BioWare Laughs Off BLOPS2/Mass Effect 2 Mix-Up

By John Walker on November 14th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

There are a few different ways BioWare could have reacted to their game, Mass Effect 2, being accidentally shipped in boxes of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. It’s looking like they’ve picked the best possible one. Rather than getting upset, the studio is seeing it as splendid marketing, a promotional opportunity, and explaining to those who’ve received a copy of their game that “the universe thinks you should be playing Mass Effect right now.” They’ve gone so far as to create a competition for those with the wrong disc.

In a blog brilliantly titled, “We’re Answering The Call“, they acknowledge that around 1,000 people seem to have received a boxed copy of the game which includes the rather odd bonus reward of a full game from Activision’s biggest rival publisher, EA. While I’m sure on a publisher level there are people in serious suits taking the matter seriously, on the ground floor in BioWare HQ this is being treated as the fun-time japes it clearly is.

“If you were one of the affected,” say BioWare, “chances are you thought it was a mistake, but we prefer to think that it was an omen, and when the universe talks, you should listen.” Of course, the chances are that the middle game of a trilogy isn’t perhaps the copy unsuspecting Mass Effect virgins would most need, and the studio is looking to address that for a few.

“If the universe thinks that you should be playing Mass Effect right now, who are we to argue? In fact, we want to help! The first fifty fans affected by this phenomenon to send us a picture holding their special disc 2 will receive a code for a FREE PC copy of Mass Effect Trilogy.”

People who do this, sending in a pic of themselves while clutching the errant disc, could get the full trilogy by the weekend. (Details of how to enter are on BioWare’s site.) Which strikes me as exactly the right spirit with which to take such a peculiar incident.

Cheers Eurogamer.

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84 Comments »

  1. Sulaco says:

    Love it. Still not worth paying £40 for PC copy of Black Ops II, though.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Spot on. Not for a 4 hour GUIDED tour of a warzone, and the same MP we’ve played years ago.

      • MattM says:

        I feel like the COD MP games aren’t really meant to be new games but an updated rule-set for a game you already have and enjoy. If you are still regularly playing the game small tweaks can make a world of difference. However, they probably shouldn’t charge $60 for that plus the worst SP games in the world.

      • Azhrarn says:

        If the various surprised tweets by Totalbiscuit are any indication, it seems that this year’s COD is a bit different from that.
        No word on the multiplayer so far, but he was apparently pleasantly surprised by the Single player on multiple occasions. So there’s that. :)

        Perhaps it’s TBs Medal of Honor: Warfighter trauma talking, but it is odd.

      • mr.ioes says:

        Isn’t the campaign in codblops 2 way longer? And aren’t there alternative ways now? And quite good story with likable characters?

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        You have no idea about the game. It has a significantly branching storyline that focuses almost entirely on the characters, abandoning the previous focus on “OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WORLD.” Black Ops 2 is a lot less guided, a lot less linear. Hell, there’s a sequence that takes place in a very large, open Savannah environment, and there isn’t a whole lot of guidance beyond “kill dudes!” and occasionally someone will shout at you to take out the mortar crews.
        There are some really awesome ways they handle player choice (ie by not making it “press A to be good, B to be bad”, but actually requiring you to react to things happening in the game world. It doesn’t feel like a gamey choice like your Infamous-s and to some extent your Mass Effects, it just feels like the player acting one way or another based on how they think the situation should be handled. And if they choose or don’t think to or fail to properly act, that will change the way things happen. People will live or die, intelligence will be retrieved or lost, and significant branches will occur. Assuming that it’s just another Call of Duty just goes to show how quick the internet is to just make stupid assumptions. All you’d have to do is skim a review or listen to a 3 minute chunk of a podcast to be at least informed enough not to just spout total bullshit. We get it, it’s RPS, it’s not ok to conform to the popular things! Even when they manage to do interesting things with an aged and over-worked franchise. Don’t hate the franchise, focus on the games themselves.
        You don’t have to like them, but you could at least try not to come off as a totally uninformed idiot. I understand the distaste for Call of Duty to some extent, especially after MW3. But Black Ops and Black Ops 2 have both managed to set themselves apart from all of the other games in the franchise. Sure, they still ultimately are about you running around and shooting guys, but that doesn’t make it bad. Halo is still pretty fun. Doom is still pretty fun. It’s ok to just let those things be what they will be and critique games on their own merits. If MW3 was boring and lame, then say that. But you clearly don’t actually know what Black Ops 2 is. It’s still Call of Duty, so there are elements of the formula that still form the foundation, yes. But it’s not as similar to other Call of Duty games as you’d like to believe so you can keep hating on the cool thing to hate.

