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EA Launches Mass Effect 3 Discs into Space

| 17 Feb 2012 03:19
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A few copies of Mass Effect 3 are heading into space, and EA isn't responsible if they bring the Reapers back with them.

How far would you be willing to go to play Mass Effect 3 early? Many people jumped at the chance to download the newly available demo, while others will likely stay out late for a midnight release at their local game shops, or hope against hope that Amazon ships out a few early copies. However, six extremely impatient fans won't have to wait until March 6, provided they don't mind doing some legwork. Next week, publisher Electronic Arts will launch six copies of Mass Effect 3 into space. Fans will be able to track their descent back to Earth's surface and, with a little luck, pick up a free copy of the game well in advance of its official release.

Within the next seven days, EA will launch six weather balloons bearing copies of Mass Effect 3 over the cities of New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London, and Paris. By monitoring the Mass Effect official website and Twitter account, fans can track the games' movement via GPS over the cities and out into the world beyond. Whoever arrives to the landing zone first can claim the game, although EA does not specify whether it is launching PC, 360, or PS3 versions of the games. One must also wonder what will happen if the game lands in water - you know, that stuff that covers 70% of Earth's surface.

While these balloons will not leave Earth's gravitational field (or even come anywhere close), they will technically arrive in the upper atmosphere, otherwise known as "near space." Weather balloons routinely reach heights of 90,000 feet or more, placing them well into the stratosphere, and can maintain this altitude for hours at a time. While it's not quite the system-hopping galactic exploration that has become almost synonymous with Mass Effect, it's still the closest that any game in the series has come to the distant star systems and planets it routinely depicts.

Whether you want to chase after a falling weather balloon for an early copy of a game that's only a few weeks away will largely depend on how much you like Mass Effect, and what your other plans for that day may be. If you do decide to pursue one of these games, just hope with all your heart that the hostile alien life is confined to the game itself; extremophlic life forms from near space can be really problematic.

Source: USA Today

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