Mass Effect 3 Fan Complains To Feds Over The Game’s Ending

Mass Effect 3 Fan Complains To Feds Over The Game’s Ending

One upset fan in the great Mass Effect 3 rageathon is making a federal case out of his crushing disappointment in the game. Literally.

BioWare Forum user “El_Spiko” went to the US Federal Trade Commission’s website to file a false advertising complaint directed at Electronic Arts and how it marketed the game. He also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

“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,” El_Spiko says. “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.”

He goes on to say: “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.”

El_Spiko is asking likeminded gamers to join his crusade and file FTC and BBB complaints.

Fan filing FTC complaints against EA after Mass Effect 3 ending [Gamepur via Game Informerh/t Andrew F.]


  • Wow – that’s pretty f’d up – glad I never got into the whole Mass Effect fandom. Now I can laugh at all the entitled sooks instead of being one 😀

    • Trust me man we’re not all like that.. people who go this far truely have no life.. he could just take the game back if he doesn’t want to live through the crappy ending all over again

    • Yeah go on, tar us all with the same brush. I thought the end was fitting personally, and when I read the original planned ending, I thought that one was pretty lame.

        • Either that or a high-concept hipster like myself. Though I’m sure I don’t need to talk to you about irony. That was your intention, right? Responding to a simple but eloquent and well-spoken enough by critiquing his good taste and intelligence… by using ‘lol’ and no punctuation. Pity that’s such a pedestrian barb. You might as well have said, ‘lol lern 2 spel nub’.


          The catalyst’s point is actually quite valid, if you read between the lines and do a little extrapolation. A sentient being with millenia of consciousness behind it observes that organic life is doomed to destroy itself (and potentially the galaxy – or even other galaxies) over and over every time it advances to the point of creating synthetic life. So, preserving those cultures and DNA in reaper form, the greater sentience safeguards the miracle that is organic life (in general), by stopping it from dooming itself every 50,000 years (by way of immortal synthetic life that will stifle all future organic life from ever getting a foothold). New life gets a fresh chance to grow in fertile domains, the old life passes on and has its memory preserved, death is neat and organized instead of one random organic life form potentially destroying the galaxy by meddling in things they don’t understand.

          This is a perfectly logical viewpoint, if a bit cold and ‘big picture’. Anyone who can find worth in it, probably ISN’T content to sit by and watch the sea monkeys that pass for people on reality TV.

  • Whats all the fuss about? I’ve managed to avoid all news, articles etc about ME3 until I’d finished it. I have no complaints about the ending. I thought it quite fitting, in fact.

    • I felt the same way. I went into this knowing it was going to be the end of the series. I knew they would leave some questions to contemplate and allow me to form my own theories. This is why they have a book series that gives insight into other things not in the game. I beat the game today and although I picked the wrong option at the end I still enjoyed then ending I got and I can’t wait to see the other two.

      • (I apologise for any spoilers that follow) It isn’t the fact that it’s the end that was my beef, it was the fact that the ending seemed to make it feel as though almost none of my previous decisions across three games have any impact on the conclusion. Yes, two of the big ones are impact-full, but nothing about what armies I raised was relevant. I know the “military effectiveness rating” does affect the choices at the end, but you still can make it to the Catalyst, even with the minimum strength, so it is impossible to have a defense force that is too small and gets decimated!

        And the whole game feels like its been gearing up to a huge Reaper battle (especially with that establishing training fight on the Quarian home world), but there was only one (and you didn’t fight it, you just fight waves of enemies until you can hurt it)!

        And on top of that, there were just hilariously bad inconsistencies in the conclusion. For example, when did your team get back on the Normandy? I checked, they were literally right behind my when the Reaper hit and then their bodies are just gone. Why didn’t they pick me up too? It’s just stupid.

        In a nut shell, Mass Effect 3 (and the whole trilogy for that matter) is a fantastic journey, but the ending just felt entirely scripted, which for a choices based narrative is an epic fail, and full of plot holes. That’s not to mention the fact that in a predominantly single player series, a tacked on and crappy multiplayer mode is compulsory to achieve the “better” (Shepard survives) endings is just insulting. This is what fans should be whining about, not that it’s the end.

        Mass Effect 3 is fantastic game, but it’s conclusion was highly disappointing. I do not however condone this federal complaint; if you don’t like the ending then that’s fine, but you don’t sue the authors!

        • Spoilers too…

          I dont get the idea of ”the whole team getting back to the normandy”. The only people I saw at the end were people who weren’t with me in the final push. It’s easy to believe they jumped back in a shuttle and took off back to the ship during the assault? It’s really that hard for you guys to put 2 and 2 together for that and get to 4, not 5? O_O

          I mean I loved most of the ending, I didnt love it ALL as such. When a certain character died, I was really emotionally hit as you spend 3 games dealing with that person… 🙁

          Of course, then with the Shepherd surviving ending you have to ask this: Why would the body still be on earth? Maybe… Shepherd got indoctrinated and all of that didn’t happen as it seemed to? 😉

          I’m thinking DLC is going to be incoming…

          • Spoilers continued:

            I’m not entirely sure what determines it, but for the final push I had Liara and Javik in my squad. Who did I see getting off the Normandy at the end? You guessed it, Liara and Javik. Of course that’s not the only thing that bothers me, but also what was Joker doing in the first place? Why was he already on his way out of there when the crucible went off? And why was the normandy damaged by the crucible? Does that mean all the other ships that weren’t so quick as the Normandy were destroyed, meaning in all likelyhood that the entire fleet we brought with us was annihilated?

