Mass Effect 3: From Ashes and Why We’re To Blame for DLC

mass effect 3 from ashesI was on the fence about posting an article about the whole Mass Effect 3: From Ashes brouhaha, but an article I read over on Forbes’ website changed my mind. The article is called “Why the Exploitation of Gamers is Our Own Damn Fault” and in it author Paul Tassi examines the recent trend in DLC which, instead of being an expansion pack model, seems more like content cut from the complete game and dolled out piecemeal after launch.

While he makes a couple of statements I don’t particularly agree with, he is right in saying that we’re to blame for current DLC. As he points out, everything that’s happening with post-launch content is an economic experiment. As much as we complain about being “exploited” people are still buying products, so once again money is trumping our outcry.

The title of the article is more than a little sensationalist, but the message underneath it is sound. EA only cares about money and they’re testing us to see how far they can go. For every person who buys From Ashes on day one, that’s another chink in the armor of the old-school method of selling games.

For those of you who are interested, Total Biscuit offers an opposing viewpoint to Mr. Tassi in a video where he explains why he thinks BioWare has gone too far with Mass Effect 3.

I think pinning the blame on BioWare is unfair, but there you have it. Two different opinions regarding this whole debacle. Personally, I don’t see what the big fuss is about From Ashes. It’s extra content for people who have paid an extra 30 dollars to get the Collector’s Edition of Mass Effect 3, and it’s available for people who didn’t, or couldn’t given the rarity of the CE, pick one up.

So what do you guys think about From Ashes? Who’s right, Paul Tassi or Total Biscut? Are you boycotting Mass Effect 3, or is this whole thing being blown out of proportion?

Source – Forbes Online, Total Biscuit

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

19 thoughts on “Mass Effect 3: From Ashes and Why We’re To Blame for DLC”

  1. I disagree with the entire premise of Tassi and Total Biscuit’s discussion. I feel like Peter Griffin in the cutaway where he sees Paul Reiser ragging on Starbucks being everywhere; it’s called supply and demand, used in the exchange of goods and services. The whole situation is no more corrupt than any other sales industry (with exception, maybe, to drug cartels and pharmaceutical companies).

    So I’m voting for the “Blown out of proportion” opinion.

    If you want to spare yourself too much of a headache with DLC buyer’s remorse: wait until someone you trust has already bought it and ask them how it was.

  2. I’m really liking how you handled this Mitch, seems all too easy to jump on the bandwagon of either side on this one. Personally I don’t mind, I’ve pre-ordered a standard copy and I intend to get the DLC day one because I didn’t really feel the collectors edition was necessary but I’m still a big fan.

    At the end of the day you don’t have to buy the DLC to play the game and you don’t have to buy it day one, you can make sure you enjoy the game before getting it.

    I love Total Biscuits videos but I feel this is just one of those things that the internet is blowing out of proportion.

  3. Nothing pisses me off more than gamers getting all whiney because they think they’re entitled to everything a company produces because they gave them $60. The game industry is still a business (although the 12 year olds that make a lot of this noise don’t realize it), and it’s got to make money. A lot of gamers have the misconception that games are finished the day before launch, whereas it’s done long before that. The content team will often go on to the DLC once they are done and the game is under testing. That’s how 1st day DLC happens, not the fact that they want to nickel and dime players as much as possible.

  4. Looks like Anthony and Mitch might have their first lover’s tussle.

    On a serious note. Support the shit you want to support. A shitty artist releasing a special bonus song for Europeans only doesn’t make all the American’s angry, it just makes the real American fans order the European version. : If you want something, it’s available to you. If you think it’s stupid, don’t spend the money. Pretty basic.

  5. @ Drell

    I don’t think “that’s why 1st day DLC happens.” That may be when they work on it, but it happens because people pay for it. The author of the article makes the point that we’re getting a great deal (~$1.75 for an hour of ME3 fun), and I’ll take it even a step further. Games have cost $60 for a long time. Costs to make the games have gone up, and most things we can spend money on cost more than they did when video games first cost $60 (I think this may have the topic of GamerSushi post a while back). Companies need to find ways to make more money, and day 1 DLC is one solution that’s worked so far.

