What's new in Mass Effect 3 this week?
| 17 March 2012
Mass Effect 3 has finally touched down and is flying off the shelves in record time. With nearly one million copies sold since the first week of release it is by far the most successful instalment in the epic, space-based Role Playing Game.
But it is also a game that has drummed up a massive amount of controversy amongst fans of the trilogy. While impressing the magazine reviewers, a growing number of players have expressed disappointment with how the game ends. And some have even decided to do something about it.
A campaign called Retake ME 3 (http://retakemasseffect.chipin.com/retake-mass-effect-childs-play) has come up with a pretty ingenious concept - a way to raise funds for a worthy charity, while demanding a better ending for Mass Effect 3.
As far as the game is concerned, the online petition calls for a better explanation of events, ‘especially with regard to the planets, races, and companions detailed throughout the series,’ and ‘a heroic ending which provides a better sense of accomplishment.’
But these words aren’t just hollow gestures of disgruntled gamers. Those who have signed up have literally put money where their mouths are. In just a few days since launch on March 13th, petition signers have raised over $44,000 for The Child’s Play Charity, a charity set up by gamers to provide videogames and consoles for patients at children’s hospitals all over the world. The amount raised is rising at a rate of over $10,000 a day and shows no sign of slowing down before the campaign finishes on April 11.
Will the money raised have any impact on the game developers actually crafting a new ending for the game? It’s highly unlikely – especially as the money goes straight to the charity, rather than to cover any additional game development costs. But the point it is making is an important one. Ordinary gamers, donating as much or as little as they want via PayPal, have taken what would normally be an angry rant in an obscure corner of the Internet and given real muscle to their argument – by backing up their words with a charitable donation.
Who knows? Perhaps the development team will provide an alternative conclusion through a downloadable content update. But either way, it seems that the influence of Sam Shepherd and his extra terrestrial co-stars is far from over.