Don’t Like Mass Effect 3’s Ending? Just Send The Game Back.

Remember the end of Ashes to Ashes? I didn’t totally like it, not 100% anyway, and I was left with a few unanswered questions and niggles. So once I’d watched the entire series through I took the DVD box sets back and got my money back.

I didn’t, of course. That would be crazy.

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But – hey – this is the games industry, and crazy is par for the course apparently. The latest? Gamers not happy with Mass Effect 3’s ending are sending the game – opened, completed – back to retailers like Amazon for their money back.

According to the blog, Amazon at least will “issue a full or partial refund if you are not satisfied with the quality of Mass Effect 3, and it is the developer’s fault.”

The developer’s fault? It’s their fault you don’t like the ending? Has it really come to this? There’s even talk that gamers that bought EA’s latest RPG from the PlayStation Network are asking for their credit back for a similar reason.

Same with EA’s own Origin.

It’s not hard to see how this could set a worrying precedent. If one retailer starts accepting the game back, others will follow, and then where does it stop? My GTR doesn’t take corners well enough in GT5 – return. Tony Hawk’s skateboard has a scuff on it – return.

Again, it’s perhaps worth re-iterating that I’ve not played Mass Effect 3 (it’s really not my thing) so don’t know just how invested gamers have been with the series, but from what I’ve read that ending actually sounds quite cool.

That said, I do appreciate that BioWare essentially seem to have gone back on their word a bit – the game was originally meant to have multiple endings that, from what I can gather, hasn’t transpired into the final thing.

“There are many different endings,” said the studio’s Mike Gamble. “We wouldn’t do it any other way. How could you go through all three campaigns playing as your Shepard and then be forced into a bespoke ending that everyone gets?”

Maybe one day I’ll play through all the games.

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58 Comments

  1. Possibly the most stupid thing I have read today.
    So if I don’t like the way Stephen King’s latest novel ends, I should demand a refund? Or if Prometheus turns out to be a steamer, I should contact Ridley Scott??

    I haven’t completed the game yet (barely played it in all honesty) but jeez it can’t be THAT bad surely???

    • Another ignorant comment.

      • I don’t think it’s ignorant at all, what he is saying is basically correct: If a film I pay to watch, is in my opinion, rubbish, should I automatically get a refund? It’s the same principle here.

        Though I would laugh if there’s a timebomb for the endings, simply because of the script leak and pirates spoiling it for everyone before release.

      • It is not ignorant in a sense of opinion, it is ignorant in a sense that the author is not familiar with the incident but thinks that he is.

  2. Setting an extremely dangerous precedent here. Wrong wrong wrong.

    • Indeed. It would be great for developers to be called to account over the likes of Big Rigs or Superman 64 but the quality of the story?!
      I’ve seen some awful films but never considered asking for my money back and there isn’t a load of enjoyable gameplay surrounding the story in those!
      You take the rough with the smooth. If the game is bad, you avoid that frachise/developer/publisher in future and maybe write a review or warn your friends that it’s not very good.

      This is money grabbing, pure and simple.

    • Legally it’s not a dangerous president. If someone makes a product and advertises a feature, the product must contain that feature or you are entitled to your money back (or a replacement with that feature). All that games developers have to do is stop lying. I know, it’ll be a terrible, confusing world, but I think we’ll be okay.

      • “A dangerous president”? What like Hosni Mubarak? :)

  3. I must be due some HEFTY compensation for Lost then.

    • Im talking, legal proceedings for the ending of Lost… HEFTY does not come into it… Hours wasted on watching a ‘dream’ of the ‘dead’

      • What happened, happened lol

  4. Are Amazon considering some sort of pre-owned market loss-leading ploy. Would it be viable for Amazon to sell a game at £40 and take only a 5% cut, with the rest going to devs and pubs. They then accept a return of the game and refund the £40, financially and technically they haven’t lost anything apart from the in-tangible depreciation in value of the used game, but if they then sell that game again for £35 to someone else they can keep 100% of the sales value. Thats obviously a very simplified version of the process and maybe Im just reading into something that isn’t there.

    • I think it is simpler. Amazon are trying to be very purchaser friendly and probably applying a returns policy that isn’t suited to this kind of media.

  5. Finished it last night – multiple choice for the endings – but the save option is disabled for a large section of the final segment (which I found pretty tedious TBH) and my earlier save is way back at “the point of no return…” so I’m unable to see what the other endings are like unless I replay a large section of it

  6. Amazon take returns of any games a customer is not satisfied with according to GiantBomb, this isnt something only for ME3.

  7. Can i send Dragon Age 2 back to Bioware then?

    Seriously, get over it people. I can think of worse ways to end a game then ME3’s endings. Actually, how come there weren’t this much a fuss about DA2’s endings? I felt like it was a waste of time and that my choices had no impact. Also, that is a bit rude, Amazon.

    Bioware, don’t change the ending as it’s your story. :)

    • Last bit there is 100% accurate. It isn’t the buyers story, it’s the developers. To me it’s complete arrogance that people believe they have the divine right to change it. In my eyes, absolute madness.

