Bioware – Mass Effect 3 DLC was created after the main game; provides extensive justification

Earlier we reported that BioWare was planning to sell a launch day DLC titled ‘From Ashes’. This obviously resulted in a massive controversy, with people threatening to cancel pre-orders and accusing BioWare of selling an incomplete game.

Casey Hudson and Michael Gamble from Bioware denied that they were indulging in such practices, and assured people that the work on the DLC began after the main game was complete.

“It takes about three months from ‘content complete’ to bug-fix, certify, manufacture, and ship game discs,” said Hudson.

“DLC has fast certification and no manufacturing, so if a team works very hard, they can get a DLC done in time to enjoy it with your first playthrough on day one.

“On ME3, content creators completed the game in January and moved onto the From Ashes DLC, [which is] free with the Collector’s Edition or you can buy it separately,” he added.

Xbox.com had leaked the DLC description which is filled with spoilers — you can check that here.

Michael Gamble posted in the Bioware forums that the core team did not work on the DLC. You can check out what Gamble said below the video. Slight spoilers follow.

  • “From Ashes” includes the Prothean squad mate, an adventure on Eden Prime, a new weapon, and an alternate appearance for every squad mate. Note that these alternate appearances are in addition to the ones already advertised in the CE.
  • The Collectors Edition has been advertised from the beginning as containing a bonus character/mission, but we were not at liberty to provide the details. The Prothean is optional content that is certainly designed to appeal to long-time fans, which is why he is part of the CE offering (the version many fans would be likely to purchase).  Mass Effect 3 is a complete – and a huge game – right out of the box.
  • The content in “From Ashes” was developed by a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification.
  • The Collectors Edition has been sold out in most places for some time now, and is becoming very hard to find (many players prefer not to purchase the digital version). As such, we wanted to make this content available so that SE buyers could also incorporate the Prothean into their game.

So, are you content with BioWare’s justification? Tell us in the comments section below.


  • Dan

    No, this isn’t justified. The game is not on store shelves right now. There is no reason that this DLC shouldn’t be included in the main game – claiming that the developers could move on to DLC content while the main game was being debugged/burned to disk/etc is bullshit – the DLC has to be debugged as well, dipshits.

    Fuck you Bioware and Fuck you EA for nickel and diming your consumer base. Boycott this shit game and this shit company.

    • Dan

      Also, to append to my previous comment: The following design philosophy is NOT ACCEPTABLE:

      http://cdn.overclock.net/c/c3/c3a3ef5b_dlc-mona-lisa-1.jpeg

    • Kartik Mudgal

      I agree with you in a way.

    • Shubhankar Parijat

      I’m usually an absolute BioWare fanboy and would be willing to defend anything they do, but I think this is a pretty dumb move. Releasing a DLC at the same time as the game and not making it available to everyone for free seems like the kind of thing EA would have their developers do. I will still buy the DLC if I have to, but I’m not too happy about it.

    • Matt

      well if they were working on the dlc when the final game was getting debugged and certified, then when it was finished they could have added it to the final game, assuming it hadn’t already gone into print, but if they did add it, they would have to send the entire game back to microsoft and sony for recertification. That would take more time, which would mean they would start printing later, which means they would ship to retailers later, which would mean the game would have to be most likely delayed. Pretty much every developer continues making content even after they finished the main game because they need to send it away for certification and printing eventually if they want to meet they’re deadline. They just planned to have this one finished before release but after going gold (certification) to include in the collectors edition. Then they decided to allow even the people who didn’t buy the collectors edition to purchase it, which is something I wish more developers would do with pre-order and special edition dlc. I do think that its over priced from what we’ve heard of it, the pricing is EA’s decision, not Bioware’s. What I want to know is would everyone be bitching if they decided to just leave it to collectors edition and not offer it to everyone? Or if they offered it in a month or two even though it was included in the collectors edition? I don’t think so.

    • frofrodajimmyboy

      Yes, the DLC has to be debugged as well. If you had read what they said or at least had an ounce of common sense, you would know that it doesn’t take near as long to debug, dipshit.

  • Josh

    Even if the “From Ashes” content isn’t included in the actual game, $10 is just ridiculous. There had better be HOURS of content for something like that.

    • Kartik Mudgal

      It would probably be the same length as the Mass Effect 2 DLC’s.

    • Matt

      well i think its over priced cause it seems to me like the kasumi dlc from 2 which was only 560 microsoft points ($7) and this is 800 points ($10), but there might be more to this DLC then just a squadmate and a single, we have no way of knowing.

    • Shubhankar Parijat

      Lair of the Shadow Broker and Overlord also costed 800 points when they were released. Kasumi’s Stolen Memory is cheap now because it sucks.

