The ending to Mass Effect 3 does have enough "radically different ending scenarios" and "the decisions you make completely shape your experience and outcome", according to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ASA made the ruling after three fans complained about text run on the Electronic Arts (EA) website, claiming "your choices drive powerful outcomes, including relationships with key characters, the fate of entire civilisations, and even radically different ending scenarios".
The three complainants felt the claims misleadingly exaggerated the variety of outcomes available in the game and the differences between those outcomes.
The disappointing ending to the sci-fi action trilogy has already lead to fan campaigns against developer BioWare, including the delivery of over 404 cupcakes to the company's office in Edmonton, Alberta and a mass mail-in campaign dubbed Operation Letter Tsunami.
In its response to the ASA, EA said it did not consider the 'ending' experience of Mass Effect 3 (ME3) was limited to what appeared in the final cut scene, and that the consequences and implications of player's choices were actually presented during the last three to five hours of the game.
EA explained that war assets were the collected people, forces and technology that the player had earned over the course of ME3, and that many of the assets that were collected by players would be impacted by choices from earlier games, or from activity external to the single player game.
The company said the total score of all assets was accumulated and then modified by the player's galactic readiness to produce an Effective Military Strength (EMS) score.
That score would then determine the choices that were available to players in the endgame, along with the cut scenes which would be triggered to illustrate the consequences of players' choices.
EA also said almost every decision a player made in the game would impact the EMS score in some way, and it therefore considered that each decision would impact the player's experience during the last hours of the game.
The ASA adjudication acknowledged the complainants' belief that players' choices in the game did not influence the outcome to the extent claimed by EA.
"However, we considered that the three choices at the end of the game were thematically quite different, and that the availability and effectiveness of those choices would be directly determined by a player's EMS score, which was calculated with reference to previous performance in the game(s)," the ruling stated.
EA was cleared of breaching CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.11 covering misleading advertising and exaggeration.
BioWare has promised to release downloadable content (DLC) providing extra material for the ending to try and answer fans' concerns.
Leaked information on the Extended Cut DLC suggests it includes additional scenes and an extended epilogue that reveal the impact of lead character Shepard's choices on the future of the galaxy.
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