The first blockbuster game of 2012 has arrived! Mass Effect 3 from BioWare, a Label of Electronic Arts Inc., is now available at retail stores in North America and will be launching in Europe on March 9. The highly anticipated game has been praised by critics for delivering, deep, interactive storytelling and adrenaline-pumping action on a huge scale. Mass Effect 3 has already received perfect scores from a wide variety of outlets around the world, including MSNBC, Game Informer, USA Today, G4 TV, Eurogamer (UK), The Guardian (UK), Official Xbox Magazine (UK), PlayStation Official Magazine (UK), Eurogamer (IT), Game Reactor (Sweden), Atomic Gamer (AUS) and more. Entertainment Weekly declared that “Mass Effect 3 isn’t just one of the videogame events of the year. It’s one of the pop-culture events of the year.” “Mass Effect 3 is the beginning, middle and end of an entire war to save the galaxy – and the team has held nothing back,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder of BioWare and General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label. “The action is more intense and bolder than ever. The level of customization is richer and deeper. The story is incredibly powerful and features the biggest decisions and consequences in the series. Whether you’re a veteran of the series or a new recruit, there’s never been a better time to jump in.” Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series added, “I’m very proud of what the team has been able to deliver with Mass Effect 3. This is our best work yet, and we cannot wait for fans to finally get their hands on the game and experience Commander Shepard’s journey for themselves.” Mass Effect 3 thrusts players into an all-out galactic war to save mankind from an ancient alien race known only as the Reapers. Players will assume the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who’s willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite soldiers at their side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break. Mass Effect 3 also features the Galaxy at War* system, where players will have the option to fight the galactic war on multiple fronts. The system includes the franchise debut of co-operative multiplayer, as well as two iOS-exclusive apps, the cover-based, third-person shooter, Mass Effect Infiltrator, and the Mass Effect 3 Datapad. Progress made in each of these components will directly link back to the player’s main campaign, helping Commander Shepard rally the forces of the galaxy to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all. Also today, BioWare released Mass Effect 3: From Ashes. This downloadable content pack is included in the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition and Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, and BioWare is now offering this gripping new adventure to all gamers who could not secure a copy of either special edition. In Mass Effect 3: From Ashes, Commander Shepard will discover an ancient Prothean artifact that could turn the tide in the war to take Earth back. Players will take on a dangerous mission during Earth’s final hours to retrieve this critical piece of lost technology, and travel to a remote human colony to secure the artifact before the shadowy, pro-human organization, Cerberus, captures it for their own plans of domination. This optional content is included in the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition or Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition or can be purchased on Xbox LIVE®, PlayStation® Network and PC for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft® Points starting today. The Mass Effect series is one of the most highly decorated series in the history of games, having earned over 200 international awards to date. Mass Effect 3 is available now on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC in North America and in Europe on March 9, 2012. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or “like” the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect. Press assets for Mass Effect 3 are available at www.info.ea.com. The Mass Effect Infiltrator App is available for $6.99 from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore. The Mass Effect 3 Datapad App will available as a free download following the launch of Mass Effect 3. * The Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War feature can be activated via the Online Pass code found in every new copy of Mass Effect 3. The Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War feature can be activated via the Online Pass on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, or via the PC product code found in every new copy of Mass Effect 3.