  • Thor

    Really guys, No this is fine, other games have done it before as well and this time people get up in arms about it because its a huge company that is doing it. So if they waited two weeks and released it that would be fine. Then you would complain that you have to play through the game again to use the Prothean. Jeesh people just complain for the sake of it. Deal with it pay the 10 bucks or don’t.

  • Shin

    The timing is somewhat irrelevant (although it certainly calls attention to the preexisting problem). EA’s entire philosophy is driven by trying to nickle and dime players to death and it seems to have infected Bioware too. They don’t care about the experience, they don’t care about the gamers, they only care about felicitating their stockholders. Screw these guys.

    If you want to see DLC done right check out something like Borderlands or New Vegas. For $10 you got something that was almost as big as the entirety of the main game and added a whole stand alone experience rather than just filling in the holes purposefully left out of vanilla version.

  • adouchebag

    It’s the content that has everyone so angry you rubes. For those of you that don’t know, the From Ashes DLC provides us with a new squad mate–a Prothean. Yes, one of the most mysterious and integral races of the ME universe can be a member of your squad, with backstory and extra information to help flesh out the entire trilogy. Bioware, you are withholding a crucial aspect of the entire saga hostage, and forcing us to shell out an extra $10 so we can get the ENTIRE story.

    Look, as far as DLC goes, important plot developments are unacceptable. You want to give us DLC? Fine, give us new outfits, new gun skins, music packs–you can’t look at World of Warcraft and tell me that people won’t pay out the nose for unique armors and helmets for our squads. Give us COSMETIC DLCs, don’t ripe parts of the narrative out and say, “To be continued…for one easy payment of $9.99.” That’s like ripping a chapter out of a new novel and offering it to us as a DLC, and then saying, “Well, the book was already finished, and we worked on this extra chapter while they were proofreading it.” None of us upset over this shady cash grab practice you guys are employing are going to be appeased by your lame diatribe up there–WE know it’s wrong, YOU know it’s wrong. How about showing a little respect and appreciation for those of us that have been lining your pockets since the first ME came out, instead of trying to blackmail us into giving you more.

    I will not be purchasing this game if the current business practice stands. Heck, I’ll go one better–I WILL buy it, but I’ll buy it used from Gamestop so you guys don’t see one red cent.

  • Kael

    Of course its justifiable. You can not just simply add content to a game at will, their is a huge process of review, testing, manufacturing recall (games are not in-store but they are being created and shipped). Because DLC does not require a hard copy, it is much easier for them to debug in the time period after a game “is gold” to the launch, since updating it is much easier.
    I also don’t see how it is an incomplete game, the DLC is almost entirely cosmetic besides a companion and 2 side missions (when there are already hundreds in-game). We don’t even know how involved the character is, it could simply be a npc in the vanilla game that you still interact with. People are jumping to conclusions and using illogical thoughts without understanding how a game is created and reviewed for release. It is not a two step process that takes a day, it takes weeks. This stuff is extra content made after the games completion, if they gave it out free it would mean that they aren’t truly getting paid for their work.
    Not to mention that this is in no way Bioware or EAs fault. This is the state of the market, a state that we the consumer allowed to happen. People call for boycotts and get involved only when this occurs with a major game, but it happens all the time. Boycotting one game will not change anything (see BF3, we boycotted and it changed only that one game), if you really hate this policy, boycott all games that have it, make an uproar to all those developers and publishers. Everyone is so quick to jump on the TB bandwagon because he is respected in the community, but in this case (and in the past) he has made very grievous errors, didn’t do the research he normally does, and made blatant generalizations and used fallacy to create his major argument. It is not something of his normal standards and he should take a closer look, as should all the people that just blindly follow his word.

  • Travis

    Only real problem is that this is a Prothean and another Zaeed/Kasumi. More of any other alien race would be fine. Just not a Prothean.

  • Daren

    Hey guys i hate how this is going as well but honestly stop bitching about it. if day 1 keeps the people who make the games we love away from the unemployment line then hell yea by all means go ahead. it keeps the people who worked on the earlier stages of the game working and secures their jobs. more people are going to buy it than not no matter what you do. and if this was made during the certification stage of the main game, what in the world makes you think that they can just add it on? that just restarts the certification process which means a delay that is completely unnecessary. Also why would they give it away for free? that’s like your boss (assuming you have a job) called you in to work an extra day every week for a month but didn’t pay you for your time. would you want that? no you wouldn’t. dose this whole thing suck? Fuck yea it dose, and I’m annoyed by it thoroughly. but that just it . . . I’m annoyed.

    This kind of act isn’t going to end unless you the vast majority of people chose to not buy the game or its DLC, and lets all be freaking honest with each other here, more then half you guys who are talking shit on here are still going to buy the game and its dlc. so stop bitching about it. (its not appealing to the opposite sex when you do that.(the bitching thing is their job.(I would like to formally say that i am sorry for the rude remarkes made about women in this post, not all of them bitch allot.(but many of you gamers make up for them i guess huh?))

