The three endings of Mass Effect 3 upset a large number of gamers. The most common complaint was that the game’s ending did not take into consideration the variety of decisions players made throughout the trilogy. Some people even expressed their outrage to the Advertising Standards Authority. Today, the ASA has determined EA did not mislead players into thinking they had more control over the endings than what was presented.
On its website, the ASA wrote that the claim brought on by three individuals has not been upheld and no actions will be made going further. The ASA believes some “minor variations” of Mass Effect 3‘s endgame was directly influenced by prior actions. It also brought up that the Effective Military Strength rating was a determining factor in which of the three endings players received.
One of the most interesting lines from the ASA’s statement deals with basic common sense. The ASA expected players to realize there could only be a certain number of endings to Mass Effect 3 regardless of their decisions. Given the large variety of choices millions of people made in the trilogy, it’s not reasonable to expect a totally unique ending for everyone.
The full ASA statement is below.
“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.”