Although Mass Effect 3 will be released worldwide on March 6, 2010, British gamers who preordered the new title at GAME, a chain of videogame stores based on England, have decided not to stock the new game, or any other EA title aside from the new SSX snowboarding game. Eurogamer.net broke the news after receiving an internal memo intended to be read by GAME employees, which explained the motives behind GAME's decision and offered instructions on how to break the unpleasant news to customers who had already pre-ordered the title and pre-paid.
All customers who pre-ordered Mass Effect 3, the thrilling conclusion in the Mass Effect series, will receive a full refund as well as an additional five pounds in store credit. According to Eurogame, however, the refund may come in the form of store credit as well, rather than in cash.
GAME is also redirecting customers to a Mass Effect 3 Launch Update website where they can purchase the title from one of the many other sellers online.
The memo offers a specific script for dealing with unhappy customers: For preorder customers keep it simple: 'Unfortunately we are not in a position to supply you with your copy of Mass Effect 3. As dedicated gamers, we know how disappointing this will be for you, and we apologise sincerely for the inconvenience that this will cause. We'd like to offer you the following gesture of goodwill. We value you as a customer very highly and want to demonstrate that to you by adding £5 worth of Reward points to your balance and, of course, if you have placed a deposit with us, you'll receive a full refund.'
The first half of the memo explains the company's motives for refusing to stock Mass Effect 3 and other EA games.GAME met last week with their published in the industry to explain the challenges they awere facing in the short term and ask for support. They further asked to trade on credit and continue doing business while they work to refinance their business.
The memo states that the chain of videogame stores is committed to integrity and openness. Also commited to only stocking products they get on right credit terms, regardless of who the supplier is. Because they believe the terms are unfair GAME has decided not to stock any of EA's March releases, including Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 3 picks up after Mass Effect 1 and 2, and follows Commander Shepard in his quest to save the galaxy from a race of space monsters called Reapers. In the third and final game the Reapers arrive on earth for the first time, and Sheppard is forced to rally the entire galaxy together in order to save his planet (and the galaxy) from the mass murdering Reapers.
Mass Effect 3 is a unique series in that it offers the player a large number of options throughout the game which drive the story, leading to alternate final outcomes regarding which characters live and die. Players who have already played through the previous two installments will be able to import their character into the third game, shaping their experience. According to Bioware there are over 1000 ways to experience the new game. Players can also customize their weapons and character's skills sets. A dozen characters from the previous two Mass Effect games will appear in the finale, unless they died in a previous game you played. Mass Effect 3 will also be the first title in the series to use the X-Box's new Kinect motion control system for combat and dialogue.