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.