Despite what you may have been told by a certain smug Jhonen Vasquez wannabe and some other surprisingly defensive games journalists, Retake Mass Effect is not your average gaggle of angry gamers. Formed by a collective of fans profoundly disappointed by the the trilogy’s rushed and lacklustre conclusion, Retake Mass Effect channelled these negative feelings in a positive way by raising a whopping $80,000 for the charity Child’s Play. It could have been even more but Child’s Play asked Retake Mass Effect to cease soliciting donations to them, citing reasonable concerns about being seen as tool to draw attention to a cause. In response to this members of Reddit.com’s r/masseffect community launched Full Paragon to raise money for Kids Need To Read, a literacy charity co-founded by actor Nathan Fillion of Firefly and Castle fame.
Retake Mass Effect’s latest tactic in the battle for Mass Effect 3’s ending is a cheerful departure from all that seriousness charity-related business in favour of something sweeter: literally and figuratively. The plan is to enlist the services of Fuss Cupcakes, a bakery located close to BioWare’s Edmonton studio, to deliver 402 cupcakes equally divided into three colors: Red, Blue and Green, to the Mass Effect 3 development team. Each colour cake will be labelled A, B or C in a cheeky dig at statements made by project leader Casey Hudson during the game’s development. “It’s not even in any way like the traditional game endings,” Casey had said, “where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C…The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.”
Overseeing this confectionery cascade is BioWare Social Network member LoganKey, who set up a Chipin fundraiser page to finance it. Everyone who donated was able to write a brief note to be attached to the cupcakes as long as it’s not offensive. A formal open letter from the community expressing the campaign’s intentions and their hopes for future content will also be included. The cakes will be coming straight from the bakery so BioWare staff won’t have to worry about any poisoning attempts from particularly disgruntled fans, and they are expected to be delivered later this week. Diabetes could be a cause for concern however as the campaign had already exceeded its target of $1,005, less than 30 minutes after it was launched. Cake-coveting BioWare employee Thomas Abram of the Edmonton studio’s Quality Assurance division is already calling for the cap to raised.
I honestly can’t think of any reason to criticise this. It’s an interesting and original way for fans to express their displeasure in a positive way, and who doesn’t love cupcakes?