OPINION PIECE: BioWare’s gone too far with Mass Effect 3’s DLC

Posted By | On 25th, Feb. 2012 Under Editorials

As we all must know by now, a DLC for Mass Effect 3 was recently announced– the previously rumoured, “From Ashes” DLC. BioWare earlier said that they have a “really good DLC” planned for the game, and when the details were announced, it turned out that they were actually right. The downloadable content pack gives all players access to a full fledged mission that isn’t featured in the game itself, and also includes a main character- a Prothean squadmate. Everyone who’s played Mass Effect 1 or 2 knows how big a deal this is- a Prothean squadmate! 

Now here’s the catch- the DLC doesn’t come with the game itself, even though they’re both being released on the same day. Those who buy the Collector’s Edition of the game, which is significantly costlier than the Normal Edition, get the DLC for free, however, if you buy the Normal Edition — and most of you who buy the game will be getting the normal edition, not the CE — don’t get the DLC. You have to pay for it.

Usually, I’m the first person to jump to BioWare’s defense, being the blind, unreasonable Mass Effect fanboy that I am, but this time, I think BioWare has gone a little too far. Sure, hardcore Mass Effect fans will still pay for the DLC (I know I will, and I hate myself for that), but this is probably the stupidest thing the developer has done in years, and that includes Dragon Age II and making the last piece of DLC for ME2 so bad. You’re releasing the DLC and the game, both on the same day, and yet you’re asking us to pay for both of them? Seriously, BioWare?

Okay, sure, you say that the DLC’s development began after the full game was completed, but… seriously? The core ME3 team not developing the DLC is no justification, not when you do something like this. A DLC released on the same, day, and yet you ask us to pay for it, BioWare? What’s the point of getting it free if we have to buy the Collector’s Edition instead? We still have to pay extra, right?

As Casey Hudson said himself, DLC requires no manufacturing and compared to retail games, has quicker development time. Why not include the content in the game itself then? Is EA really so desperate to get more money out of the Mass Effect brand.

And yes, it ultimately boils down to EA. They may not be the mega-evil corporation that Activision is considered to be, but it is actions like these that make them lose their goodwill. I’m sure BioWare is at fault too, but it is ultimately EA who makes the decisions, since they’re the publishers, after all.

BioWare has lost a lot of goodwill in the last few years, and this certainly isn’t helping them undo any of that. Sure, Mass Effect 3 looks like an excellent game, and we have done nothing but praised it in all our previews so far, and I will buy the DLC for sure, but this is the stupidest, most outrageous thing BioWare has done in a long time.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below.

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