- BioWare has recently removed the pre-orders for the female variant of the Captain Shepard statue and the t-shirt due to the brimming controversy. The team made a statement on Twitter.
- The statue was meant to depict “some of the key and most emotional moments in the series,” but it was disliked by some fans because of many contentious reasons.
- Some fans did not like how the pose of the statue depicted the character in a lousy manner, with some calling it misogynistic because it sexually objectified the character.
- The team has apologized to the fans for flawed marketing, halting the sales for the moment. Those users who pre-ordered have automatically received refunds.
BioWare recently took to Twitter to simmer down a brewing controversy; the team had announced the pre-orders for a female variant of the Captain Shepard Mass Effect statue and a t-shirt that portrayed the statue and their birth and death years. The statue was regarded as controversial by fans for many reasons, including the pose of the lifeless corpse of Shepard, which is a very emotional moment for the community.
The statue and the t-shirt have since been pulled from the store, as announced by the Twitter handle of the BioWare Gear Store. The fans were upset for a variety of reasons with the statue when it was supposed to commemorate “some of the key and most emotional moments in the series.” The team has since halted the sales of the pre-orders, and the users who have already placed an order have automatically been refunded.
Earlier today, we announced the sale of our latest Mass Effect Shepard statue. This statue was intended to be part of a series, commemorating some of the key and most emotional moments in the series. The way we announced it did not convey that properly, nor does it give…
— BioWare Gear Store (@BioWareGear) June 12, 2023
Some fans pointed towards the fact that the statue idolized quite a negative message; the figurine looked like it was honoring the death of the character. Another point was the likely “misogyny” since the controversial pose was sexually objectifying Shepard, and only the female variant of the statue was revealed. The female variants of Captain Shepard are quite rare, and many users were upset by the fact that it portrayed the character that way.
Many other subjective opinions were shared by the fans before the sales were drawn. The official reveal by BioWare even called the statue a “conversation starter,” and well, it really lived up to its name but in a different way. The post has since been taken down, and the devs have now paused the sales of the Captain Shepard statue. Only about 2000 statues were going to be sold for $135, with their own certificates of authenticity.
Regardless, the fans have been upset for a variety of different reasons with BioWare, leading the team to pull the pre-orders for the time being. It is worth noting that an indefinite suspension has not been placed as the devs will reveal the “larger plan” in the future. The company has iterated that it regrets to have revealed the new Captain Shepard statue with subpar marketing, causing confusion among fans.
Hence, it is entirely possible that we see the Mass Effect statue return to the official BioWare Gear Store with a better explanation and marketing if the words of the tweet are considered. Although, it has not been confirmed so far. If you are unfamiliar, the statue was depicting the emotional opening of Mass Effect 2, which is hailed as one of the most heart-touching openings in a game.
The Normandy ship exploding and causing Captain Shepard to hover in the vast trenches of the darkening space still lives rent-free in the minds of gamers for being a cataclysmic and iconic moment. The statue has since caused many users to think of the tragic moment again, adding more fuel to the controversy. The new merch was meant to mark the Mass Effect series and the highly emotional event for the fans, but it massively backfired.
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