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EA cleared of false Mass Effect 3 advertising claims

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A large, particularly vociferous slice of the gaming populous was not at all happy with the way that Mass Effect 3 ended Commander Shepard’s three game space opera; using the deus ex machina of a translucent boy and space magic, and the perceived lack of consequence of choice.

Some were so offended that they complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, accusing EA of outright lying in their marketing of the game.

The biggest issue they had was with advertising that proclaimed that within Mass Effect, the  "decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome."

The ASA, after hearing evidence from EA, has ruled in EA’s favour – clearing them of any advertising wrongdoings.

"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."

EA and Bioware will soon release an expanded ending DLC to fill in the gaps for those who feel hard done by the game’s rather controversial ending. I can’t say the ending bothered me; I was more upset at the fact that I was forced to play multiplayer to get the “best” ending for my single player game.

Last Updated: June 14, 2012

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