EA wins the Mass Effect 3 ending investigation farce

13 Jun 2012  by   John Robertson
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EA has won in the investigation into the advertising campaign for Mass Effect 3. 

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided to carry out the investigation following complaints from some players that the amount of influence they would have over the game’s ending had been exaggerated. If you’ve read anything that I’ve written on this subject before, you’ll know that I consider the complaint idiotic and that anyone with the slightest ability to understand narrative and character would be able to read that endings were indeed different.

ASA’s investigation centred around a Mass Effect 3 advert that carried the phrase “decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome”, the majority of complaints centred on the idea that the game’s endings were too similar to one another. In a victory for sanity, the ASA has found in favour of EA.

The ASA statement reads:

“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 Mass Effect 3, 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 realise 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.”

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