Maroon and Gamer: Massive Overload Effect… 3

It’s not uncommon for high-profile games to have other media outlets to promote the release of the game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has the DragonShout app, which lets you see the entire map of Skyrim and highlight quests and locations. Dead Space 2 released a downloadable interactive comic “game” that served as a connection between Dead Space 1 and 2. These types of multimedia advertising get the mildly interested player excited for the game’s release; I can see eye-to-eye with the publishers in that regard. However, the type of promotion and outlets the upcoming sci-fi epic Mass Effect 3 is being siphoned through is borderline obsessive and bothersome on Electronic Art’s part.

Where do I begin? I already discussed the action figures with randomized downloadable content in a past blog. Not only that, but it’s possible to “receive texts from Mass Effect Characters with the Mass Effect Datapad App.” The information comes from Kotaku; they explain that the Datapad App “would allow you to stay in touch with all the info in Mass Effect 3, check the status of the war in the galaxy map, and even get messages from game characters.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think being texted by fictional characters is borderline eerie. But the madness doesn’t stop there folks.

Joystiq revealed that you could encase your Xbox 360 in a Mass Effect 3 themed cover. And not only does it look downright ridiculous, but it costs a little more than the collector’s edition of the game that hasn’t been released yet. In addition to that, there is an iPhone and iPad game called Mass Effect: Infiltrator. Speaking of excessive, I had the good fortune to try the Mass Effect 3 demo a few days earlier than the general public. I did this by completing a Facebook game. Not only that but Eurogamer said that there would be a Mass Effect 3 Facebook app that rewards Xbox 360 players. “Signing up to the app allows you to join ‘missions’ which, if completed, unlock Xbox 360 rewards and entry into sweepstakes.” All I have to say on the matter is that there is advertising and marketing that I understand, and then there is an obsessive media push to potential buyers.

In fact, in a recent update, it was revealed that six copies of Mass Effect 3 will be attached to weather balloons and “released into space“. This speaks for itself.

These media pushes have had a negative effect on my opinion of the game. It seems like it’s all just shameless, forced marketing to which I simply say “No.” I will purchase Mass Effect 3 at a later date because I’ve been invested in this world and story, but upon release, I’ll wait for the marketing hype to die down.

Sound off in the comments below or shoot me an email at shfawcet@asu.edu with your opinions on the Mass Effect 3 marketing machine and any other examples of heavy marketing.