UK advertising regulator, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), recently stated that they will not act on claims that Mass Effect 3 creators misled customers about the extent to which they could create their own ending. The actual advertising states “decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome.” Fans were outraged when the outcome fell short of expectations.
The ASA was alerted shortly after the games release, when many consumers claimed false advertising. After hearing evidence from Electronic Arts, the ASA decided the publisher did enough to satisfy the claims they made. The ASA released the following statement which was first published in CVG UK:
“The ASA acknowledged the 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 score, which was calculated with reference to previous performance in the game(s).
“We also acknowledged that there appeared to be a large number of minor variations in the end stages of ME3, and that those were directly impacted by choices made by players earlier in the game(s).
“Whilst we acknowledged that the advertiser had placed particular emphasis on the role that player choices would play in determining the outcome of the game, we considered that 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.”
The ending to Mass Effect 3 caught the ire of the entire gaming public a few months ago. Bioware has since said that they will be releasing new DLC for the game that will include an alternate/extended ending for fans that were unhappy with the conclusion. The release date has not been given, but is expected this summer. So… soon.
It remains to be seen if the USA’s FTC will have any comment on the now passé hatred of the trilogy’s conclusion. A free DLC is on the way to clear things up, but somehow I doubt this will placate some fans.