Retake Community to Send a Message With Mass Effect On/Off Event

Members of the Retake Mass Effect community might have pushed BioWare and Electronic Arts hard enough to force a commitment to free DLC that will “clarify” the ending of Mass Effect 3, but they’re not done working for changes to the game.

A campaign planned for this weekend is meant to demonstrate to the developer and publisher just how committed the community is to the Mass Effect series and to single-player games in general. It’s called the Turn It On/Turn It Off event, and the hope is to game the figures of simultaneous players on Mass Effect 3 enough that EA gets the hint and fully funds the Mass Effect 3 ending DLC, slated to be released sometime this summer. Here’s a video fans made to explain it.

Part of the driving sentiment behind the event is that the unintended consequence of the Mass Effect 3 ending backlash will result in EA viewing Mass Effect 3′s single player as a lost cause and failing to fully fund the free DLC pack that BioWare is working on for the game. Players don’t want the company to see the loss of money as a problem with single-player-centric games, so they’re hoping to show not only that a lot of customers are willing to walk away from Mass Effect and BioWare because they’re unhappy, but also to show that those fans are still passionate supporters of what Mass Effect represents.

Fans intend to turn on Mass Effect 3′s single player campaign for at least some period on Saturday, April 28, on any of the three platforms for the game, so that they’ll all be registered on EA’s Origin service. They then intend to go to Twitter and send messages to BioWare and EA (@bioware and @ea, respectively) with the hashtag “#turnMEon,” to notify both companies that they’re firing up the game as a means of demonstration.

Starting on Sunday, April 29, players intend to shut down Mass Effect 3 for the entire 24-hour period, following it with tweets to BioWare and EA with the “#turnMEoff” hashtag.

So far, the Turn On/Turn Off event seems to have garnered a fair amount of attention, although it’s nothing like the outpouring of support for the Retake Mass Effect Child’s Play fundraiser. The Facebook event dedicated to the protest has garnered better than 1,000 participants. There’s also a lengthy thread about the event on the BioWare Social Network, which has garnered some 18,400 views as of this writing.

Game Front has reached out repeatedly to BioWare on the Mass Effect ending controversy, but the developer has so far declined to comment. We have contacted BioWare again for comment on this weekend’s event.

Do you plan to fire up Mass Effect 3 this weekend as part of the protest? Do you think it’ll work? Let us know in the comments.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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12 Comments on Retake Community to Send a Message With Mass Effect On/Off Event


On April 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

No. I do not plan to join the protest this weekend. My protest started and ended with me sending EAWare’s craptastic game back to Amazon for some credit so I can buy some games that don’t suck.


On April 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I’ll definitely be supporting this initiative. Not only is it crucial to show Bioware and EA the pressing need to provide a quality conclusion to the monumental Mass Effect trilogy, it is important to demonstrate our commitment to single-player experiences in a market that is increasingly dominated by multiplayer offerings.


On April 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Yeah because that worked so well for COD’s Black Out on 4/20

Only a SMALL percentage of players had a problem with the ending, you crybabies are lucky to get free DLC to try and clarify it for those that a braindead or that they even apologized about it.

The ending was good, it wasn’t great but I and most of the ME3 players are satisfied with it.


On April 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

The article mistakenly says May several times where it should say April.


On April 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Oh Charles just because you have a disagreement with someone does not mean you have the right to call others names. I have a disagreement with you but unlike you I am mature enough not to resort to name calling. The only I do is express my own ideas in a polite and respectful manner.

Phil Hornshaw

On April 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm


Good catch. Fixed.


On April 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I will not partake in this because I already started a different initiative called “Stop giving EA money,” and it’s working out pretty well for me at least. There’s going to be a LOT of disappointment when the ending DLC is released and everything that made no sense still makes no sense. It also still doesn’t change the fact that Bioware claimed there would be something along the lines of 16 different endings, and they instead delivered 3 endings that are eerily similar while disregarding all the other choices you made in the game.

Kudos to Matthew for protesting with the one thing that actually counts, his wallet.


On April 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Are you going to back up your assertions with statistics, Charles? From what I’ve seen of online polls, a significant majority of fans hated the ending.


On April 29, 2012 at 7:40 pm

fired it up today for a couple minutes. Its hard to play it knowing whats coming. The worst thing is I know Bioware knows how to end a game right. We got a variety of endings in both DA:O and ME2 that reflected the choices we made in the game and offered closure with the cast of characters we had a tragic but satisfying Ultimate sacrifice in DA:O that could work well in ME3 but the key is to tailor the ending to the choices made by your shepard and to deliver closure with the cast of characters based on YOUR shepards relationships with them and choices your shepard made regarding them.

Bioware did it before and they can do it again. They need to make this right and deliver a variety of endings as promised and not 1 ending in 3 colors that are otherwise the same and merely degrees to which you can lose and you can not actually ever win the game.


On May 1, 2012 at 6:33 am


I’m basing off of the sales numbers, 2 million units sold, only about 10 – 20k people having an actual issue with it.

Yeah, very controversial.

Phil Hornshaw

On May 1, 2012 at 7:10 am


From the research I’ve done, the number of people who are upset is much larger than you give credit for, and the game’s sales have been affected by the backlash. High sales numbers associated with Mass Effect 3 came largely in its opening weekend, before many of these issues arose, so it’s a fallacy to point to those in claiming that the people who are upset are in a minority. Falling prices for the game also suggest a significant effect.

Given what I’ve seen, the people most annoyed are also the biggest fans of Mass Effect. I suggest you spend some time on the BioWare Social Network and view some of the real arguments. Or check Facebook. Or Google it. I’m curious as to where you’ve gotten your figures from.

Phil Hornshaw

On May 1, 2012 at 7:11 am

*Sorry, launch week, not opening weekend. I was thinking in terms of movie box office draw for some reason.