BioWare explains “From Ashes” launch day DLC

BioWare is on the defensive after receiving complaints from fans that its day-one DLC, From Ashes, has no business being sold separately at launch.

This week, BioWare confirmed that the DLC pack, which was always planned as free content for Collector's Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition owners, will be available immediately for everyone else at $10 (800 Microsoft Points) when Mass Effect 3 arrives on March 6 in the US, and March 9 everywhere else. This has prompted some BioWare forum members to accuse the studio of charging extra for content that should have been included in the original game. Defending the move last night via Twitter, Mass Effect's Casey Hudson explained: “On #ME3 content creators completed the game in January & moved onto the "From Ashes" DLC, free w/ the CE or you can buy seperately.”

In non-Twitter talk, that means From Ashes was never part of the original game, but always planned to be included as DLC, which was developed after work on Mass Effect 3 was completed. Producer Mike Gamble relayed the same information on BioWare's forums, stating, “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.”

Gamble added the Collector's Edition has been sold out in many locations for some time, so BioWare believes it's being fair by making From Ashes available for purchase for all those who would otherwise miss out.

So why all the hubbub over one piece of DLC? Turns out From Ashes is a fairly significant piece of DLC (warning: spoilers). As confirmed in Gamble's post, the add-on introduces a Prothean squad mate and a bonus mission on Eden Prime; two elements that should be of interest to anyone who has followed the story. In truth, From Ashes doesn't sound essential to enjoying Mass Effect 3, but it also sounds too important to not be considered part of the core game.

Let us know what you think of BioWare's day-one DLC, and if Mass Effect 3 fans have a right to be suspicious of the studio's launch strategy.


  • RaianStar - April 21, 2012 4:20 a.m.

    It makes perfect sense, shell out for the collectors edition, or get the regular version and buy the DLC when you have the cash. I got the DLC on my second play through, which made everything more interesting ^^
  • FlyinMachine - March 14, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    I didn't have a single problem with it and was in fact grateful for it! I mean compared to Skyrim that hasn't even spoke of DLC, yet? I'm just glad to have SOMETHING!
  • chriszewski - February 24, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    As long as i'm not paying 800 spacebucks for something thats already on the disc i purchased, its all gravy, baby.
  • ZhugeLiang - February 24, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    I haven't seen this many asinine comments since the article about The Witcher 2's piracy figures
  • Salazans - February 24, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    I just fear that if BioWare pull any more of this they will lose a massive part of their fan base. I am giving BioWare one more chance to present this game as a worthy RPG after their disappointing DA2 release. If they keep the beautiful atmosphere and worlds of Mass effect 2 and rpg elements of Mass Effect then I may just forgive Bioware. Considering the price of the dlc, they obviously are making stupid excuses for it not being in game.
  • Travia220 - February 24, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Wait what? ME2 had beautiful worlds. I don't recall beautiful worlds. I recall Corridor after Corridor after Corridor littered with immersion breaking walls for covering behind. I do not however recall large worlds that are beautiful.. Hmm..
  • Salazans - February 25, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    It was a step up from the repeated levels of mass effect also I did stop and just watched my TV screen when I stepped out onto the Shadow-brokers Ship
  • Shinn - February 24, 2012 1:47 a.m.

    I preordered the Collectors edition in January last year, and in NZ I have to pay about 130 USD for it. It's a shame that such a cool character isn't included with the game, but you need to remember that $60 is actually an incredibly small amount of money (when you consider that living costs outside of America are much higher, everything else is more expensive and wages are only equal or slightly higher), and in the end the character isn't part of the core game. You also need to consider that microsoft doesn't let people put up dlc for free, and publishers have passed the point where they could drastically raise prices in smaller countries like NZ and Aus to keep prices so low in the bigger countries. It sucks that some people are sad about having to pay an extra 10 dollars, I would be too, but it could be much worse.
  • FOZ - February 24, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Or could look at it this way: It could be BETTER. $60 isn't a "small amount of money," that feeds at least one person for a week. Also not small if you ask any Steam-dependent PC player. You can get Human Revolution for $10 this weekend, a game that still goes for $30-$50 on PS3 and 360. Nor do certain developers have a problem with cheap/ free dlc. TF2 has 40 official maps, starting from 6, and nobody had to pay anything for them. Supergiant games, which is about 7 people, released a new challenge arena and a new mode for Bastion for free. The only reason it wasn't free on 360 is because Microsoft wouldn't let them, so it's a $1, and they sure as hell need the money more than EA and Bioware. But EA/ Bioware see fit to take content that's ready before the game's launch, slap a $10 price tag on it and release it separately. You can buy one of the best games of 2011 for $10, that takes over 20 hours to beat and has plenty of replay, or you can buy a Mass Effect 3 addon with one mission that will probably take an hour to beat, and a new squadmate. What a fucking bargain.
  • KishouTenpi - February 23, 2012 11:04 p.m.

