Friday, February 17, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Discs to Launch into Space

Arguably one of the most unique gaming marketing ploys of all time, EA announced that they will be launching six weather balloons containing copies of Mass Effect 3 into "space". We can only hope that EA doesn't manage to bring the Reapers back with them. While Mass Effect may be full of galactic system-hopping, the weather balloons will not be. The weather balloons will not even actually reach space, but will reach the upper atmosphere, roughly 90,000 feet above the Earth's surface. These six balloons will be launched from six major cities: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris. Each balloon has a GPS tracking device which fans can track through Mass Effect's official website. Some lucky fans will get to enjoy the game well in advance of the March 6th release.

Now the most interesting thing about this event is that whoever is the first to the landing zone can claim the game. While I think this is a brilliant marketing scheme, I can see this going poorly for several reasons. First off, if you were miraculously able to be the first one to track down and acquire one of these copies, would you actually play it? I would venture to say not only no, but hell no, you would go straight to eBay and sell it for copious amounts of cash. That is if you were able to survive whatever crazed fans are also at the landing site, rioting over who is going to actually get the game. I can see fights breaking out... unless they land in the ocean or get caught in some trees or land on top of a mountain (I can think of several more scenarios). Additionally, EA has not announced what versions of the game are being launched, PC, Xbox, PS3? Needless to say, most of us gamers (even the most hardcore of us) will probably not get a chance to make it anywhere remotely close to one of these landing zones.

For us less adventurous types, we will have to survive off the demo and suffer through midnight releases at our local game shop. However, well done EA, I applaud your marketing team. But your first idea was better as depicted by the infamous Penny Arcade comic, this one titled 'Frigidity':

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