Mass Effect 3's ending" thing manifested itself in a Child's Play fundraising initiative called "Retake Mass Effect 3." The movement attempted to combine raising money for the charity with convincing BioWare to change the ending of its game.
BioWare was completely unaffiliated with the fundraiser, however, and no amount of money raised would guarantee a new ending -- a fact severely misunderstood by many people that donated. "We were dealing with a lot of very confused people, more every day, and that told us we had a problem," said Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins in an update on his site. "Apparently some of the people giving to the cause seemed to think that they were paying for a new ending to Mass Effect."
Holkins also said that Child's Play project manager Jamie Dillion was "buried under mail" about the fundraiser from people wanting to know "what the goal is, and how much they need to raise in order to get the ending produced." The charity was also contacted by PayPal, on account of a "high number" of donors requesting refunds. As a result, Child's Play requested that the fundraiser come to an end.
As an organisation, Child's Play has guidelines regulating how money is raised (Child's Play can't be used to sell anything, for instance). Since Retake ME3 technically fell within the boundaries of the charity's existing framework, Holkins has created a new rule to prevent future misunderstandings: "Child's Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause. Child's Play must be the Cause."