            For the record I did actually enjoy ME3, even the ending for the most part, but it wasn’t without issues, the whole Normandy situation being one that’s rather hard to ignore.

          • I’m assuming that since the Normandy is a stealth vessel, they were able to make a last-minute pick-up once it became clear that Shep was through the beam, but was also the only one able to make it.

            It’s reaching. A lot. But it’s… ‘plausible’.

          • Stealth vessel with magical resurrection abilities ? yeah sure i buy that
            or maybe Bioware can fix the ending they promised they “fixed” when it first leaked on the net…

          • Noo…. Spoilers, and Actually read this before making a stupid comment

            When you and your team get vaporized by that last reaper and you get up… LOOK ON THE FLOOR my Garrus was in a pool of blood dead, then somehow in the cut scene at the end with Joker…

            if somebody cant point this out as a goddamn plot hole and even dare fucking say the ending was “good” or Nice you are a moron

      • Spoiler: You already did see the other two.

        Also, wrong ending? Isn’t the whole point that it’s YOUR story, so there can’t be a ‘wrong’ one?

        • It’s not that the ending is “wrong”, more that it feels unnaffected by three games worth of choices and also several plot holes that others have already pointed out above. If I had gotten an ending that involved me being completely destroyed by the Reapers and Earth went down in a firey inferno, then I would be happy with that as long as it was the direct result of my mistakes in organising and coordinating my armies in the battle for Earth. Instead, no matter who I organised (and I had no control over coordinating the attack, unlike the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2), I would end up on the crucible and have two choices (three if I played the crappy multiplayer).

          And in response to weresmurf, I can put two and two together in that sense. The thought had occurred to me that they somehow escaped after the blast, but then again I did turn around a mere 5 seconds before the shot and Ashley and Liara were right beside me and they were gone straight afterwards. If the blast hurt me like it did, they would have at least been injured and if they escaped onto a ship. My conclusion is not from a lack of visual clarity, more that it doesn’t make any sense based on what I was presented with.

  • It’s one thing to be disappointed, but these people are going way too far. It’s like everything is snowballing, getting more and more stupid because it’s seen to be acceptable to be a dick about the ending. Mass Effect 3: Revenge of the Neckbeards.

  • Up until the the fans demanding a new ending via online polls, petitions (the fundraising) and the general outcry, it was all fine but this is going too far, it just makes the whole gaming community look like immature and ignorant losers who have nothing to do in their lives. Though I would have thought after 2 weeks people would have moved on with their lives and did something else.

  • Wow, this is really going way too far. I shudder to think about all the publishers watching this, and how it’ll affect their decisions in the future. Planning to make a game with an emotionally engaging bittersweet ending? Good luck getting your publisher to agree to that now.

      • Those are my thoughts. Everything except the ending in ME3 was fantastic, and it deserved it’s high critical reception.

        That ending though… that takes away a good 5 points for me. I didn’t import saves, but I did 80% of the quests and still got a bad ending because I didn’t play online. And I got the best ending in ME2, so I’m not some noob who didn’t know what they were doing. I made some hard decisions, and I still destroyed earth and everyone died…. It totally sucks.

        • Trust me, even with over 5000 points in your military at 100% the ending is still not worth it. I replayed both ME1 and ME2 the week before ME3 came out and now feel as though it was all a waste and I could have just default ME3.

  • I haven’t played it yet but if it’s not a “it was all a dream” ending, surely it can’t be that bad?


      the ending didn’t make sense.
      It left you to guess what happened.
      I’m guessing some was a hillusiation and at the end it was all a story somebody told their kid..
      But still, it left too many questions

      • J-Rod I actually liked that little touch right at the end lol. Having a grandfather or whoever telling his kid stories of ”The Shepherd”.

        Though it’s funny, I knew there were heavy christian ties with the Mass Effect games, (Im not a bible thumper, promise) but wow, talk about heavy symbolism. Shep saves us, dies for us, comes back to deliver us from evil, is now ”The Shepherd of humanity” O_O

        • O_O I never thought of it that way.

          As for the ME3 ending..well, im a latecomer in the series and im halfway done with ME2. I have yet to see thew ME3 ending but right now I think i was actually more disapointed when i found out about the whole stock photo of Tali thing, shes a personal fav character of mine.

  • If this guy is successful in his claim then Peter Molyneux is going to be in some big trouble.

