Republic updated on my PC with plans to complete every class story one day.

“You’ve taught me so much, BioWare. Before I met you, I never truly knew how to love. Now I can’t play any other game without trying to flirt with every NPC I encounter. I never knew aliens and robots could be so attractive. But you have opened my eyes to enchantments I never dreamed could be real. You made me understand that games are more than just L33T stats and the best armour. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have known about mods. You taught me that choices kind of matter, and when it turns out that they really don’t, I know now that fanfic and fan art and headcanon can fill every hole.

“Well, almost every hole…”

It had taken me three tries to pen the letter he was reading, but as I watched the tears glistening in his eyes, I wished I’d tried so much harder.

I know now that fanfic and fan art and headcanon can fill every hole.


Well, almost every hole…

“You really hate Anthem that much?” His words were thick with pain. He wouldn’t meet my eyes. I watched his fingers working the paper as he decided what to do with the daggers I’d written there.

“Hate is a strong word,” I managed, trying to tamp down the emotions that threatened to steal my voice from me. “I mean, the javelin cosplay at E3 was really cool, but that’s just not enough. Ever since you took that job with Electronic Arts, you’ve been trying so hard to follow everyone else’s destiny instead of holding true to that artistic integrity that I fell in love with.”

I knew bringing up EA would change the temperature in the room, and I wasn’t surprised when his fingers finally settled on crushing the letter into his balled fist.

But I pressed on. “I’ve held on for as long as I could, but Andromeda really let me down. When I found myself no longer caring whether or not the quarians would join the expedition, I realized that things were over between us. I’ve just been struggling to find a way to tell you.”

His shoulders dropped when I mentioned Mass Effect: Andromeda. I had expected that reaction too. So far, everything was going according to plan. Not that that made this heartbreak any easier.

“I let myself down with Andromeda,” he sighed.

To his credit, he didn’t try to tell me that he was going to change, that he was going to do better this time or that things would go back to the way they were before stories that should have been part of the main plotline were stripped out for DLC profit. By the look in his eyes, I knew he recognized that our ship had sailed.

“Are you going to see other developers?”

I couldn’t help the little grimace that edged my lips. He’d never let this one go. “I’ve told you: CD Projekt Red and I are just friends.”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Doesn’t seem that way when you talk about Geralt and Yennefer being your OTP forever.”

I countered his posture with limbs akimbo, holding his glare. “You’re being childish, BioWare.”

“Am I?” he asked with a cock of his head. “I saw the way you looked at Ubisoft. Four years ago you were condemning them for sexism. Now they flash you a queer smile and all is forgiven?”

“That was in the heat of an E3 moment. You can’t take that—”

“You pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077.”

“It’s not even available yet!” I blurted, stumbling right into that trap.

But he didn’t press his advantage. Instead, the tension in his jawline softened and he spread his arms before him, palms facing upwards as if he was offering me the last pieces of his soul. And in truth, I knew that he was.

“Please. Just give Anthem a chance. Then I promise, I’ll give you everything else you’ve always wanted. How can you leave me when you know Dragon Age 4 is coming?”

My body stiffened. This was the part I had truly been dreading. This was when I needed my resolve the most. I clenched my fists, feeling the bite of fingernails in flesh.

“What if there’s a chance your elf’s love could turn the Dread Wolf from his course, restore the Dalish to their glory, and save all of Thedas?”

I tasted blood as my teeth pressed into my tongue.

“What if I let you romance Harding?”

A gasp escaped my lips before I could catch it.

“What if I let you explore Tevinter?” He took my hand in his—how had he swooped in so close?—and entwined our fingers. “Unearth ancient Kossith culture that calls all the teachings of the Qun into question?”

“M-my Warden?”

“Riding on a griffon.”

I whimpered softly as his lips brushed mine.

“Maker’s breath, but you’re beautiful,” he breathed.

And I was lost all over again.