WARNING: this news story does contain minor spoilers regarding the first DLC pack. You have been warned.
The Internet essentially blew up yesterday as an accidental leak onto Xbox Live Marketplace of Mass Effects day-1 DLC, which was revealed to contain a Prothean squadmate and will be part of the games Collectors Editoin, gave gamers the perfect excuse to do what they love most: no, not gaming, arguing. In true fashion Internet users took to the forums and proceeded to rage at everyone, once again somehow forgetting that other people might have different opinions from their own and that they didn’t actually have any facts yet on which to form solid opinions.
Still, the debate was an interesting one. On one side of the fence where those voicing the view that it was wrong for such an important and integral character to be ripped out of the core game and then charged for. On the other side of the fence where those arguing that there was no proof that this character was central to the storyline nor that the content was ripped from the core game to create the DLC. Both sides do have valid arguments and concerns, even if they ways they tend to voice them are a bit extreme.
But now Bioware have stepped in, with Michael Gamble taking to the forums to explain that DLC, titled From Ashes, was created by a seperate within Bioware after Mass Effect 3 had gone into certification, meaning that nothing more could be added to it. Of course this is fairly standard practice as games often go into certification months before release, which is more than enough time to create a small DLC pack as they’re turn-around time is very short.
This is what he had to say:
“As most of you know, yesterday there was a leak that revealed the upcoming DLC “ME3:From Ashes” on the
Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This leak took place before we were prepared to make an announcement about the details of that pack (slated for this Friday).
There has been a lot of discussion about the DLC offering but we wanted to clarify a few things…
– “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.
We’ll be releasing someimages and video about this pack in the coming days.
As always, we are extremely thankful for all of your support. We pulled out all of the stops to make Mass Effect 3 the best game ever, and we can’t wait for you all to experience it.
What took place after Mike’s statement was pretty much forum warfare. The thread has now almost reached 200-pages and it showing no signs of slowing down or stopping.
So, has Mike’s statement alleviated your concerns? what’s your views?
Personally I’m thinking that the “Prothean” will actually be a genetic replication, thereby not truly being a Prothean and as such would allow Bioware to create one without it having to be central to the storyline as it would have no knowledge of its “parent” race. Like Grunt from Mass Effect 2, it would simply have some basic instincts and nothing more. This theory would counter the arguments put forth that such an important character should not be relegated to DLC.
You can find Michael Gamble’s announcement and the thread in its entirety HERE.
The irony is that I was okay with the online pass for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning because I believed it was going to be day-one DLC if not an online pass, but given all the hubris surrounding Mass Effect 3, I can’t say that this helps. Though it makes sense that it was advertised previously, but is only now being detailed. But what really stopped Bioware from saying anything more in the past?
Seems pretty easy to just plan DLC right from the get-go when you could put it in the game. I can’t really agree with the idea that this is an incentive to sell Collector’s Edition units, because we’ve already had a lot of BS concerning the game. Does someone at Electronic Arts have a job weighing the negative customer backlash in proportion to the amount of units they’ll sell?