The other day we told you about the upcoming promotion from EA and BioWare for Mass Effect 3, where copies of the upcoming game would be carried into the far reaches of the upper atmosphere thanks to high tech weather balloons, then gently descend back to Earth, where fans could then rush to retrieve them thanks to GPS locator units included in the packages.
The first two launches went off without a hitch, and both packages tripped the light fantastic all the way into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. From there it kissed the edges of space and began its descent.
It isn’t exactly clear how high the balloons travelled, but NASA considers anyone that flies more than 50 miles above the ground to have reached space. Others have a much lower definition, and anything between 11 and 30 miles is considered to be in the stratosphere, which would make for an impressive view that would allow you to see the full curve of the horizon, as well as the darkness of outer space. The weather balloon carrying the games probably reached somewhere in this region, which for a game promotion is ridiculously awesome.
The descent itself was equally smooth, and the two launches returned to the Earth as planned—almost. According to tweets from David Silverman, Director of Marketing for BioWare, the first two packages were more or less inaccessible.
“Apparently balloon 1 is on a cliff somewhere or ontop of a Redwood,” Silverman tweeted. “Please do not kill yourself for these.”
It was later confirmed that neither package was claimed, and so far no one is said to have retrieved either package. The Las Vegas launches also seemed to have had a bit of a hiccup. The first landed in an inaccessible location, and no word yet on the second.
Tomorrow will see a pair of launches from New York, tentatively scheduled for 7am and 10am EST. Silverman has confirmed that the launches tomorrow will occur outside of the city to avoid the Atlantic, but after that anything can happen. We hope to have our own New York-based contributor Adam Rosenberg circling the city with a giant net in the hopes of retrieving one of these packages. We will keep you posted.
Kidding aside, this is easily one of the cooler game launch promotions in recent memory, and hopefully the remaining packages are collected without much issue. But for the love of God, please don’t kill yourself trying to get the copies. Just wait until March 6 when Mass effect 3 is released.