        • Sir-Lucius says:

          You reaaaaaallly need to use that “enter/return” key. Break up yo paragraphs.

          But I agree with the gist o what you’re saying. I do kinda find it amazing that people just write the series off and assume that every game is gonna be the same thing, despite the fact that Treyarch has already proven that they’re willing to at least try to change the formula and put fresh ideas into the franchise. I’m sure there are limits, both external and self-imposed, on just how much they feel they can change the formula without upsetting their core. But the changes are there.

          I understand it if you just don’t like military FPS’s or FPS’s in general, but I don’t understand how you can just write off a game on name alone. For example, I never would have played Saint’s Row 3 if I had just assumed it was gonna be Saint’s Row 2 all over again, which even ignoring PC port issues, was no where near as good a game as SR3. And SR3 ended up being the best GTA I’ve played since Vice City, and just ridiculous fun all around.

          It’s not fair to the community or the developers themselves when gamers just brazenly write off a game based on name alone. Especially in a situation like this where the developer seems to have managed some significant changes to the formula.

          • MattM says:

            When do I get to write off the series? I played COD 1,2, and 4. The first was fun, but I found 4 excruciating. The games tend to stay at higher prices for much longer and the reviews for 4 were largely positive so even positive reviews for the latest game aren’t a good indicated of how much I’ll enjoy it.

          • Sir-Lucius says:

            You can write it off whenever the fuck you want, but I think that’s a pretty silly thing to do. Especially in a series where multiple developers work on it and bring different things to the table. Infinity Ward is different from Treyarch is different from Sledgehammer.

            I guess I just try to judge each game I have even a passing interest in on it’s own merits. For example, I haven’t liked the last few Final Fantasy games, despite enjoying the older SNES and PS1 entires. But I’m not gonna write the entire franchise off just because I’ve found the last few entires underwhelming to say the least. I’m interested in the game, not the name. Brand recognition can be a helpful tool in deciding interest in and the quality of a game. But it should never be a deciding factor IMO.

            I’m not saying you even have to play the game. I just think that there’s no benefit to assuming a game is going to suck based off the name. Especially in an industry where completely different teams can handle that name from one sequel to the next.

            EDIT: And to clarify, I think buying a game because of the name on the box is just as bad as not buying a game because of the name on the box.

          • Ragnar says:

            You can personally write off the series whenever you want to. Just please don’t come on here talking about how each new game is exactly the same as before when you haven’t actually played the game.

            And particularly when that’s not actually true.

          • Aborted Man says:

            Yeah! Don’t come here and express your valid opinion, especially when other people’s opinions are more valid…and betterer…er.

    • Guvornator says:

      Hey! You know it’s easy to sneer at CoD but…um…that’s it….

    • Wonkyth says:

      Meanwhile, in Australia:
      “Love it. Still not worth paying $90 for PC copy of Black Ops II, though.”

      • Shadram says:

        Only 90? It’s US$100 in NZ. Oh, how I laughed…

        • AngoraFish says:

          Learn to proxy… seriously, both of you. Signed, a fellow antipodean.

          • Fatrat says:

            This.

            I moved to Germany recently and so many things on YouTube are blocked, plus the new games on Steam cost 50€ (£40+) as opposed to about £30 back in the UK. So, i set up a proxy on my parents server back home to get around these restrictions and price bumping annoyances. Of course, you can also find a public UK proxy, and then save a bag of cash on your games.

            Key re-sellers are also a good way to save 25-50% on games, since for some reason, games are sold stupidly cheap in some countries. This is where such websites source their keys. I’ve used them a fair bit in the past year and haven’t had a problem. A good site for searching current prices is – http://www.gamekeyfinder.de/

            Note – You still shouldn’t buy a CoD game though, even if it’s cheap, which would be anything under £30 for a CoD title. :p

          • Wonkyth says:

            Heh, don’t worry.
            Whenever I buy a game a game with unequal global pricing — not just unfair local pricing — I make sure to get a friend to buy it for me somewhere cheaper.
            In the age of Digital Distribution, there isn’t really any excuses, and so I have no qualms paying as little as possible.

          • BoxcarWilly says:

            I saved a bundle on my car insurance by switching to Geico.

      • LuizPSC says:

        Here the price to PC is 120 Reais, but to PS3 and Xbox360 are 200 reais.

  2. Ich Will says:

    I’m going to bet we’ll get to 150 comments before someone seriously suggests this was pre-planned to attempt to bribe journalists.

  3. MrEvilGuy says:

    “While I’m sure on a publisher level there are people in serious suits taking the matter seriously”

    Santa Claus suits?

