Just when you thought it was safe to return to Mass Effect 3 news, more controversy pops up! You might remember that fans had reported EA and BioWare to the Advertising Standards Authority for false and misleading advertising regarding the game’s ending. In particular, consumers claimed that player choices had little to no effect on the ending despite the game having “EXPERIENCE THE BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END OF AN EMOTIONAL STORY UNLIKE ANY OTHER, WHERE THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE COMPLETELY SHAPE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND OUTCOME” plastered on the website.
Well, for better or worse, the verdict is finally in and the ASA has declared that EA and BioWare did not falsely advertise the game at all.
While the ASA did admit that player choices had no significant on the three different endings, they did bring up many other points. These include the Galaxy at War system which would affect the ending based on how “Ready” you are to do the final mission. The ASA also mentioned that the game’s “ending” wasn’t necessarily the final cutscene you see but rather the last 3-5 hours of the game.
You can read a few parts of the statement after the break and the full statement here.
The ASA acknowledged the complainants’ belief that players’ choices in the game did not influence the outcome to the extent claimed by EA. However, we considered that 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. Most consumers would realize there would be a finite number of possible outcomes within the game and, because we considered that the advertiser had shown that players’ previous choices and performance would impact on the ending of the game we concluded that the ad was not misleading.
So, readers, what do you all think of their decision? As one of the few who didn’t think the ending was the terrible abomination that it was made out to be, I’m completely fine with this outcome.