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The Game Effect Editorial

EA Day One DLC Debate Debunked

For once, the outrage is unjustified.

By Dylan Coffey on 3/12/2012
You all know that I will be the first to cry foul when a game company does wrong by its industry and its consumers. I acted as The Game Effect's watchdog on SOPA/PIPA, consistently railed against frivolous online passes, and remained critical of the policies of major actors in the industry. I feel that it is my duty to publicize issue in our industry such that it can remain the healthy source of inspiration and entertainment that it historically has been.

This time, however, I am - gasp - writing in defense of a major player, a topic which I have not had the honor of breaching in many months. The recent debacle regarding EA and BioWare's Mass Effect 3"From Ashes" DLC package is a sham, and their words are, given the current evidence, to be believed. The following video has been floating around the web and is responsible for much of the issue. Take a look at it and watch carefully, for it is the crux of the hellstorm moving across the tubes today.

This seems damning at first glance. That the character was locked away behind a feebly hidden line of code is a brutal sin against the trust of Mass Effect fans, right? Wrong. Javik, the Prothean squad member, is only one of a list of features included in BioWare's "From Ashes" DLC. Other features include a "mission on Eden Prime, new dialogue options... new cinematics, the Prothean weapon, and new appearances for all squad members." While the video above demonstrates a workaround that unlocks Javik, however unscrupulously, it does not address any of these content bits.

That's because "From Ashes" is a 600+MB DLC package. Sure, Javik's assets are on-disc, but there are multiple acceptable reasons for that. "In order to seamlessly integrate Javik into the core campaign, certain elements ... needed to be put on the disc," said EA in a statement to Game Informer. Considering that this exact same strategy was used in Mass Effect 2 for Zaeed and Kasumi, this is hardly something to be up in arms about.

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While the ethics of day one DLC are still up in the air, BioWare's behavior here is no worse than that of anyone else in the industry. Furthermore, it is despicable of those involved in this short-sighted deception to slight the hard-working developers of Mass Effect 3, which the industry has almost universally recognized as a luminary work, with a contrived, largely false conspiracy theory. The author of the "Requiem for EA/BioWare" video should be regarded with the same level of disapproval as the ignorant users that have slammed Mass Effect 3   for its progressive rejection of heterocentricity.

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USER COMMENTS
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Dualsmg14 on March 13, 2012
I really don not care about this day one DLC crap. What really needs attention is the BS ending. Bioware has had it's joke, spat in my face, now they can release the real ending.


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Merfyz on March 14, 2012
They knew what kind of ending everyone wanted, they chose not to give it to us because they knew people would pay money for more, if they gave us everything we wouldn't want anything more.
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