Complaints that EA mislead consumers regarding the nature of Mass Effect 3’s endings have been dismissed by the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority.
Three players complained to the ASA, and challenged whether EA’s claim that "the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome" misleadingly exaggerated the variety of outcomes available in the game.
EA’s argument hinged around the ending of Mass Effect 3 actually taking place over the last three to five hours of the game rather than just the final cutscene.
It was over this period that the consequences and implications of player's choices were actually presented, it said.
In its ruling, the ASA stated that while it understood consumers felt they could not influence the game's story as much as advertised, the three choices at the end of the game – which took into account the player’s effective military strength score – were enough.
The endings were "thematically quite different", it added.
“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,” said the ASA’s concluding statement.
Fan outcry over the game's ending led developer BioWare to announce free DLC which they said would offer "further clarity" and "greater insight" into the final moments of Mass Effect 3.
A release date has not yet been announced.