The “BBB” in question here is the Better Business Bureau; the group responsible with servicing the businesses and consumer marketplaces in North America. One writer and employee of the Bureau took to its blog to explain that Mass Effect 3 was, in fact, falsely advertised by EA.
The writer, Marjorie Stephens, Director of Communications at BBB of Northern Indiana, breaks down the situation by pulling out two choice points from Mass Effect 3‘s PR campaign.
- “Experience the beginning, middle, and end of an emotional story unlike any other, where the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome”.
- “Along the way, your choices drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilizations, and even radically different ending scenarios.”
She then offers this:
The issue at stake here is, did Bio Ware [sic] falsely advertise? Technically, yes, they did. In the first bullet point, where it states “the decisions you make completely shape your experience”, there is no indecision in that statement. It is an absolute. The next statement is not so absolute. It states “your choices drive powerful outcomes”. A consumer would have to very carefully analyze this statement to come to a conclusion that the game’s outcome is not “wholly” determined by one’s choices. This statement, really though, is very subject to interpretation.
What does this mean for BioWare and EA? Well, not much. The blog entry points towards what companies and advertisers can learn from the snafu, though:
The lesson to be learned here is companies should give careful consideration to how they word their advertisements. Otherwise, there could be detrimental effects, especially in the era of social media and online forums.
True enough. The backlash from the launch and subsequent plot closure of Mass Effect 3 was enormous. EA and BioWare have already announced that they are meeting fan criticism and frustration with future DLC for the end of this epic trilogy.
If you’re interested, you can check out our review of Mass Effect 3 here. Yes, we even touch on the controversial ending.