    To be honest, I'm glad it's included at all! Quite often we've had games have missions and characters as CE DLC and being unavailable to the public who would be willing to buy them
  • KishouTenpi - February 23, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    To be honest, I'm glad it's included at all! Quite often we've had games have missions and characters as CE DLC and being unavailable to the public who would be willing to buy them
  • Squirrel - February 23, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    I am not against DLC, I've bought it before and appreciate it extending a great game. BUT, day one core DLC has become a serious problem in the gaming industry for buyers and developers. If I buy a $60 game, which is quite expensive already, planking down another ten to twenty bucks makes that game $70-$80 just sans sticker shock. They knew good and well what they were doing. Core game DLC is a sneaky way of tricking you into paying more for already overpriced software. You may not have to buy it, but any DLC completed this quickly and that is this important is just a deceptive practice by the developer. I dont know whether to blame Bioware or EA for this, but I feel a bit of badwill for everyone involved. On the flip-side Valve did it correctly with Portal 2 by making the first DLC free.
  • chriszewski - February 24, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    Lets be honest tho... This DLC character will stay put on the normandy outside of the DLC mission just like Zaeed and Kasumi in ME2. Don't get me wrong, their loyalty missions were well done and the Locust was more useful to me than the vanilla SMGs, but my ME2 experience wouldn't have been any less wonderful without them. Point is, its optional DLC. If its not worth it to you, don't buy it.
  • ZhugeLiang - February 23, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    Most of the people complaining about this will end up buying the game and the DLC anyways
  • TwinHallow - February 23, 2012 7:48 p.m.

    Wow Really if your so mad that you dont want to spend 10 dollars as if thats alot of money just stop bitchin and dont by the game who care bioware will still make lots of money and I will still buy the game and pay for the DLC If you like the game you shouldnt be that upset over 10 dollars
  • KnowYourPokemon - February 23, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    So in your eyes it's a matter of cost and not a matter of bad business practice? If so what is your breaking point? $20 of DLC? $40? $60? The fact is the specific price is irrelevant in the end. It's the fact that they are releasing their game incomplete for people who pay for a full game.
  • KnowYourPokemon - February 23, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    And I fully expect to get a response in terms of "It's not the main story so the game IS complete herp derp"
  • daniel-scott - February 24, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    The breaking point for price is how much I like it. I don't go around buying things I don't like or want, so if I want it and I personally think the price is right I buy it. Simple really. I also like to support what I like, and this money will more then likely go to more DLC in the future. And if not, oh well I'm still getting it because I really enjoy Mass Effect so I will enjoy the DLC and experience from it rather then the 10 bucks doing nothing in my bank.
  • xarab4lyfex - February 23, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    I'm glad people are actually mad about this, but it's probably not gonna stop these same people from buying the game anyway. Oh well, just another reason for me to save my $60 for much better games.
  • Fiirestorm21 - February 23, 2012 7:02 p.m.

    It's not a part of the main game. It was not designed to be part of the main experience. It was designed as an add-on. It was developed after the main game was developed and finished. Seems pretty straightforward and logical to me. If BioWare wants to make something separate that doesn't compromise the core experience (which this almost certainly won't, as it pretty much never does) that they're selling, then it's their goddamned right. And yes, it is your right to not buy the game because of this, but frankly that'd be pretty stupid.

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