To my surprise, we have a grand total of zero articles about the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. Sometimes I wonder why people don’t check out our [REDACTED BY DR KRONNER]
blog [REDACTED BY DR KRONNER] website…
Anyways, as you may know, quite a number of fans were not satisfied with the ending. Someone went as far as to file a complaint to FTC. Better Business Bureau weren’t too fond of EA’s marketing campaign either. With that said, the ending to the sci-fi franchise did generate a whole lot of displeasure within the gaming community.
The UK-based Advertising Standards Authority got involved after receiving complaints. To be specific, the complaints were largely based on the descriptions shown on the game’s official website:
- INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE THE BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END OF AN EMOTIONAL STORY UNLIKE ANY OTHER, WHERE THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE COMPLETELY SHAPE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND OUTCOME …
- Mass Effect 3 plunges you into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back from a nearly unstoppable foe – and how you fight that war is entirely up to you. Choose a fast-paced cinematic experience or delve into a deeper, more choice-driven narrative. Either way, intense combat propels the action as you fight to unite a war-torn galaxy against a common enemy …
- Along the way, your choices drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilizations, and even radically different ending scenarios
After their investigation, ASA has concluded that EA’s adverts were not misleading since “the three choices at the end of the game were thematically quite different, and that the availability and effectiveness of those choices would be directly determined by a player’s EMS score”. They have also noticed some minor variations in the final levels of the game depending on various decisions made throughout the game.
If you ask me, I will tell you that I agree with ASA. Looking strictly at the marketing campaign, it is as misleading as any advertisements out there. A product’s feature will always be overemphasized in order to sell; their use of words will also be subjective enough for them to dodge the bullet. It doesn’t mean I am happy with the ending though. While not explicitly a part of EA’s advertising, the producer of the series, Casey Hudson, did say this a couple of months prior to release:
I’ll just call it R, G, or B instead.
EA might have avoided legal consequences, but all that goodwill BioWare have built up over the years was flushed down the toilet bowl just like that. The TV ads don’t mean anything without your loudest fans backing them up. Relationship between BioWare and fans have soured. I’m not sure if BioWare will ever be anything more than a shadow of themselves.
In case you haven’t heard, BioWare will be releasing an extended cut of the ending to “provide further clarifications.” We will give you our impressions once the free DLC is released.