After the brouhaha over the female Commander Shepard, BioWare ships ME3 with a reversible cover page.

Like many games, Mass Effect allowed the player to select the sex of the protagonist. While the number of players that played with a female Shepard may have been less than the male counterpart, those who did took umbrage at the fact that the Shepard of canon lore was assumed to be male. BioWare allowed the audience to select what the default FemShep would look like, but still more fans were upset that the Shepard on the cover of the Mass Effect would have a different sex of their beloved heroine. BioWare revealed today that all copies of Mass Effect 3 ship with a reversible sleeve so that, if you so chose, you could proudly display your preferred sex on the cover of your game.

Continuing with the current trend in console games, you also will get several slips of paper with codes printed on them to enter when you get the game. BioWare Edmonton Marketing Director David Silverman cheerfully explains there’s an online pass needed for multiplayer, a Kingdoms of Amalur tie-in outfit and two free days of Xbox Gold. You know, at first I didn’t have a problem with all of this day-one stuff, but having consumers enter three codes when they just want to start playing is pretty lame.

Still, the executives at BioWare get my respect for putting their money where their mouth is. Printing double-sided covers with both male and female Shepards on every standard copy of ME3 is not a small expense. That they did so just to appease a tiny but vocal group of fans was a great PR move.

Now, if only people stopped crucifying poor Jennifer Hepler.

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