The Advertising Standards Agency today came to a decision regarding the numerous complaints sent in about the Mass Effect 3 ending, and whether EA misled fans and gamers.
The complaints challenged whether the claims “where the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome” and “your choices drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilisations, and even radically different ending scenarios” misleadingly exaggerated the variety of outcomes available in the game and the differences between the outcomes.
The ASA however decided not to uphold the complaints, stating:
“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, 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 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.”
No further action will be taken. The full verdict can be read and digested on the ASA website.