  • Everyone is QQ over the ending i dont get the issue, I knoe there wasnt much closure over shepard but. that what they did with the Buzz aldren and Son Stargazers was cool it enables them so much more room in the fiction for more games and over story expansions.

  • suing them is going over the top – unless what you’re asking the court to do is force EA to send the storywriters of ME3 to special classes so they can write coherent stories without huge plot holes.

  • Go read ‘Final hours’ if you thought that the end was art. Go read the lead writers notes. Then tell me its art. Mac walters is as much of a artist as i am and i cant even fucking draw ;( and i quote ” Speculation for everyone” and ” matrix ending” all written on his fucking drafts. 😉

  • To be honest, the guy has a bit of a point. Bioware and EA stated explicitly, time and time again, that player choices throughout the series would matter and dictate how the game would end. Turns out people were given a “button push” ending . There are a lot of things really wrong with the ME3 ending, but this point about consumers not recieving what they were promised is probably the one that will get BioWare and EA into real trouble

  • Nothing like wasting Federal time and money on this. The time and money he wasted just to put a complaint in most likely could have been better spent but good for him for being so passionate about a video game.

  • Say goodbye to game companies telling anyone ANYTHING about their upcoming game. They will just rely on marketing.

  • Am I the only one who wasn’t disappointed by the end of the game?

    As another commenter pointed out its like suing a film studio because you didn’t like the movie.

    And yes I’m going to say it this campaign to change the ending has got to be the most pathetic campaign I’ve ever seen over any story telling medium.

  • Of course he’ll be returning the game. He’s a cheap ass dick, he just wanted to play the game at no cost and will most likely be done by then.

  • The ending was … ok …. i mean i was expecting more but it was …. ok …. i understood all the meanings and hidden but was hopeing for something better then what i got.

  • Is there a precedent for this stupidity?
    Has anyone ever made legal action because of a narrative choice? Someone must have with the recent Star Wars blu-ray debacle.

  • It’s not a lawsuit. It’s a complaint to the Federal Trade Comission (the FTC). Such a not big deal.

    Basically the kid’s beef is that he feels that he was promised many different endings, and the three (crappy) endings offered constitute false advertising.

    Of course, it’s a laughable argument both legally and commercially. Was it satisfying as a work of art? Probably not, no — but there are numerous ways that the thing can play out, just as promised. You can see the squad you bring to the beam dead on the ground if your preparedness is too low. You can send out green crap or red crap. Hours earlier party members can commit suicide. Different crewmen will jump out of the Normandy, etc.

    Anyways. — bad doesn’t mean commercial dishonesty at an objective standard as defined by US, Canadian or Australian law.

    Personally, I expect that there will be free dlc in the next few months that will reveal that not all went town as it seemed. I think they decided to spin the story out a little bit longer because they ran out of time to make a satisfying end.

    Replay the crew conversations before the final assault and note who’s jumping out of the Normandy at the end. They’re clearly telegraphing that the cake is a lie, and everything that goes down in the citadel is a terrible indoctrination dream.

  • Hopefully this matter will be treated with the seriousness that it deserves.

    ie thrown in the bin, and the guy gets slapped for wasting everyone’s time.

  • As someone who played through the trilogy I feel cheated, in that Bioware released a game of this calibre with an ending that seems like a cheap rip-off of matrix cross terminator.
    A man that survives through all that not only deserves to live, but save the fricken’ day.

  • Ending was Fine. Fit the saga very well. People are just upset because the trilogy came to an end. They always want more.

    Bioware…if you’re reading this…Please ignore and continue BAU.

    • speak for yourself. some of us have legitimate concerns about the ending. you may disagree and thats your choice. i am not unhappy its coming to and end and its people like you how assume thats the reason. same as this twat filing a complaint. don’t go grouping all of us together, it doesn’t help at all

    • You obviously didn’t pay attention to the story. The ending is broken and completely illogical, for someone to make sense of this ending says a lot about that person.

  • I enjoyed the ending. This is absolutely ridiculous, and I hope Bioware don’t cave into stupidity like this…

  • perfect example of people thinking they have too many rights. get over it and move on lifes alot harder then being let down by a frickin video game. newfags ruin the world.

  • I would never go this far, but he does have a objective point, they made several claims in interviews that the ending would not be “A, B, C” choices, and they went right ahead and did that.

    He’s still a dumbass.

  • I don’t understand.
    What software company makes “Promises” about the way their game will end.
    Did Bioware ever state how their game would end before they released it?
    This sounds insane to me.

  • I don’t know much about US politics, but I’ve got to believe the American Republican party must be hoping that the FTC actually looks into this, lord knows the backlash the Republican party could pull, about how Obama is wasting taxpayers money on a sheer irrelevance such as the ending to a video game.

    I can see it now, Rick Santorum becomes President of the United States because of Mass Effect. . . oh god I don’t live in the US and that frightens me.

  • The entire Mass Effect storyline is bloody close to the Revelation Space series of books. The difference being that the RS series has a better ending.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!