Fan Files FTC Complaint Against EA Over Mass Effect 3 Ending

Whether or not it’s the best strategy for dealing with the notoriously disappointing ending to Mass Effect 3, it was only a matter of time. An unhappy Mass Effect 3 fan has opted to bring his complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. The complainant has explained his decision on the BioWare social forums. “This is not somethign(SIC) I was happy to do,” the complainant, who goes by the moniker “El_Spiko” on the forums, said. “[B]ut 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(SIC).”

A FTC complaint can best be seen as a BBB complaint with teeth (to which El_Spiko also complained). The aim here is draw regulatory scrutiny to the company for failing to meet the promises made about their product. It is almost certain not to result in punishment or sanction, but it has the potential to draw further attention to the matter. El_Spiko makes specific mention of the numerous claims about the game made by several BioWare employees, including Casey Hudson, that detailed a complex, highly variable ending, one definitely not delivered by the finished game. A full account of such statements can be viewed here.

I’m on the fence about this move. Without going to the feds, the unrelated Retake Mass Effect movement has shown surprising momentum. After a week of being largely ignored, Casey Hudson gave a tepid, but official acknowledgement of the problem on Friday night. Today BioWare representatives assured fans that they have not made a decision about the ending after a statement posted to their Facebook Page that seemed to rule out changing it gathered a lot of negative attention. And that’s in addition to the impressive amount the group has raised for Child’s Play. It has been far more effective than any federal complaint could be.

But, this is definitely within the customer’s rights, and El_Spiko’s reasoning isn’t insane, which is why the BioWare forums are tepidly supportive. It’s also important to note that El_Spiko is not filing a lawsuit against EA, simply put additional pressure on EA in hopes of encouraging a change. And before you ask “well, what happens if they don’t?”, he has a very rational plan. “I’ll be returning my copy of the game before the end of my 30 day return policy,” he says “if the ending still hasn’t been addressed by then.”

NORE: A previous edit, intended only to contrast that group to this individual, was not intended to suggest that Retake Mass Effect is affiliated with this action. It has been updated to end any confusion.

Via VG 24/7

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10 Comments on Fan Files FTC Complaint Against EA Over Mass Effect 3 Ending

Mason Natale

On March 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Retake Mass Effect does NOT endorse this guy nor support him. While I understand the confusion, I would like that you removed the association with Retake from this article to avoid confusion with readers.

Proof if you need it:


Ross Lincoln

On March 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

That was poor prose, and NOT intentional. My original draft intended to contrast RTM with this action, not imply it was related, and I have edited to make that distinction clear.


On March 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Seriously, its a freakin game. This whole mass effect 3 ending crap is just stupid. If you don’t like the ending, don’t buy anymore bioware games. I mean really, why would it make anyone feel better if they change the ending?


On March 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm


Perhaps because we the fans have been heavily invested in this series of games, that we’ve grown to care about the fictional characters and our interactions with them for over 5 years, and with around 100 hours of playthrough for a single character in all 3 games (Not counting other characters created for other playthroughs).

Maybe that’s why Steve.


On March 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

While I don’t agree with the decision to go to the FTC, I acknowledge he as every right to do so, and don’t begrudge him that.

Officially, Retake does not endorse his actions. Unofficially (and I can speak to this), the general consensus from what I’ve seen, is that we don’t endorse it either.


On March 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

What a ing moron, EA is going to laugh at his ass over the phone.

All the FTC/BBB does is ensure that EA/Bioware are not doing anything that would harm the consumer.

Which they aren’t

Which means he’s dumb.

Over 890k units sold on DAY ONE

10 – 20k people complaining about it aren’t .


On March 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Whatever… I completely agree with going to the FTC. You shouldn’t advertise and promote something that doesn’t reflect the final product, its misinformation. If I told you I had told you I had the rarest most delicious beer in all the lands and sold it to you under that context – then proceeded to hand you a bud light – it would be wrong. All of you saying “Its just a beer, jeeze” should stop drinking piss water.

Mass Effect is this generations Star Wars in my opinion. People at Bioware probably understand this. We’ll see what happens.


On March 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Lol, i find it hilarious how far people would go for a video game, i mean yea it’s a passion, it’s my passion, but damn, it’s just one ending get over it


On March 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm

That seems taking it a -little- to far, yeah I hated the ending.. yeah I voted on the poll (which is at something like 56,000 hating the ending at the time of this writing) and have voiced my opinion, but that’s a bit much.

Tali (@Locolobo_2)

On March 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I don’t completely agree with going to FTC about it… but it was his individual decision. I support the RME movement, and I do hope something can be done about the endings in which everyone (okay, most people) goes home happy. It’s the plot holes, the lack of closure, and mostly, the lack of choices that get’s me about the ending… I like Bioware, I don’t think the ending was the best they could do, however. I just want a mutually beneficial arrangement. It would be profitable to them in the long run if they do something about this.. sooner than later. If they do it correctly, it’ll work for all participating parties in this situation. And no, I’m not going to just simply go away.