One of the first non-sports games to put blind boxes into its multiplayer, Mass Effect 3 not only represented the death of one of gaming's most beloved sci-fi franchises across its campaign, but the introduction of a completely unnecessary competitive component too.
Thing is, this could've been a delightful blend of various business opportunities - what with the fact you could unlock more items if you bought an accompanying action figure or art book - but the reality was a system that was quite literally, pay to win.
Governing all content was a system of credits that could be used to purchase blind boxes containing weapons, mods and other equipment. Naturally you could play to open these like a sane person, or - of course - cough up the cash for more currency, paying to equip the best gear and dominating your way to the top.
Ex-Bioware dev Manveer Heir recently confirmed that he once saw a player spend $15,000 on microtransactions in Mass Effect 3. It's these sorts of insane figures that ensured the practice would take off with publishers only concerned with making as much money as possible.