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Going legal: Mass Effect 3 ending sparks FTC complaints

Monday, 19th March 2012 01:17 GMT By Brenna Hillier

An increasing number of angry fans have filed complaints with the US Federal Trade Commission claiming that Mass Effect 3′s ending doesn’t live up to advertised claims.

As detailed on the BioWare Social Network, a player by the name of El Spiko believes EA and BioWare are guilty of false advertising.

“I filed an FTC complaint against EA. After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims.”

Other users have detailed the promises in question in a separate thread.

El Spiko feels none of these claims were met, and has encouraged like-minded users to file their own complaints with the FTC and the Better Business Bureau.

“After the terrible ending that was in no way the product that had been advertised to me and the lack of any kind of response from Bioware/EA to address this, I felt it was one of my only recourses. I’ll be returning my copy of the game before the end of my 30 day return policy if the ending still hasn’t been addressed by then,” the user added.

Several other gamers have since followed suit, although El Spiko has had to defend their actions by pointing out that an FTC complaint is not a lawsuit nor likely to have significant repercussions for either company.

BioWare has indicated it is aware of feedback pertaining to Mass Effect 3′s ending and believes some criticism may be valid. A user campaign to change the ending has raised over $65,000.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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48 Comments

  1. LOLshock94

    taking this way to far now…(i dont no the ending im damn sure its not that bad)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    Seconded.

    There’s nothing wrong with railing against Bioware for being halfassed, but taking legal action is just retarded.

    (Although basically not more or less retarded than the average corporate lawsuit)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    @2

    Actually, seeing a corporation hit by a class action lawsuit via ‘the people’ would be pretty damn hilarious.

    “DAMN YOU… BITTER TASTE OF MY OWN MEDICINE.”

    It probably wouldn’t be successful, though. :[

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gama_888

    Seriously?? legal action over the ending of a game, that’s just a shambles.

    I have no idea what the ending is, but whatever it is, NOBODY has any right to say that’s not what should have happened. Its the devs story they can do whatever the fuck they want with it.

    if you don’t like it, tough shit. Ya don’t see any hollywood film studios getting sued because some fans didn’t like the ending.

    This is a joke.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    I almost want to spoiler the ending so I can know why the collective Mass Effect fan base scooped all the sand off the ocean floor and crammed the whole lot into their vaginas.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Johnny Cullen

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the ending neither, but even this is beyond pushing it. You’re entitled to an opinion, but this is too extreme.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. shogoz

    I haven’t played up to the ending yet but I can’t imagine why nerds have banded together for a nerd rage convention. I can only guess it didn’t end in a typical american aka happiest ending possible way. Who gives a shit? at least its different for once. liek omg I dont like playing all these military shootie games where the main character or whoever the fuck obviously dies in the end without them coming back to life in a typical hollywood style. News flash: It can’t all be like COD where the americans (apparently) always win against everyone else in the world. Or in this case, galaxy.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Ap.exe

    I can’t believe the negativity to this. This is the same mentality being driven into the current generation of gamers that major corporations put into “every lawsuit is frivolous”. Can you actually sit back and watch as the gaming market stagnate?
    As for this being “over the top”.. If this truly has no ground then it’ll be ignored and no real action will be taken and it’ll be another useless hate-report. If they find it has proper reasoning behind it action will be taken.

    Also the issue with the ending isn’t that it isn’t storybook/Hollywood happy, but that it is incomplete/insignificant and doesn’t meet what was hyped and advertised by the developers. Quit trying to defend with “you just can’t see depth” and “boohoo the ending didn’t go your way”. I’ve seen these arguments way too many times and it’s just getting old.

    EDIT: This also coupled with not knowing that the true ending will (possibly)require a DLC. I bet quite a few people who bought the game would of otherwise passed and not bought any of the Mass Effect games if they knew the trilogy would be wrapped up by the ending words “Downloadable Content”.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Kabby

    This is pathetic on so many levels.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. shogoz

    #8 Thanks for the post, I now have a deeper understanding as to why people are pissed off. If the ending isn’t complete….I now hope the nerd rage community wins. I have always said that I think the way in which piracy should be dealt with is by making it so the ending is cut out of the disc for those that try to burn games. In this way, developers seem to be doing the “smartest way of combatting piracy” by not including the ending with the actual game…so those that haven’t bought it must at least give them some amount of money in order to see the ending. I have played so many games recently that I haven’t been able to finish that I am just getting completely fed up with games altogether. I don’t purchase any DLC because I believe things should be as it was in the old days….remember how it wasn’t possible to fuck up to the point where there was mass patch production on the N64 and PSX? bless the fucking internet my ass in this respect. You didn’t have the luxury to screw things up back then or release a half finished game if you were a developer. To date, I haven’t finished Alan wake, Final fantasy XIII-2 and (thanks for letting me know) soon to be Mass effect 3. Fuck forking out more money for a game that should be released when its finished. I can see why people JTAG their consoles. Its a good idea to do so.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. aprotosis