    P.S. If you down vote enough times you might get to see me still not give a shit about down votes.(unless you have a new argument other then the generic “EA is evil!!” “BioWare is corrupt!!” “All they care about if getting more of my fucking money!!! and I’m going to completely gloss over the fact that they are a business and that kindda the whole point in making a business in a vastly growing industry in the first place!!!!” “LIBBY DA! LIBBY DA! LITTY DA! DA! DA!”

  • MasterOrSlave

    That’s pure Damage control from Bioware,

  • Daniel

    I’m just not going to buy any EA products until they pull their heads out of their asses and listen to their consumer base

  • Joe Bold

    I would have no problem with this DLC if it wouldn’t be a Character that has a big meaning to the myth that was build up over the last two titles all around the Protheans and their extinction. The Mass Effect games so far dealt with Reapers and Protheans and how they vanished the last time the Reapers hit the galaxy. And now they introduce this living Prothean Char that can and probably will shed light on all this dust around this myth but instead of making it a free DLC for everyone they charge for it, except the CE and DD buyers.

    If it would be a Character as meaningless to the core lore like Zaeed Massani or Kasumi Goto from ME2, nobody would mind, but this is just unacceptable.

    I can recommend this Youtube Video from TotalBiscuit where he describes the Problem pretty well: http://youtu.be/Ri0vrJ-y2zM

    The fact that Bioware made it a secret that it is this specific Char, everybody knew about pretty soon after they first announced the game, whom they now charge for a overpriced DLC all none CE and DD buyers, that is just outrageous. This is badly prepared. As this tactic now is in place they can’t just change it to a free DLC because that would upset the “CE” and DD owners and they would cry for compensation. Can’t believe Bioware did such a stupid “mistake”. -.-

    Besides, the so called CE is just a joke from a real collector person’s point of view and they should have named it Special Phsysical Fan Edition or somethin’ like that and it shouldn’t be limited, because as they said: “the version many fans would be likely to purchase”. No real collector gives a shit about the digital bonuses and the real physical items are just mainstream BS. The art book for instance that will be provided with the ME3 “CE” is phenomenally small compared to other big titles and only filled with 70 pages of content that are half of a A4 sheet in size and so it is also not worth buying – For comparison the Skyrim art book has over 200 A4 sized pages of art content, as has the WoW art book and the Age of Conan art book has over 120 A4 sized pages.

  • Drew

    This is very justified. They told everyone a year ago there was gonna be a secret character. So WE ALL KNEW there was Day 1 DLC being made. Nobody said shit the entire time, but once people learned the character was a Prothean they wanted to start crying and saying “We are entitled to this character”. So honestly if you’re waiting now to speak up then you should just stay quiet. You aren’t getting the character for free. Even us people with the CE have to pay for it so why are you so damn mad? Pay the $10 or don’t. If you do, great, enjoy the extra content. If you don’t then that’s ok too.

  • Dean

    Taking into account everything that Bioware has said, this is still the argument:

    Day One DLC is acceptable if it is COSMETIC in nature. We are well aware that the debugging process is lengthy and that the Art team has nothing to do during that time, so it’s a great outlet for them and helps support a segment of game development that gamers take for granted.

    That being said, the content of this DLC is not cosmetic. It has implications on the story. It introduces a character that could have drastic effects on the continuity of the ME Universe. This is content that, had this been ANY OTHER ERA in Video Gaming, would have been included in the finished game for no extra charge. That makes this move unacceptable, because it is blatantly disrespectful to their audience.

    It doesn’t matter if the development team created this content during the debugging phase; it was completed with enough time to be included in release. Bioware can tell us all they want that it’s not necessary content for the gamer to have; it is absolutely necessary, and they know it. They know how gamers think, and they’re taking advantage of consumer psychology for the sole purpose of profit.

    You can’t argue that this supports the production crew. Below-the-line workers don’t get paid in residuals; they are salaried employees. The only people this supports are the investors at the top. They are the producers who sunk their money into the product, and they are the ones who receive the returns.

    Think of it like Vegas – you’re a guy who walks in to a casino, sits down at a Blackjack table and bets $50 Million Dollars on a single hand. Now obviously, you can’t guarantee that you’ll win, and that’s scary. So what can you do? You can either develop skill and talent and trust in it when you take the risk, or you can do everything in your power beforehand to stack the deck in your favor and make sure you win before you even gamble.

    The former is called Hard Work; the latter is called Cheating. Think about it.

  • Burnz

    I smell BS. There were script leaks around a year ago. This was planned. I feel like throwing up on the computer screen I’m so disgusted.

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