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.