  4. adonf says:

    The next step is suing everyone who sent a picture for piracy. Nicely done, EA lawyers!

  5. yurusei says:

    In the spirit of the BLOP2 trailer, this is Bioware yelling…

    SURPRISE.

    Guess you brought Shepard to a discfight.

  6. N'Al says:

    That’s actually quite cool.

  7. mrmalodor says:

    So they’re basically saying: “If you bought trash, but received trash instead, we will give you FREE trash!!!!!!!”

    • Zarunil says:

      Erm. No.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      why dont u recycle?

    • lurkalisk says:

      No. Not at all.

      They’re saying something more along the lines of, “If you bought decently made albeit tired stuff, but received surprisingly unimaginative shoot-spacy R-pigging instead, we will give you FREE surprisingly unimaginative shoot-spacy RPG’n'!!!!!!!

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Am I the only one who actually LIKES Mass Effect? Yes, even the third one, although definitely weaker than the first two.

        • Raiyan 1.0 says:

          Pay no attention to these grumpy pants. Nothing satisfies them.

          • caddyB says:

            It’s cool to dislike everything these days. It’s just so hard to say “it was pretty good, but it had flaws.” It’s the tradition on the internets that you should hate anything with any flaws whatsoever.

          • mike2R says:

            Not enjoying playing the computer games that you have paid for elevates your status in the herd, and improves your mating prospects. Well known fact.

          • RandomEsa says:

            But Mass Effect series has many very good flaws that really hurt the whole series. Like for example…

            What was the point of Mass Effect 2? It screws up with everything that the first sets out and the third one makes some of the most important decisions you made in the 2nd installment pointless ( Destroying collector base, story important characters having carbon copies of them in case they died at the end of 2nd game etc.

            Shepard is a brick of a character and never really developes as a character.

            + Mass Effect 3′s ending.

            First game was a good game, heck even great and I would probably like the other two games if I were just in for the action.

          • colw00t says:

            The point of Mass Effect 2 was to extend the Garrus/Shepard (b)romance into even more ridiculous territory.

          • Ragnar says:

            ME1 had a better story, and more expansive levels. ME2 had better gameplay, better writing, better characters, better graphics, etc. It was a huge improvement in most aspects, which I didn’t realize until I had replayed both games.

            ME2 wasn’t without flaws, certainly. The planet scanning was terrible, the Citadel lost it’s epic feel by confining you to three small floors, the romances felt somewhat forced, and the sex scenes were terrible (especially considering that ME1 finally managed to make a good one).

            That said, ME2 is still a great game. I just replayed it after a couple years away, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

        • lurkalisk says:

          Oh youse… I’m not grumping about mass effect (I do like the games), I’m… Sloppily suggesting that both the COD and ME franchises are alright, but both are frequently characterized as either far greater or far worse than they actually are. Mass Effect is far from the brilliance many ascribe to it, and COD isn’t nearly so terrible as them rebels would have you think (not that COD is all that great, or ME all that bad).

          • Xardas Kane says:

            You came off as saying they both suck monkey balls. And I am sorry, but CoD is exactly as bad as people make it out to be. It’s a series of games that play by themselves without requiring almost any kind of interaction from the player and throwing explosions all over the place to make you forget that. Meanwhile, I consider the Mordin loyalty mission in ME2 to be among the best sidequests I’ve seen in a game these last several years.

            Tl;DR – I really like ME. I haven’t enjoyed a single CoD since 4. Putting both under the same banner is not something I would do.

            EDIT: And here’s some proof that CoD is exactly as bad as people make it out to be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RULv6HbgEjY

          • lurkalisk says:

            I… Find myself completely unable to understand or even respect anything you just said. I’m sorry.

            Your feelings for mass effect are, well, comprehensible, but I simply can’t even approach a shared appreciation, and the idea that a game is objectively bad (CoD) is just laughable (I admit I failed to make such a distinction in my own post, though).

            Also, if you thought my post was so extreme (a word I think I use well here), then I’d hate to see how you interpret anything of even the slightest importance.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Watch the video I posted and tell me that with a straight face again. If you do that I am dismissing you as a single-minded hater. The fact that so far you haven’t come up with a single reason for hating Mass Effect 2 (and I can think of a few), and yet you basically dismiss my opinion on the basis that it’s different reinforces my suspicions about you. Yes, a GAME that doesn’t NEED you to PLAY it is objectively terrible. Try that in ME2.

          • lurkalisk says:

            You seem to have devised your own sort of artifice against which you might argue, rather than myself. I never said I disliked Mass Effect (let alone the second, which I never even mention specifically). Also, I never dismissed your opinion. I stated that I can’t understand how one would come to the opinion that you have, and that said opinion is one I have little appreciation for.