      Oh and the old “we invested so much time” doesn’t fly with me. I read bloody Harry Potter since I was 12 up until I was 23. I thought the ending was pap, but not once did I think they SHOULD change the ending, just I wish that it was different.

      Rant Over.

      • I was going to bring up the same example of Harry Potter. The story ended so unfitting to the huge adventure over the past few books. Ok I didn’t like the ending but no way should it be changed.
        I could say it for every game and every film that I have played but it is the developers game so they can end it how they want :)
        So if amazon offer refunds for games not satisfying can I take back Dead Island because I played it for 4 hours and it didnt save my progress the first time I played it?
        I havent played ME, like Al its not my thing, but I wouldnt have a complete rant about the ending of it and demand it to be changed. I would accept it for what its worth.
        Just complete bullshit.

      • Yes but you didn’t make your own Renegade Female Harry Potter who slept with Ron and let Hermione die on the way. That amplifies things a bit.

        You gotta realise the game is not a set story and it ends like a set story. This is the biggest reason for all the dissonance. You precisely get what everybody else gets.

      • It isn’t about time, it’s about choice and having it your way.

      • Irrespective of whether the game is or isn’t a set story, the possible paths open to you are devised by Bioware, the possibilities and how they come together are guided by the developers.

      • It is a matter of fact actually

      • I’m just saying it adds to it, not being a sole reason; people seem to be misguided thinking it’s time or effort or comparing that to the movies, it goes further than that

      • MMORPGs always change and not the last reason being player input, this comes as close as it gets

    • I whole heartedly agree with the DA2 comment. Compared to DA, the second game was quite frankly appalling and fundamentally resulted in the same outcomes no matter what you did.

      I fully understand that a creative work should be defined by its creator and not by its fans/critics but at the same time, I think the creator does have a duty to the fans of their work – particularly where a series is coming to an end – to provide fans with a satisfying conclusion to the story. I’m not saying it should be a case of “and they all lived happily ever after,” but what ever happens should make sense within the context of the story and provide the player with a sense of meaning so they can understand why a game played out the way it did. At the end of the day, you’re playing the hero of an epic story so there’s a perfectly understandable need for people to want some sort of meaningful heroic ending.

      From speaking to some hardcore fans who have finished ME3, EA/Bioware simply haven’t done this. The ending doesn’t fit well with the series and has something of a sense of futility about it all. Its certainly put me off picking it up any time soon.

      What worries me is that following DA2, how on earth have Bioware managed to cause this much of a fuss again? Don’t hold out much hope for DA3 :(

    • So we should all be happy and buy shitty games… Oh wait.

      • That’s some lovely reductio ad absurdum there. Of course we shouldn’t buy shitty games. The issue here is allowing someone to return a game for such a subjective reason.

        If you buy a table or a carpet or a car or a laptop or anything else, you can’t just return it when you decide you don’t like it. As long as it works it’s up to you to do your research before you choose it. If you suddenly decide it doesn’t match your house, tough. Live and learn

      • Actually i returned a netbook once (i was a valued customer and they had no questions 30-day return policy); when i decided i didn’t like it, it was more like a free rent. I needed it at the time but it was too expensive and shitty to keep. But Mass Effect i want to keep, just want it to be better.

      • So you exploited their policy basically? What a hero.

    • I don’t recall Bioware promising and promoting DA2 based on the promise of 15 (or it may have been 17) completely unique endings. They did with ME3 so they deserve all the criticism for being so stupid.

      • Allegedly there are 16 possible outcomes based upon what you did at the end of Mass Effect 2 (save or destroy Collector base) and your Readiness Rating (8 different points thresholds), I don;t know whether these changes effect Shepard or the ending cinematics, or indeed the overall impact to the end result etc – regardless you still have to make the decision at the end.

  8. Well Bioware did make the endings… and Mass Effect is a heaviley based Story contraption. I understand slightly with why fans could be disappointed, three games and a weak conclusion or whatever happened that got them pissed.

  9. “Actually, how come there weren’t this much a fuss about DA2′s endings?”

    Simply put, DA doesn’t have the player/fan base that ME has. It’s a bit like the Star Wars original prequel kerfuffle – Massive fanbase, so when they were displeased, a lot of people knew about it.

    If a stinker of a sequel was made to something like Howard the Duck though, you probably wouldn’t even hear about it.

    • Sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to Steven. :S

      • Howard the Duck was awesome(when I was 5), wonder if its worth watching again…

      • I can confirm that apart from ‘cheese value’ (& maybe fond memories from childhood), it isn’t really worth watching. It hasn’t really aged too well.

        Though saying that, i only watched it for the first time relatively recently, so i don’t have the nostalgia factor.

    • I didn’t even finish DAII and i’m a big fan. I would probably moan about the ending but it was simply so shit (imo of course) i didn’t bother to finish it

  10. I need to finish the game & if Sony psn (sen) decides to accept to take back the game back I can get my 50 back even if I enjoyed the ending

    • Yeah! That’s the spirit!

      • If you enjoyed the game you’ll need it back for DLC though.

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