Report: Mass Effect 3 Buyer Files FTC Complaint

While fans angry about the ending to Mass Effect 3 have formed groups and taken to forums, YouTube and other venues to lodge venomous complaints, one user has decided to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Of course, that's assuming you believe the post by "El_Spiko" over at the official BioWare forums.

He (or she) contends that publisher Electronic Arts did not live up to the claims it made about the game in advertisements and interviews prior to its launch and points to this thread on the BioWare forums as evidence. That thread seems to broken or missing at this time.

Here is the main thrust of what El_Spiko wrote:

"I filed an FTC complaint… Against EA. After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims. This thread has a great compilation of their claims: ""

El_Spiko goes on to list the address of EA and directs them to visit the FTC's website. He also says that his complaints with the FTC and the BBB were filed as a last resort.

"This is not somethign (SIC) I was happy to do, but 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. I'll be returning my copy of the game before the end of my 30 day return policy if the ending still hasn't been addressed by then."

We're not really sure what filing a Federal Trade Commission complaint will do for El_Spiko or anyone else, but it probably made him feel better. As a practical matter it would be unprecedented for the FTC to sanction an entertainment company over how they decided to put together a creative work. If games are entertainment (and I would say they are), then the likelihood of a complaint succeeding against EA/BioWare would be difficult because it has a right to have creative control over its products. Look at it this way: Hollywood makes movies that under-deliver all the time, but people generally don’t get their money back on a bad movie.

Source: Gamepur by way of Destructoid

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    The Bioware GM responded to an incredibly nasty tweet sent to him with a "Whatever, fucking moron."

    I'd say that's a fair response to the unprovoked obscenities @copilotdork had been sending his and Hepler's way.

    "That's the topic links to the person Bioware's GM insulted. In turn the person had fans dig up photos of his kids and threaten to molest them."

    So, @copilotdork, after being insulted, had fans (of Bioware?) dig up photos of the GM's kids for them to threaten with molestation?  Then why in the hell are you upset with Bioware or Jim Sterling?


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:


    The Hepler Incident is just one of many incidents with Bioware and I am not using that solely as why I am upset with Bioware.

    But since you asked about Jim

    That's the topic links to the person Bioware's GM insulted. In turn the person had fans dig up photos of his kids and threaten to molest them.!/copilotdork/status/172910048954171392/photo/1!/copilotdork

    I have kids. And when I saw that going on and then to see Jim's response on his twitter it rubbed me the wrong way. I would recommend GamePolitics follow up with that story and see what happens with the police for that man because something like that should have never happened.

    We have friendly arguements. Though I might seem upset one thing I try to do is never take anything said on the internet personal. We all have our opinions but when something happens to a normal joe because Bioware's GM decided to comment on someone, yeah. Those guys going after his kids and digging up photos are taking it way to far.

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Remember the Hepler Incident she was allowed to insult you but when people started insulting her that was a no no and all blog owner agree though customers might not."

    No, not all blog owners agree because that is not what happened and shame on you for presenting it as such.

    I'm glad you finally dropped the name because I've been wondering for weeks what the hell you've been on about.  No idea what your beef with Jim Sterling was in this case either.


    Andrew Eisen

  4. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    Behavior? What? Bad behavior? If a car lot says it has 9,000 cars they would be breaking the law by false advertising when they only have 1,000 cars. Which reminds me of an old Kurt Russell movie.

    Bioware has promised many things and told us what will be in the game leading us to believe one thing. Problem in the gaming community is we believe we the average customer has no rights. Well the forum admin or blog admin of a various game site might express his or her thoughts anyone else giving their own are expected to agree or not to have a completely different view.

    Let's also use the Bioware Forums for example. The staff treat everyone there like living crap (Stanley Woo) and they do not care about the customer and wouldn't mind losing you because they expect people will keep giving them money. So pretty much you have a store that has become abuive towards their customers their own General Manager told people to, "Fuck off" and their staff members have all become forum Nazis. Remember the Hepler Incident she was allowed to insult you but when people started insulting her that was a no no and all blog owner agree though customers might not.

    People need to stand up for there rights and if these companies are violating the law they need to be held accountable.

  5. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Experiments are best saved for new IPs, not award winning ones where the players may have certain expectations.

    If it's not broken, don't fiddle with it.

  6. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    The developers didn't make any "promises", they simply expressed things they were experimenting with. Ideas they wanted to do, philosophies they believed in at the time.

    I hate the ending as much as the next guy but that doesn't mean I'm going to sue them. Sure, they didn't do much of what they say they would, but how many companies have done exactly what they said they would?

    Things change during development of any idea. You're going to have to learn to accept that, since it happens most everyday in regular life.

  7. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    Hey, check it out guys! Another prick complaining about the so-called "self-entitlement" of gamers!

    Self-entitlement literally means someone thinks that what they want is what they deserve, regardless of how reasonable or logical that "fairness" actually is.

