Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Federal Trade Complainers

Disappointment is a hard thing to deal with, especially when we’re younger, but we mostly get better with age. Mostly. Today’s topic revolves around the hot button geek topic of late, Mass Effect 3. This latest line in the spectacular game franchise by RPG juggernaut BioWare was the most anticipated game of the spring which, put alongside the most anticipated movie in my circles (The Avengers), made this look like the geek season. However, while my playthrough of the game continues to be pretty enjoyable, I can’t help but hear about the uproar and controversy that’s surrounding the game’s ending, an ending which fans at best find controversial and at worst are forced to transform into Spoony and scream “BETRAYAL!!!”

Now, I haven’t played the ending yet… and let me be clear, that is NOT an invitation for spoilers. If I see anything that even looks like a spoiler, I’m deleting it without question until I finish the game. As I said, I haven’t finished the game, but this whole fiasco is enough to make me arch an eyebrow. I’m used to fans raging about not getting their way, but when the more level-headed people are feeling betrayed as well, something’s definitely gone wrong. It’s funny that I say level headed because that’s not what I’m going to be talking about. No, there’s something else that’s come from this whole mess: someone is actually bringing the matter to the FTC in an attempt to sue BioWare for the ending.

To this, I propose a question…



Have we seriously let it come to this? Have we become so entitled that we’re actually going to use legal action to justify our bitching and moaning? Because that’s exactly what this is: whining. Yes, I know that this person is justifying it by claiming false advertising because we were promised seventeen different endings and we only got about four, but this is still taking it too far. It’s a game. It hasn’t caused any harm or physical danger to the player, not counting any wayward idiots who try to swallow the disk, it’s not toxic, and it’s (most likely) not oppressing our freedoms in any way. And no, having a game live up to its hype is not a constitutional right.

Is it even worth pointing out that this course of action will do more harm than good? BioWare has already hinted that they’re going to fix the problem (or that the ending isn’t actually the ending or something, it’s vague but hopeful). But if you’re suing them for who knows how many dollars, they might lose the money they were putting into doing just what you wanted them to do. How is that helping anyone but your own self-righteousness? Again, though, I must reiterate that this entire lawsuit is being filed over a game! You can hammer on about broken promises and false advertising, but suing a work of fiction is just petty. By that logic, I could sue Ubisoft for the 2008 Prince of Persia game for promising me a chance to save the world and in the end, [SPOILER WARNING] making me undo all the progress I’d made. Hell, the NAACP had more cause to sue the makers of Transformers 2 for their incredibly offensive comic relief. If they didn’t do that, then you have no right suing for not liking the ending of a simple game.

But it’s not just a simple game, is it? It’s Mass Effect, the game that blew our minds and took us from Omega to Mars, from the Council to the seediest bars, and from the reaches of space to the pillars of asari grace. Arguably, it’s the Star Wars of today’s modern gamers and reputed to be the game “so good that even Jack Thompson couldn’t fault it.” That’s why people are so up in arms: we love Mass Effect. We fell in love with the characters, the worlds, the plots, and that gorgeous view of the blue sun on Solcrum at the end of Tali’s mission in #1. As such, we really care about the game and really want it to get the ending it deserves. But this isn’t the way to go about it. All this is doing is giving gamers the reputation of being utterly petulant and not to be trusted with the respect that we demand from our game developers. Besides, this is BioWare we’re talking about, the company that put in Blasto the Hanar Spectre because the fans loved the idea and retconned a freaking tie-in novel because it got its in-universe facts wrong. Never let it be said that they don’t care. Besides, that’s more respect than George Lucas gave to the Star Wars Expanded Universe and we haven’t sued him for Jar Jar Binks.

Mass Effect: a game so good that fans will sue to make it better.

Posted under Musings
  1. Alex Schneider said,

    Hey Colin,

    I just wanted to say in response to this that the people who are complaining about the ending are the ones who are accepting it at face value and aren’t looking deeper. I won’t go into any details because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but when you finish it I would love to chat with you about my feelings and thoughts on it and hear yours. Hit me up on face book or email if you’re interested =D

  2. Andrew N. said,

    It should be made clear that filing a complaint with the FTC is in no way suing who you are complaining about. It merely gives the FTC notice that there may have been false advertising about the endings for Mass Effect 3. Even if they launched an investigation into the matter, I doubt anything would come of it. However, I do not support the actions of the person who did this as I also feel it is the wrong way to go about getting the ending Mass Effect deserves. Also, nobody that I have talked to in the RetakeME3 movement agrees with complaining to the FTC either. The guy who started the RetakeME3 movement even said that he doesn’t support the idea.
    Anyways, none of this changes the fact that the developers did not deliver what they promised in the endings and because of that, I think fans of the franchise are right to hold them to what they promised. Here is a link to the promises about the ending, but DON’T READ if you haven’t finished yet.

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