            Also of note: No matter what you lob at any game, the assertion that your opinion is fact can only ever be wrong. CoD could be the the second coming of the messiah for some, or the apocalypse for others, but no such opinions are anything but subjective, and yours is no exception.

          • Shadram says:

            Actually, Mass Effect is as amazing as some people say it is. To those people. I’m one of them. The last 10 mins of the final game did not cause me to suddenly forget the 100s of hours of enjoyment the trilogy gave me. Naysayers are just grouchy grump pants who probably spend their spare time picking holes in the plots of Bond films and complain when they find them.

          • Atrocious says:

            @Xardas Kane: Thanks for the video. Looks like a nice movie! I may buy it for review when it’s down to 5€ or so.

          • lurkalisk says:

            @Shadram
            I suppose your relevance to my post depends on how amazing, exactly, you find these games. Like I said, I like Mass Effect. The problem, I find, is that many treat it as though it had the same impact on videogames that say, Star Trek, had on Science Fiction altogether. Mass Effect’s praise sometimes borders on the manic. I understand that some may like the series more than others, and some less (NOTE: None of this is borne of the… Questionable ending to 3), but it generally seems to have garnered something that I view a bit undue on the side of grandiosity.

            I have said, and will say again, that it’s entirely a matter of opinion. Yours is yours to have. I just don’t share it.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            ” instead, we will give you FREE surprisingly unimaginative shoot-spacy RPG’n”
            “let alone the second, which I never even mention specifically”

            Oh?

            And no, when a game doesn’t need you to play it, it isn’t even a game. That’s a purely objective fact, not an opinion. The opinion comes into play when you have to argue if it’s a good interactive movie.

          • derbefrier says:

            Calling it an interactive movie is a bit extreme and quite frankly a lie. It may not offer much freedom to explore or do your own thing, many games dont actually, but its still.far from a interactive movie. Your also leaving out 2 other major features in your rush to label this game a movie the multiplayer and zombie modes which are so far from what your trying to label this game its pathetic you would even try really.

            It’s fine if you don’t like it but at least leave your blind hate at the door amd try and be a little honest in your criticism.

          • x1501 says:

            Regardless of what the neo-Luddite “gun’n'conversation” mob may say about this, I love the Mass Effect trilogy too and consider it to be one of the best RPGs of all time (along with Fallout 1/2, M&M6, Vampire:TMB, Planescape, FF7/FFT, Deus Ex 1, and few others). For me, it’s no more overrated than, say, Baldur’s Gate or KoTOR, and definitely not even close to being as unduly praised as Skyrim, Morrowind, or The Witcher.

            And while the series is certainly not without its flaws, drawing a direct parallel between it and CoD is akin to comparing Rodin’s Thinker to Duchamp’s Fountain. Instead of making you look sophisticated, it only makes you look like an ignorant bigmouth who can’t distinguish between quality handwork and mass-produced trash.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            @derbefrier You are perfectly right, I am over-exaggerating, but the problem of, as RPS (was it Meer?) have stated, COD being an un-game persists. Singleplayer is a crucial feature and saying “well, at least other parts of the game are not as bad” is no excuse for effing it up.

            I can not and will not criticize the multiplayer in such a manner simply because I find it rather dull and can’t get into it. Having played MW3 during the free weekend, my first time playing any game in the series in multi since the first MW, I came to the following conclusions:

            1. Very low skill cap, it’s all about memorizing the map.
            2. The low FOV basically doubles the importance of memorizing the damn map.
            3. Kill streaks are simply imba and rather unfun.
            4. The game bombarded me with unlocks, but none of them mattered to me.

            I actually like the ME multiplayer more. That though is indeed a personal opinion. My big problem is with the singleplayer. I still remember rather fondly how awe-struck I was when I played the COD 1 for the first time and how amazing its campaign was, the second one had quite a few nice moments as well. So I feel pretty entitled to expect a fun experience when I click on New Game.

            And with all due respect, putting COD and ME on the same level is just a big NO in my book. Maybe if the ME3 multiplayer was an abomination I would’ve had a radically different opinion, but that was surprisingly not the case.

            @x1501 I wouldn’t say any of the ME games are as good as Planescape or Vampire: The Masquerade (and I really like MW, Skyrim and The Witcher), but otherwise I agree. I enjoyed the hell out of the series and I do think it’s among the best sci-fi games this side of Deus Ex. If not the best, with all its flaws. Yes, it kind of IS the Star Trek of videogaming, whether you like it or not.

