Every once in awhile developers are known to reach out to their biggest fans and reward them. Perhaps best known for this is Valve, allowing their active community to build and contribute items, weapons, hats and maps to Team Fortress 2, and allowing them to earn financial reimbursement from any of their contributions purchased via the online store.
But this report isn't about Valve, its about BioWare (Mass Effect, Dragon Age), who at PAX 2011 have revealed that it's hired one of the most active and talented fan artists to work on promotional material for one of 2012's biggest titles - Mass Effect 3.
The man is Patryk Olejniczak, a Polish digital artist who built up quite a following of rabid Mass Effect fans for his seriously impressive fan art, most of which can be found on his DeviantArt profile, or seen below. According to reports coming out PAX 2011, and the slew of congratulations posted on his DeviantArt page, Olejniczak has been specifically hired to create artwork of the now 'canon' appearance of female Shepard, something BioWare aimed to develop for Mass Effect 3 after only having a canon model for male Shepard in previous games.
Olejniczak's work will appear on the Collector's Edition of Mass Effect 3, which will have artwork for both canon male and female variations of Shepard.
After being delayed a few months ago, Mass Effect 3 is currently slated for an early 2012 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.