UK advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has flatly rejected three complaints filed against Electronic Arts over the ending for Mass Effect 3. The complaints claimed that EA falsely advertised the extent of how much players could alter the ending to the game by their in-game actions.
The point of contention for those that filed the complaint was an EA ad that claimed that "the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome."
EA defended itself by saying that it did not consider the final cutscene in the game to be the sum of the game's "ending" and that the repercussions of the player's actions were actually played out in the last three to five hours of gameplay.
The ASA issued the following statement explaining its decision on the matter:
"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."