Gamers get creative in protesting Bioware’s Mass Effect 3

Fans of a video game developed by an Edmonton company were upset with the designed ending so they held a protest to give the designers their just desserts.

Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 is based on the element of choice. Players control a character called Commander Shepard and the choices made affect how the game is played.

Upset gamers say that the choices at the end of Mass Effect 3 resulted in the player ending up in the same place and it was not very satisfying.

“The game is great, for 95% it’s an absolutely phenomenal game,” says fan Jason Marquis, “the problem is the last 5 min, it just falls flat on it’s face.”

So to protest, a suggestion was made on an online forum to send the company baked goods with three different icing colours. The idea was picked up by Sam Zaslavsky and friends Brion Kershaw and Nathalia Morera, who decided on cupcakes and posted on the Mass Effect 3 forum asking for donations.

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“The response was overwhelming,” says Zaslavsky, “I raised the money in under half an hour and placed the order.”

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Zaslavsky called up Fuss Cupcakes in Edmonton and placed an order for 402 cupcakes.

“We sent them red blue and green cupcakes, marked A – B – C,” says Zaslavsky, “and no matter which one the developer would pick they would all taste the same.”

“This size of an order we’ve done before, but we’ve never done an order with this much controversy behind it,” admits Fuss Cupcakes co-owner Zoie Broumas.

Included in each box of cupcakes were messages from gamers voicing their displeasure with Mass Effect 3.

“The Mass Effect series has consisted of hundreds of hours of emotional investment,” adds Zaslavsky, “And to have such an unsatisfying ending has left people demoralized.”

He says there is no call for a boycott, just a clever way for fans to give feedback.

“We just want Bioware to know that even though we’re upset with these endings, I mean they’ve been getting bombarded on the internet with negativity, that we’re still their fans, and we’re trusting them to do right. I think they know what we want. We trust them to do right by us because they have done right by us in the past 10 years.”

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Bioware kept the messages included with the cupcakes, but donated the food to the Youth Emergency Shelter Society. Zaslavsky says he’s pleased to see the cupcakes going to a good cause.

“I, and the rest of (the protesters) are very happy that the cupcakes are going to a good cause. We were able to send our (delicious) message to our favorite game developer, and help some kids to boot!”

Bioware responded to the cupcake campaign by posting on the same forum where the campaign originated.

“We want you to know; we are indeed listening to all fan response and acknowledge your feedback,” the posting states, “We appreciate creative and thoughtful attempts like this one. The gesture certainly gained our attention both with its creativity and deliciousness. However, while we do appreciate that fans were creative in how they expressed their views, after a lot of discussion, we decided ultimately the reason they were sent was not done in the context of celebrating the work or accomplishment of the Mass Effect team.”

Next month, Bioware will be making a presentation at the PAX East Exhibition and gamers, including Zaslavsky hope to see changes made.

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