    People are just upset because they didn’t get a different ending cutscene when they chose to fart in Udina’s office or just walked out. I can’t say 100% if every dicision thread had an ultimate conclusion in this game, but I would guess it is pretty close. Haven’t done an accounting. You don’t like the ending, great – write some fanfic. But this Reddit-style rage is just over the top.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. endgame

    Honestly now, did you guys expect anything better from americans? We all know how altruistic and intelligent these people usually are.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    Honestly the real reason people hate the ending is because compared to what they said before the game released, all about decisions and the summation of all your choices throughout the entire series coming to a head, none of that appeared.

    Nothing that you did mattered, nothing at all. No choice and decision taken makes a blind bit of difference and after swallowing months and months of PR hype from Bioware I would say a hell of alot of the invested fans are feeling a little hard done by.

    That and Bioware somehow had enough time to create a full 3D model of Jessica Chobot but resorted to a photoshopped stock photo to reveal the face of one of the most popular characters in the series.

    So sure yeah this is fucking stupid and a little too far, on the other hand fuck Bioware for this, for DA 2 and for TOR. Fuck Bioware for being the arrogant unprofessional shitheads, fuck Bioware because all the people that made the previous games special have fucking left leaving us with the dregs and the name.

    http://youtu.be/gz8_j-ebfaI

    Fuck the entire entitlement arguement. Really EG needs shot into fucking space for making that a common idea.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Fin

    This is

    A) The reason companies are disallowing class action lawsuits
    B) The very definition of gamer entitlement – how many film fans do you know who fucking complained to the FTC because a film they watched wasn’t good enough. Transformers 3 is going to the best film ever! Oh, it’s not? Shit, I’d better file a complaint with the government
    C) Is very bad for the industry – makes us all look like spoiled brats
    D) Mario

    Oh, and here’s a tip, maybe instead of complaining after you’ve bought something and are therefore supporting the developer and publisher, maybe you just shouldn’t by the thing, or the DLC, or any EA game if you feel that strongly.

    But no, people are too hypocritical for that.

    @10
    “I can see why people JTAG their consoles. Its a good idea to do so.”

    Go. Fuck. Yourself. You. Thief.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Joe Musashi

    I haven’t played any of the Mass Effect games. Come to think of it I’ve not played any BioWare games – they just don’t gel with me.

    For those that have played them, can you tell me if the games are remotely as entertaining as the internet crybabies that are throwing toys out of their respective prams?

    If so, I may have to check it out.

    JM

    #15 2 years ago
  16. DSB

    @13 Hats off to you.

    I think Mass Effect 2 was just as bad, though. The thing that puzzles me is why these things suddenly become an issue when you’ve already been subjected to it once.

    I think it’s flattering EG that they came up with the entitlement deflection. It’s always been used as an effective cop-out for politicians who need to dismiss legitimate demands and complaints.

    That being said, I don’t see how you can demand anything from a creative work. If it’s shit, it’s shit. Mass Effect 2 was one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had since Invisible War, and that’s too bad, but I bought it, they made it, and we both have to live with that.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. viralshag

    @Joe, Bioware games are good. I personally love the ME series. Dragon Age: Origins was good but a bit too dialog-heavy for me and then DA2 swung the other way and was a bit crap overall, probably their worst game to date.

    KOTOR was my first taste of Bioware games and that was fantastic. SWTOR wasn’t even a shadow on that game IMO. They can be a hit and miss dev. I’m someone who was unhappy with the ending of ME3 but the rest of the game was fab. Really worth playing.

    @14,

    “Oh, and here’s a tip, maybe instead of complaining after you’ve bought something and are therefore supporting the developer and publisher, maybe you just shouldn’t by the thing, or the DLC, or any EA game if you feel that strongly.”

    Really? So what… people should complain about something before they buy it? Or when they have never tried it at all? Or maybe they should pirate the game, just so they don’t mistakenly “support” the dev and publisher…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Fin

    @17

    “people should complain about something before they buy it?”

    Gamers already do this. See: ME3 DLC, Syndicate, MGS: Rising, UFO.

    “Or when they have never tried it at all?”

    Gamers already do this. See above.

    “Or maybe they should pirate the game, just so they don’t mistakenly “support” the dev and publisher”

    No, they should not buy the game at all if they feel strongly enough.

