EA and BioWare have one heck of a marketing brain-trust behind Mass Effect 3. The game probably has a series of commercials, print ads, giveaways and promos lined up for it's March 6th launch day.

It also has the launching of a few weather balloons in its arsenal.

Next week, EA will strap six copies of Mass Effect 3 to six different weather balloons and launch them from New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris. The balloons will each be loaded with GPS trackers, and fans can hit MassEffect.com to follow them on their descent back to Earth.

The first thing that pops into our potentially sadistic minds is the cause for chaos these things might create when they crash land into a pack of raging BioWare nerds. No, seriously, if a group of fans comes to a descending weather balloon, we wholeheartedly expect a fight to breakout over the once space bound copy of Mass Effect 3.

Or, each of the six sent into the great beyond could come storming down into the ocean. Suckers.

While we're questioning the intelligence of this marketing plan, we have to point out that, so far, it's working. People are talking about this stunt; they might be suggesting how off the charts stupid it is, but they are still talking about it. That's a sign of good marketing in action.

We actually like it. It's crazy.

Mass Effect 3 will launch on March 6th for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms. You can check out the game today by downloading the free demo; the experience includes two single player portions, as well as a quick dip into the brand new multiplayer experience. If you game on the Xbox 360 and you own a Kinect, the demo will let you check out the new voice control features. They work surprisingly well.

[image and news via USA Today]

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