Failed ‘Mass Effect 3′ Raffle Puts Two Gamers in Legal Trouble

Published 3 years ago by

Mass Effect 3 Raffle Legal Trouble

While most gamers’ first inclination, if presented with an early copy of Mass Effect 3, would be to pop the game into their respective console, two gamers who actually secured a copy took a completely different direction with this opportunity. Instead of getting to experience Commander Shepard’s adventure before anyone else, Michael Davis and Miguel Droz decided to raffle off their copy of Mass Effect 3 and donate 30% of their proceeds to Child’s Play charity. It was a noble gesture to say the least — giving up a head start at the game’s 30-hour campaign — but it may just have put Davis and Droz in some legal trouble.

See, by not donating 100% of their proceeds to charity, Droz and Davis’s raffle is actually an illegal activity in the state of New Mexico, where they are based. Hoping simply to generate a small Kickstarter-esque fund for their media venture this raffle seemed harmless enough, but it has generated some unexpected backlash.

Since launching the raffle, Droz and Davis made a few changes to their raffle, including a promise to donate 100% to Child’s Play, before eventually cancelling the offer altogether. Child’s Play hadn’t even been given a chance to approve the raffle before it was taken down.

Besides being the envy of millions of Mass Effect fans who were vying for the chance to secure one of the many Mass Effect 3 copies BioWare launched into space, Droz and Diaz were just two guys trying to get their product out there through a little cross promotion. It was just unfortunate that how they went about getting that promotion ended up being illegal.

As the days events unfolded, all participants in the raffle were refunded, but Droz and Diaz have yet to say what they plan on doing with the Mass Effect 3 copy they procured. My guess is that this sobering experience has convinced them they should probably just play it.

What do you think the two should do with their copy of Mass Effect 3? What might have been a better way to “give away” their copy of the game?

Mass Effect 3 launches March 6, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Source: Kotaku

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3

  • Matt Rowland

    And people think more government is a good thing.

    • doc

      All power not taken up by government inevitably will be taken up by someone else. And it will not be the common citizen.

      I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had been sued by EA.

    • dan

      There’s good government and bad government. This is a case of the latter.

    • Gabeler

      They had the right idea, they really did.

      However, what they did is illegal for a reason.

      Say a thousand raffle tickets were sold for a dollar each. They took a $70 game, and would have turned a profit on it of $700 without EA’s consent.

      Sure, donating 30% to charity was a great gesture. To be honest, they really should have donated 70% and kept 30. Still would have been illegal, but the MAJORITY would have been for the right cause.

  • Red

    No good deed goes unpunished. Once they upped the amount to 100% they should have been supported. Child’s play is a great charity and to take what money this could have generated from them is just sad.

    • Red

      And by “Take what money this could gerneate” I mean stopping the charity auction and keepingt he money from reaching the charity.

    • Sean “blackjoker” P

      Yep and 70% of it would of not gone to Child’s play and would of been used by 2 boys from new mexico. :\
      Greed can be a terrible trait.

      • Fiachra

        Who gives a shit? They own the copy, they can do whatever they want with it.
        The fact that they even included a charity is more than one can ask.

        What I find asinine is that money was spent to send a game into space! How arrogant is that?

        • Fiachra

          Oh I see, after looking it up, they didn’t “launch” anything into space. They stuck it to high altitude balloon and it went up real high.

          Is Bioware run by twelve year old boys?

          “Let’s tie our GI Joe to this balloon!” What the F#%@?

          • graverobber

            They just wanted to do something clever and unique. I highly doubt they want to buy a rocket ship just to blast off ME3 to the freakin moon. The ballon was more of a cheap sybolic way to represent a rocket ship.

  • Michael

    I want to know exactly WHY this would be illegal. What harm is being done here?!?!?!?!?!

    • Sean “blackjoker” P

      Well 2 things the charity organization didn’t approve it and they were using that charities name with out there consent. Thats like if I said “Apple is giving away Ipad4.5(example) for raffle to Child’d play!” But nether Apple nor Child’s play was apart and it was just a cleaver but illegal way for me to make more money on something i ether got free or a fraction of what ill be making from the raffle. Also there was pretty much other intensions behind what they did. But if they said they would donate 100% it wouldn’t be legal and but they said 30% hell if they said 90% is still be legal because they would be making money and thats not 100% a charity.(in the state of new mexico) But if it was there product they were raffling then it wouldn’t of been illegal. They can just say 30% was going to be donated to the winners choice of charity and thats allowed in most states if not all. But in this case…. nope and its illegal.

      Its really there own damn fault. I don’t do advertisement of my products with out first looking at all known laws about what im doing. First thing my Business teacher told me. lol. Great advice.

    • Eric

      They almost certainly don’t have a gaming license, for one. Secondly, they are taking something EA game them for free and profiteering off of it. Thirdly, they are using Child’s Play’s name without their consent.

  • EastOfTheAnduin

    They should list it on eBay. They can give anywhere from 10-100% of the profits directly to Child’s Play, legally. They would probably make A LOT more money in the process too.

  • bio

    Each weather ballon had a total of 5 360 copies and 5 ps3 copies what will happen to the copies holders out there? Forced to give the copies back? If so thats bull.

  • Mr.B

    I don’t understand this article !!
    What means

    “‘Mass Effect 3′ copies launched into space”

    Did it fly into space ?
    And did they get it ?
    What does that mean “launched into SPACE” ?

    Maybe its cause I am not a native English speaker,but this is a puzzle to me !

    • Slyko227

      they were attached to weathers balloons, and floated towards space, the balloons lose helium and slowly fall back down

    • Sean “blackjoker” P

      Its a figure of speech. Pretty much saying that the game got out of the hands of the developers and into the hand of a random person. What they said was just a cleaver way of saying it. :) Don’t trip over it.

      • Fiachra

        That’s the thing, it really isn’t. To be considered a figure of speech many people have to actually use it, not just the writer of a Gamerant article.

        “Launched into space” has never meant “float up really high, than drift listlessly to the ground”.

        It’s not really clever, so much as wrong.

        • Mr.B

          Thanks Guys for the explanation !
          I get it now ..I think :)

        • Daniel Carlson

          i completely agree with that. not really a figure of speech. It just made me wanna ask “wait… space…?… huh?” so yeah. never heard that term used before.

  • Fiachra

    Screw early access. That means absolutely nothing to me, I’d have sold it.

  • larry

    I think those two guy’s should just play the game. What’s the point of trying to sell a game if your not going to make anything out of it and being forced to give all the money away. Why go threw all that trouble when they had to go threw it in the first place by sneaking it out before it even hit the shelves. If I had a copy of ME3 before anyone else did I would of poped it right into my xbox.

  • Nathan martinez

    One day this is gonna be a government cover up for alien contact. It is new mexico after all

  • DarthMalnu

    Sounds like an old fashioned snake oil shuffle to me. The charity guise is dirty.