    Some gamers express this, most of us do not. The large majority of people "bitching", as you eloquently put it, are expressing their right as consumers and as humans (heard of human rights? It applies here) to complain. We paid good money for Mass Effect 3 and we were disappointed. How are developers and publishers supposed to know our about disapproval if we don't tell them? They'd never improve that way.

    The attacks on the writer and on the homosexual content in the game, I agree, were completely unwarranted, but this is a case of the vocal minority. Not everyone had a problem with either of these things. Yes, whilst I believe the writer is killing BioWare's games, I'm not going to make attack her ad hominem‚Äč. I have nothing wrong with her as a person, but she can't write to save her life.

    Aside from this, do you honestly know much of a hypocritical douche you look? You're bitching about people bitching. Don't talk shit about gamers when you're doing the same damn thing, it just makes you look like an asshole.

  8. 0
    silversnowfox says:

    Not all of us are the same.  I understand that EA/Bio has a right to control their content, but even so I was disappointed with the ending as well.  I have made my opinions known and am waiting for a response since they have said that they don't want to talk about it until more people finish the game.  I know several people who have basically shifted from Bioware super fan boys who shove their money down Bio's throat the second they announce a game to consumers who will be much more careful about how they spend their pocket money.

    So please, don't lump all people who didn't like the ending together into one group.

  9. 0
    tacc says:

    Let’s say you buy… ice cream and the manufacturer promises you 16 spectacular and different flavors. But in the end it turns out that all those flavors are strawberry but one has a tiny chunk of chocolate in it, the other a tiny piece of banana and so on… then you wouldn’t complain? Every food company would get in serious trouble about this.

    Fine. Such a FTC thingy is maybe a bit over the top but in my opinion justified. EA/BioWare couldn’t stop to make promising comments about the endings and how spectacular everything will and in the end it turns out to be just lies.

  10. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Bioware fans, through their actions, are showing themselves to be the worst examples of the gaming community.  The bitching about being exposed to homosexuality, their treatment of that woman writer, the entitled attitudes, and now this.  

    I can no longer defend gamers against the stereotype of being racist, misogynistic, immature, entitled little pricks- the shitstorm over Mass Effect 3 is just the latest example of just how shitty gamers are.  Any annoyance I had toward EA or Bioware has been made moot for me because the community has proven to be such a grotesque little band of dickheads.

    Going to the fucking FTC over a disappointing videogame ending?  Seriously?  This is why they hate us.

  11. 0
    Gamereviewgod says:

    "The work belongs to the writers,"

    Except movies change their endings all the time, and certainly against the writers intent, based on fan feedback from pre-release screenings. In this case, fans have poured 100's of hours into the game and spent a minimum of $180 on that experience. If fans in attendance of a free screening can make a change, why can't other consumers who paid for something?

    Going to the FTC is stupid, but to write off consumer efforts is equally so.

  12. 0
    tacc says:

    “Good advertising”? It’s a blatant lie. -False- advertising was probably the word you’re looking for.

    I wonder if you would say the same thing if you’d have read Lord of the Rings (which took countles hours of course) and in the end that gollum guy turns out to be gandalfs mother and sauron and everyone else just board the enterprise to fly to new adventures.

    That’s fine, isn’t it? Because that’s what the writer wrote so there’s no possible reason to complain, right?

    Or even better, he just stopped writing at some point. “And so Ganalfs went to… THE END”. Or just before the final epic battle god appears and tells everyone to behave. All say “Ok, Boss!”, end of book.

    Would be totally fine, don’t you agree? Doesn’t matter that you spend 500 hours reading the books in anticipation of an promised epic ending. Don’t forget the $200 you spent and that the story was the major reason to read the books in the first place.

    Because that’s almost what those Mass Effect 3 “endings”. Plus it tore like at least 5 plot holes in the story right during the last few minutes.

    That still doesn’t justify the lies of EA.

  13. 0
    Austin from Oregon says:

    Sounds like I fell victim to good advertising. You know what I do then? Not buy from that ice cream shop again. Funny thing is, Bioware makes a great product that you paid for. If something happened that you didn't want to, write a fanfic. The work belongs to the writers, and they can end it any way they want. Asking the FTC to go after a business because you were disappointed in  the last hour of your purchase is childish.

  14. 0
    Shalewind says:

    Just to be clear, the RetakeMassEffect movement doesn't endorse this behavior. We are strictly against the FTC filing and any personal attacks on any Bioware or EA personnel, especially for discriminatory reasons.

    While there are certainly those of us in the BSN that are asshats – please take the time to research the people you are calling grotesque. Many of the arguments we have in the "Ending Change Movement" also known as RetakeMassEffect are extremely valid as a consumer complaints. Calling us names without hearing our reasonable claims or calm stance is somewhat immature.

    Also, it isn't as if we are in the minority here. We have polls reaching into the range of 55,000 people that are 91% for an ending revision because it is unsound on a literary and consistancy level. 50,000+ individuals is an astounding sample size.

    Also, our efforts have generated (to date) near $70,000 for charity to gain visibility. That's hardly grotesque, it's amazing…

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