Mass Effect 3‘s ending caused a firestorm, with a vocal chunk of the Mass Effect community expressing their disappointment in the game’s conclusion. Some even complained to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the game not delivering on what was marketed, though the ASA has ruled that the game was not falsely advertised.
The ASA was contacted by a group that felt Mass Effect 3′s ending was neither reflective of their choices throughout the game or the entire series. In addition, Mass Effect fans thought up a multitude of ways to show their disappointment – including sending BioWare 400 cupcakes (that came in three colors).
While players can debate for hours whether or not the ending of Commander Shepard’s story was a good conclusion, the ASA disagrees with the claims of misleading advertising. The say the endings were “thematically quite different,” and that the player’s “Effective Military Strength” could determine how the final scenes played out. The ASA understands gamers are upset over how little their actions influence the game’s outcome. However there is still enough choice present that they cannot deem it as false advertising.
Gamers may not have the support of the ASA, but BioWare has heard the complaints – and are releasing an extended cut ending to help shed more light on the game’s conclusion. As well, the ending will also feature characters like Admiral Hackett and EDI. We’ve talked about the ending multiple times through our Game Ranter Banter – which we know you all love – so at this point even talking about the validity of the ending would just be redundant, especially considering how much it’s been beaten to death.
While gamers do have a right to complain, going to the ASA seems like a bit of an extreme. The controversy has led to some very interesting discussion though, opening up debate on games as a product vs. art, and of course, there’s the Indoctrination Theory which may or may not provide the answers we all seek. We’ll just have to wait until the release of the Extended Cut DLC to see if BioWare delivers and ending that will make disgruntled fans happy.
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