Mass Effect 3's Marketing Push Takes Game Launches to New Heights

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Video-game launches have been getting bigger and bigger, and the marketing push for Electronic Arts' Mass Effect 3 is no exception.

This week, DraftFCB unveiled a spectacular spot for the game during Sunday night's broadcast of AMC's "The Walking Dead." The epic commercial, directed by Reynald Gresset of Caviar, touched on the game's focus: the threat of losing everything you love.

Dark and beautiful, the spot painted a picture of the anarchy and chaos that ensue when the Reapers descend. It was completed in less than three months, with six days of filming in Prague and an astounding eight weeks of post-production out of The Mill. The commercial followed a cinematic trailer released a week earlier.

Electronic Arts' European arm also put up an online petition that exhorted U.K. fans to pressure their governments to release information on extraterrestrials. It urged people to "take action now" so they wouldn't make the same mistake made by the Citadel, the home of the governing body in the game, in ignoring Commander Shepard, the central player.

EA also put six copies of the game into "space" using balloons fitted with GPS trackers. Fans could follow the balloons' path on a dedicated website and try to score a copy. That stunt fell a bit flat, with items reportedly getting stuck in trees in the San Francisco area. EA asked fans not to "investigate" or climb trees to retrieve the prize, for legal and safety reasons.

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