    Fair enough being disappointed by the ending, but jesus christ, it’s just a fucking game. Nobody died. Get out more, seriously.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. viralshag

    @18, If they feel strongly enough about what though? If they felt strongly about the DLC enough to not want to buy it and I’m sure a lot of people didn’t, It was completely optional. The ending, however, isn’t. It’s just a part of the game that people are not happy with, it’s not something they could avoid or simply “not buy”.

    I really don’t see what your point is?

    And so what if it’s “just a game”? It stills £50-60 that people spent money on. Who are you to tell them that they can’t/shouldn’t complain if they’re not happy with the product?

    I don’t agree with lawsuits and nonsense like that but complaining about people who have spent money, a lot of money, who aren’t happy is just pathetic.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. OrbitMonkey

    Theirs a bit in the Shadow Broker dlc where Shepard tells Liara (?), that he/she would like to end his/her days with Liara raising a brood of little blue babies…

    That right there is the ending so many of these cry-babies were hoping for.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Edo

    @20 Please,share your thoughts about the ending if you have played the game.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Fin

    @19

    I think it basically comes down to gamer entitlement. Actual gamer entitlement.

    I can’t think of a single other medium where people get this worked up about a product. Not one. Music? Nope. Books? Nope. Film? Nope. TV? Nope. Art? Nope. Food? Nope.
    Yeah you just paid for a game, got ~20 hours of entertainment out of it (good value btw – I paid £30 for my ME3), and the last hour wasn’t very good.

    Now, in every other medium I can think of, the user says “oh, that’s disappointing”, and gets on with their lives. Last track on an album bad? Skip it. Ending of a 90m film bad? Aw, pity. Man that dinner was so good, but the dessert wasn’t great, what to do? Guess I’ll skip the dessert next time. I’m not a fan of that sculpture. Maybe it’s just me.
    Last hour of a game bad? Shit, I’d better get on the internet, make sure everyone knows my opinion, petition the developers to change the ending, and complain to the government.

    Why can’t gamers just move on? What is it about the gaming medium that prevents them from doing so? Sure they’ve spent ~£40 on a product, but why does it have to be perfect? Why does one element of a game completely ruin the entire experience for some people?

    So yeah, people complain very very loudly. My problem is the complaints aren’t measured – people use words like betrayed, disgrace, arrogant, unprofessional, incomplete, insignificant – like I said before it’s a fucking game. If you really are getting this worked up about a piece of entertainment, maybe you should get out more.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. stretch215

    @12 “these people”?? Well, I don’t care to pass judgement on an entire country, but you show yourself to be pretty fucking stupid by making that comment.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. OrbitMonkey

    @21, Well I haven’t, not that that means I can’t comment on the frankly ridiculous reaction a small percentage of Mass Effect *fans* are displaying.

    Maybe Bioware should include a box of baby-wipes in their next release, so butt hurt gamers can soothe their puckered arse’s if the ending isn’t what they would have wrote…

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Edo

    @24 Dude…I actually wanted to know what did you think about it since you have nothing against it.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OrbitMonkey

    @25, Well tbh from what I’ve heard, I would have liked to see…..

    SPOILER!!!!!! SPOILER!!! SPOILER!!!!! SPOILER!!!! SPOILER!!!! SPOILER!!!

    Shepard survive, but hey ho. I’ll be making sure I try to sort out the rest of the crew as best I can.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. JRNO

    @14

    I couldn’t agree more.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. viralshag

    @22, And so what if some people are up in arms about it? As “being entitled” is the latest buzzword, what entitles you to complain about their complaints and frustrations?

    You say if they feel so strongly about it they should just ignore and not purchase the product. I’m pretty sure their complaining costs you absolutely nothing at all so what entitles you to complain about it?

    What differentiates you from them exactly? They’re complaining about something they spent money on, you’re complaining about something you didn’t have to read or take notice of. Why don’t you try taking a bit of your own advice and simply ignore it.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    @28, I guess some of us hate to see fellow gamers make complete tits of themselves over childish shit like this, as it reflects badly on gamers as a whole.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. viralshag

    @29, I understand that and while I do share the same opinion that I think it’s OTT, I don’t tell them they’re wrong, I just don’t sign their petitions or bother going to the forums where they’re posting it.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Fin

    @28

    My issue is as OrbitMonkey says. It reflects badly on the games industry as a whole.

    I’m not saying they’re wrong, I’m asking why gaming is the only medium people get this worked up over.

    Nobody’s been able to answer me so far.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Froseidon

    Wow. The player base for this is just… Words cannot express the stupidity.

