The last entry in BioWare's epic space opera Mass Effect might be set in space, but it's also going to distributed there too in one of the more innovative marketing pushes we've seen from a publisher.
To celebrate the launch of Mass Effect 3, publisher Electronic Arts is to put several copies of the game on weather balloons released in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris.
reports that each copy will be fitted with a GPS-based tracking system. As the balloons hit the outer edges of space, they will deflate and drift back to good ol' Terra.
As each balloon drifts with its precious cargo, its location will be tracked live on the official Mass Effect website. Be the first to reach it when it touches down, and you'll have your hands on a copy of the game a week ahead of its retail release.
Okay, so the games aren't quite being sent into space - despite Electronic Arts' amusing mock-up image - but it's still a neat way to generate buzz for the launch. It's also a way for fans to compete to show their love for the series, with the prize of early access being one truly worth winning.
The final full entry in the award-winning series, Mass Effect 3 promises to tie up all the loose ends from previous games. Gamers who have played through the first two games will find the decisions they made have far-reaching ramifications for the in-game universe in the third.
Officially due for launch on the 6th of March, those lucky enough to snag one of the space-bound copies won't have that
much of a lead over their retail-based brethren. That said, a head start is a head start.
If you manage to chase one of the London-launched copies down, be sure to let us know in the forums