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Outrage over ‘Mass Effect 3′ ending reaches the FTC

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Mass Effect 3 (Bioware/EA)

Bioware's Mass Effect 3 has earned plenty of praise from gaming critics, but a small, vocal percentage of players aren't thrilled with the game's ending, to put it mildly.

And now they're bringing their issues to the Feds.

A user on the Bioware forums who goes by the name "El_Spiko" says he has complained to the Federal Trade Commission about the resolution of the trilogy -- and he's calling on other disgruntled fans to do the same.

"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," wrote the poster (who we're assuming didn't file it under the name El_Spiko). "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 also encouraged others unhappy with the ending to complain to the Better Business Bureau.

While the FTC will likely do exactly squat in the matter, Bioware is certainly under fire here. It's tricky to get into the specifics without spoiling the ending for those yet to experience it, but the gist is that there are actually three possible endings to Mass Effect 3, which vary based on the player's in-game actions. However, argue fans, the ultimate conclusion of the game isn't one that's based on how people played the game and is too open-ended. For a series defined by the interplay between player choices and subsequent consequences, that has some people seeing red.

Before complaining to the Feds, gamers launched the usual online protests, including a petition and a charity drive (which has already passed $67,000.) A 'Retake Mass Effect 3' Facebook page has amassed some 42,000 supporters, and an associated Twitter account has over 4,000 followers.

Bioware hasn't made any commitments to address the issue, but did take to Facebook early Monday to acknowledge the complaints.

"We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending," the developer said. "We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.

"Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive."

Not everyone is hoping for a change, however. A newly formed 'Keep Mass Effect' group has popped up on Facebook to lend support to Bioware's original vision.

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