          • Baines says:

            @Xardas Kane — If Modern Warfare 3 was your only CoD multiplayer experience, then I’m sorry. MW3 was arguably the worst game since CoD4/MW1. Even Infinity Ward’s fans turned against the game. It sold great at launch, but player numbers dropped fast as complaints increased. Infinity Ward was still trying to fix networking issues as of a month or two ago, and repeatedly ignored other complaints. (They denied any responsibility in network issues for about half a year after release, instead blaming everything they could think of except their code, and continued to try to share blame elsewhere even after they admitted their code might be at fault.)

            And your experience was from a free weekend? So you were playing the PC version? The version pretty much ignored by the developers? The version that had to wait months just to get a patch? The version that IW spent months blaming Steam for a file mismatch error?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            You need to learn the difference between technical difficulties (of which I had none) and gameplay problems, honey. None of what you said concerns me.

        • Barberetti says:

          Nope, a friend of mine told me he likes all 3 of them so you’re not alone.

        • BoxcarWilly says:

          I liked the spacey bits.

    • Atrocious says:

      Mass Effect is the best series of the (last) decade, mmmmkay? Don’t make me fanboimad!

    • Metonymy says:

      storystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystorystory

      I could list some rather serious flaws in mass effect (namely, all the ways in which it differs from doom or quake) but the real problem, that prevents me from having any positive thoughts about it, is storystorystorystorystory. This is not a game folks, its star trek voyager with occasional button pressing.

      If I could go back in time and erase a game, and every effect it had on space-time, that game would be Half-life. But I would be sorely tempted to choose ME instead.

      • x1501 says:

        Weaving a powerful narrative into a role-playing game? What were they thinking!

      • Xardas Kane says:

        You had long lost me by the time you expressed your wish to delete Half-Life. Then it got worse.

      • Barberetti says:

        Agreed.

        Well, apart from the Voyager/story connection.

      • darkChozo says:

        I was going to say something snarky, but now I want to see a review site that explicitly judges games by their distance from the midpoint of Doom and Quake. Like, Doom 2 gets a 9.95, Deus Ex gets a 7 (slow, talking), Dark Souls gets a 4 (swords?), and Age of Empires gets a 1 (EVERYTHING’S NOT DOOM AND QUAKE AHHHHH).

      • MaximKat says:

        You’re saying this as if it were a bad thing…

  8. Sugoi says:

    Y’know, I’d definitely be interested in playing that exploration of Catholic power in the dark ages, Call of Mass: Black Effect 2.

    I hear it’s an eschatological tour de force!

  9. vivien says:

    They use charms in the outward appearance of beads. They use variety of gems to accent charm that actually make bracelet a unique thing. vivienne westwood bracelets Many jewelers create universal designs of . You can make a visit and ask them about your desire. They may craft a design that cheered you up. You can also purchase the gems individually that jewelers embed them in bracelet. You can also ask for bracelet that contains charms, which represents the initials. You may instruct the jeweller to put more links in bracelet that later will convenient to attach other charms.

    • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

      Black Ops bracelets? Ten, please!

      In other news, I’m anxiously anticipating the WiT on Black Ops 2. Though the verdict of “some decision elements added, but still an ungame” seems inevitable. But your hourly release schedule mocks me.
      Will we see it today? Tomorrow? On Black Friday?

    • pretty fiendish says:

      What an awesome and totally original method of advertising. I was so taken aback by how original it is to spam an unrelated message board with an advert for jewellery that I ordered half a pound of jewels. I’m now a pirate. True story.

      Also, good on Bioware.

  10. Prowlingmonkey says:

    Wasn’t there a whole thing during Dragon Age 2 development where it was said that Bioware wanted to capture Call of Duty’s audience? Maybe this is a dream come true.

  11. caddyB says:

    Why cod? I’d go with halibut.

  12. jimangi says:

    But the disks all look the same, even if they do have ME2 on them. Anyone owning it could do this.

  13. -Spooky- says:

    60 € for this crap on PC? Call of Mess- Black Helicopter of Effect .. aight!

  14. Phantoon says:

    So… Bioware finally has a PR department?

  15. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    So is the ME2 disc 2 labeled as CODBLOPS2 disc 2 on the art side?

    I have a ME2 disc 2 somewhere around here….

  16. LuizPSC says:

    I would play Mass Efect if had some Gamepad Suport, i really disliked the Mouse + Keyboard in this game and even the Xpadder worked propely.

  17. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    So this is what Jeff Gerstmann meant when, after seeing CODBO II earlier this year, he said it was “unexpectedly futuristic”. Silly Jeff!

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