Following the release of Mass Effect 3, the conclusion to Bioware's space-epic RPG series, gamers complained that the final battle and cut-scenes failed to provide closure for fans that were heavily invested in the story and its characters. Even worse, the controversial ending arguably failed to live up to the decision-based story-telling that Bioware is known for and explicitly promised in advertisements for Mass Effect 3. Since then gamers have organized online to protest Bioware and parent company EA, even sending a box with 402 cupcakes to Bioware, and attempting to raise the money needed to purchase a billboard outside the windows of Bioware's main office.
Now, members of the gamer protest group Hold The Line are planning to send Bioware a package of M&Ms with specially chosen messages written on the chocolate candies to remind the game developers that they still haven't backed down.
A fundraising page was set up on chipin.com to collect donations in order to fund the $781 project, and the project has already raised $570 since launching the project on April 23.
A 'statement of purpose' posted on the fundraising page explains that the main goal is to show Bioware that the Retake/HTL is still here. We are upset with the current ending as it stands, but we are still behind them and won't give up on them. We are passionate Mass Effect fans and we know how much great talent the writers of BioWare have. This campaign is designed to remind them of that.
A follow up post explains the specifics of the project. Once the necessary money is raised, it will be used to send customized M&Ms to Bioware's offices in order to encourage them to change the ending. The first shipment of candy will have a picture of a heart, ME1 and We Still Believe. The second package will have M&Ms with hearts, ME2 and the message UR Biotic Gods written on them. Finally, the third package will display the groups disappointment regarding Mass Effect 3,with M&Ms displaying broken hearts, ME3 and the message This Hurts Us, written on the candies. A fourth shipment will contain two packages with the messages ABC, DLC, Keep Calibrating, Remember Promises, Hold The Line and You Are Legendary.
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Bioware has recently tried to placate its consumers with a downloadable content package of extended scenes in order to provide more narrative closure. According to a poll posted on Bioware social network forum, a whopping 84 percent of participants (2507 people) are unsatisfied with Bioware's offering.
The poll, posted on April 5, currently has a total of 2,982 votes. Fifteen percent of users voted that adding more scenes and closure is enough, while just one percent said that the ending was fine to begin with.
One commenter on the same thread the pole was posted argued that clarification is not enough, and provided a wish list of changes he wants to see in the Mass Effect 3 ending. The demands included a final epic battle where the game's protagonist, Commander Shepard, would have a real chance to be the hero. Bioware should also offer the protagonist a real chance at a happy ending if every point is accumulated throughout the game, and provide epilogues to clarify what happens to each important character after the ending.