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m101l42ubI1qk9b9q.jpg

    Edit: The ending isn’t even that bad…

    *SPOILER* – God knows why, anyone who comes here who hasn’t completed this would be stupid…

    People cannot expect Shepard to live happily ever after, too much bad shit has happened to him / her for them to live through it.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. viralshag

    @31, In this circumstance, maybe people felt entitled to a better ending because of the money and time invested in a series that spans over £90+ and 90 hours+.

    Yes, as value for money goes it’s not a bad deal, you can get 30 hours of entertainment from £30. But I would argue that you invest emotionally a lot more into a game like Mass Effect than you would most movies or music. Tell people to get out more over that if you will but I don’t think see how it is a negative thing for someone’s creativity to gauge a reaction or personal investment such as that.

    I don’t really see how this reflects all that badly on the games industry. Maybe this is just a reflection of how throw-away every other entertainment industry has become.

    As I said, I don’t fully agree with the way they’re going about it and I don’t believe Bioware should be made to change anything if they don’t want to. But I’m glad to see that people speak up if they’re unhappy about something.

    There is clearly something wrong about the ending of the game to have this many people angry about it. And IF Bioware did drop the ball for whatever reason, why shouldn’t they be held accountable for it.

    I have seen many people writing this off saying that “Bioware have ALWAYS been terribad with their endings.” And if that’s really the case then maybe this sort of reaction is the thing to give them a kick up the arse that’s needed.

    When did it become a bad thing to challenge someone to do better? I know Bioware can do better because for 29 hours and 50 minutes it was.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. YoungZer0

    @22: Are you serious, Fin? You never saw this kind of behaviour from Star Wars Fans? Or Star Trek Fans? Or Transformers Fans? Or TMNT Fans? No? Are you living in a bubble? Seriously, just go to IMDB, any film, scroll down to the comments, someone will think that something about the film destroyed the whole film for them.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. OrbitMonkey

    @33, Like I’ve said before this is just a case of a audience not getting the ending they wanted. Period. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had the same kind of backlash when he had Sherlock take a swandive of that waterfall.

    And hey, it worked for those whiney bitches then, so who’s to say it won’t work for the whiney bitches of today?

    #35 2 years ago
  36. shogoz

    #34 Couldn’t have said it better myself YoungZer0 and Viralshag :)

    #36 2 years ago
  37. DarkElfa

    I think this is a fully justified FTC filing.

    Gamers, more than almost anyone have gotten shafted time and again by false advertising and overhyped non-sense. A message can and should be sent to the industry that being untruthful in order to sell your product is not acceptable.

    There are rules put in place to protect the consumer from these sorts of actions and while the gaming industry has followed the letter of the law in almost all cases it rarely seeks to follow the spirit of the law.

    EA has become one of the most grievous offenders of this.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Fin

    Get. Over. It.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Cozzy

    I agree with trying to get Bioware to change the ending/get epilogue DLC but this is a bit overboard.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Froseidon

    I cannot even believe these people can call themselves fans of the Mass Effect Series or even gamers. They’re just a load of whinny bitches who didn’t get what they wanted.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. OwningXylophone

    Shit, if this is how it works best get my lawyer on the phone and Peter Molyneux best get pretty worried…

    But seriously, were these things explicitly ‘promised’ by Bioware in official statements, or were they just things people said in interviews? If a band claims in an interview that their new album is ‘the best work they have ever done’ can I sue them too if I disagree?

    The only one of those statements listed in the linked forum that anyone could genuinely do something with is the one from the official ME website, the rest would never be considered ‘promises’ in a court of law.

    Sand, meet vagina.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. YoungZer0

    @40: Yeah, being a fan means eating everything the developer drops on the table, even if its shit.

    You know, its funny, because the only people who don’t agree with the complaints, are the people who haven’t finished the game yet, or miss that people want more than just one single cutscenes with 3 different colours.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. DarkElfa

    @42, Well said man.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. viralshag

    To be honest the most whiniest bitches are the ones complaining about the complaints. It doesn’t affect them in the slightest apart from apparently hurting their fierce and hardnut reputations as hardcore gamers and yet they feel to make whiny bitch comments about people unhappy with a product they purchased.

    You guys are the bigger joke out of all of it.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Kabby

    So what does that make people who complain about complainers making complaints?

    #45 2 years ago
  46. viralshag

    Probably some self entitled gamer that needs to get out more or some such nonsense like that… I dunno, you’ll have to ask the “real gamers”.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. absolutezero

    If anything is a bad reflection on the videogame industry its ME3 getting critical acclaim.

    BOOM BOOM.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. viralshag

    Burn.

    Uncalled for #47. It’s a great game with a great ending and everything about the game is great.

    <3 ME3!

    #48 2 years ago

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