Just wanted to add that I haven't been able to launch at all, too, from the U.S. I've read through every thread I can find and have tried every tip. About to get a refund I think.
May 2021 - last edited June 2021
EDIT: Since the 7 June Update I have updated the custom launcher to v2.1. Some people are still using it to unlock all of the language options that aren't always available in the original BioWare launcher. See the NexusMods page for new version and the list of changes. I will no longer be updating this post.
7 June Update:
The 7 June update for Mass Effect Legendary Edition removed the dependency on the AVX instruction set in the launcher, so this custom launcher should no longer be needed for people with older CPUs. This leaves the custom launcher largely obsolete, but nonetheless I will leave it up in case anybody still has a use for it.
TLDR: If the launcher is not running it may be due to old CPUs not supporting the AVX instruction set. The launcher itself requires AVX instruction set support, but the games themselves do not. Below is linked a custom launcher to bypass the original launcher. (If you can already get the original launcher to run and show up, but when you try to launch the Mass Effect games themselves you get a different problem, then this will not be a solution for you. However, there may still be other solutions you could try.)
My mother was having the problem with the lack of AVX instruction set support on her older hardware, but I managed to help her by replacing "MassEffectLauncher.exe" with a custom one of my own. As the games themselves do not use AVX instructions, only the launcher, bypassing the launcher seems to work. I'm pleased to report ME1 runs very well on my mother's older hardware now.
Below I have linked to an AutoHotkey script that achieves this. You will need to compile the AutoHotkey script to an EXE file, or if you prefer you can just use the pre-compiled EXE provided in the download link below. If you want to compile the script yourself, thankfully it is quite easy. You will need to download AutoHotkey and install it, and then copy & paste the script code linked below into a fresh text file. Name it "MassEffectLauncher.ahk".
Right-click the "MassEffectLauncher.ahk" file that you have just created and choose to compile the script. You can choose 'Compile Script' or 'Compile Script (GUI)'. The first option will create the EXE in the same folder (you may need to hit F5 in your file explorer for it to show up), whereas the GUI allows you to specify where to create the EXE. Once you have compiled script, make sure your EXE is called "MassEffectLauncher.exe". Do NOT simply rename the "MassEffectLauncher.ahk" script file to an EXE file, as this will not work.
In your "Mass Effect Legendary Edition\Game\Launcher" directory, rename your original "MassEffectLauncher.exe" (i.e. the one that shipped with the game) to "MassEffectLauncher.exe.original", so that you have a backup of the game's original launcher. You should be able to restore the original launcher anyway by verifying the game's integrity through Steam, but it is still probably best to make a backup. Then replace the original EXE with the new one that you compiled from the AutoHotkey script. The custom launcher MUST be placed in this directory; it should NOT be placed anywhere else or run from anywhere else. When it is in the correct place, just run the game through Steam or Origin like you normally would.
Do NOT try to double-click on the EXE and run it manually as this will probably not work. You would see the custom GUI appear, but when you try to run a Mass Effect game, it will likely not launch. As I said, just run the game through Steam or Origin like you normally would.
IMPORTANT: Do NOT set the EXEs to run as administrator (by going to the files' Properties ➞ Compatibility options). This includes the custom "MassEffectLauncher.exe" and the game EXEs themselves ("MassEffect1.exe", etc.). This has been confirmed by multiple people to make it NOT work.
Link to the AutoHotkey script (v2):
Link to download the pre-compiled custom launcher (also includes the AutoHotkey script file if you wish to compile it yourself):
BioWare's original launcher has some options to change the language and subtitle font size etc. Version 2 of this custom launcher also allows you to change the language. If you want to change the subtitle font size you should be able to edit it in the Commandline section of the script and recompile.
Hope this helps some people. Hopefully BioWare will patch this soon anyway.
PS. When you choose a Mass Effect game to run from my custom launcher, the launcher will hide itself but it will still be running. When you exit the game, the launcher will show up again. I tried to replicate the behavior of BioWare's original launcher here. However, this means that you need to be sure to close the launcher using the x button when you're finished playing, if you don't want Steam to constantly count you as playing the game when you're not. (You can also close it from the system tray by right-clicking the AutoHotkey icon and choosing 'Exit'.) It's harder to miss this with BioWare's original launcher, since it's a full-screen application with music etc., but with the custom launcher you could easily idle with it running in the background for hours without realizing it. This isn't harmful or anything, but like I say, Steam would then count you as playing the game for those hours when you are not.
Perhaps it would have been better if instead the custom launcher were to exit itself when you quit the game, but I'm not going to update it now. If anybody wants that behavior, it would be easy to edit the script, replacing 'Gui, Show' (below the 'RunWait' lines) with 'ExitApp', and recompile.
Does this custom launcher:
Short Update, thanks to Konrad i took a look at Controlled Folder Access too and though there has not been any kind of warning, disabling it indeed made ME run perfectly fine.
This behavior is weird to say the least, since i presume if the CFA itself would be responsible, there SHOULD be at least a popup or something in the CFA block history, but i checked pretty much every related eventlog, the GUI etc and found nothing except the Exception Error from the Launcher itself.
So i would recommend to give it a try, if you have CFA activated.
Gonna enjoy a trip down memory lane now
Enjoy the weekend !
May 2021 - last edited May 2021
@dvidebyzero Unfortunately it doesnt work for me. A small window appears where I can select M1,2 or 3, but after that everything is the same as before.
May 2021 - last edited May 2021
@GGMastermind Unfortunately it may be that you have another issue instead of (or in addition to) the AVX support problem. There are other solutions in this thread that other people have had success with, like disabling Controlled folder access, etc. I hope something will work for you!
Glad it seems to have helped some of you though!
I'm pretty sure my PC is above the minimal spec, and none of the suggestions above work. Steam opens origin launcher, waits for a couple minutes, then nothing happens at all. The MELE launcher doesn't open. If I start the games via individual exe files I get the origin window asking me to log in, nothing happens after that.
There are no crash events in the windows event log either. Procmon doesn't give any obvious clues, it's all EALink talking over the network here and there.
You have the game on steam?
Can you confirm that you already tried this steps?
Also disable "Origin in game" and the Steam overlay as well.