    I think the more interesting question, especially since some of these things are in place to combat/make up for lost money due to piracy, is “do things like things encourage piracy?” Has that been a study?

  6. Is it just me or has the internet been playing the “let’s all take a S**T on BIOWARE game”? First the outcry over blond FemShep winning the cover spot, then people started harrasing Jennifer Hepler because she said she was not good a games and wished that games had an option that let you skip combat like you can skip dialogue,and the internet wet totally apes**t over that. And now we have this DLC outcry BS, look Bioware has stated via twitter that they had to hand off the main game in January and worked for 3 months on the DLC so it could be ready on DAY 1 for all the people who did not get the N7 edition. Total Biscuit makes it sound like BIOWARE finished the game then went “Hey this part right hear I bet we could take it out and then sell it as DLC on DAY 1 and make a bunch of money.”
    I think this whole thing is just gamer vs publisher issues and a BS situtation oh and I bet this ME3 Boycott will end up like the L4D2 boycott, no one sticking to their guns and getting the game day 1. Here is a suggestion wait untill the DLC goes on xbox live sale or the game gets a GOTY edition like RED DEAD then get it. Now I was going to get the N7 edition just for the FemShep cover but now I think I might have a real shot of getting one seeing how people are canceling their pre-orders.

  7. [quote comment=”18737″]Looks like Anthony and Mitch might have their first lover’s tussle.

    On a serious note. Support the shit you want to support. A shitty artist releasing a special bonus song for Europeans only doesn’t make all the American’s angry, it just makes the real American fans order the European version. : If you want something, it’s available to you. If you think it’s stupid, don’t spend the money. Pretty basic.[/quote]

    No, Mitch and I are on the same page. His article is highlighting the controversy, not supporting it.

    Gamers seem to forget the business side of the games business.

  8. The biggest problem with all this Day One DLC and Pre-Order crap is that it just gets tiresome, confusing, and frustrating to have to piece together all the details about the DLC packs when I should be able to just buy the game without losing any content. And yes, the Prothean DLC IS important. That’s like taking out the conversation with Sovereign from Mass Effect 1 in terms of story, not to mention we’ll be losing a character and mission.

    I just don’t understand why EA has to be so bloody annoying with their DLC stuff. Just release the darn game, add some DLC missions WELL AFTER IT COMES OUT so as to not insult the fans as well as give us a reason to come back to the game after we’ve played it and kinda forgotten about it, and then leave me be to play the game! Don’t prevent me from accessing DLC because I didn’t pre-order the game. Don’t gut half the story. Stop cutting content to be released later. Just treat us fairly and stop making it so convoluted!

    Geez, I really want to play Mass Effect 3! But I don’t want to have to pirate the game just to be able to play the whole thing. EA’s strategy incentivizes pirating…and then they cry about not selling enough copies.

  9. [quote comment=”18743″]The biggest problem with all this Day One DLC and Pre-Order crap is that it just gets tiresome, confusing, and frustrating to have to piece together all the details about the DLC packs when I should be able to just buy the game without losing any content. And yes, the Prothean DLC IS important. That’s like taking out the conversation with Sovereign from Mass Effect 1 in terms of story, not to mention we’ll be losing a character and mission.

    I just don’t understand why EA has to be so bloody annoying with their DLC stuff. Just release the darn game, add some DLC missions WELL AFTER IT COMES OUT so as to not insult the fans as well as give us a reason to come back to the game after we’ve played it and kinda forgotten about it, and then leave me be to play the game! Don’t prevent me from accessing DLC because I didn’t pre-order the game. Don’t gut half the story. Stop cutting content to be released later. Just treat us fairly and stop making it so convoluted!

    Geez, I really want to play Mass Effect 3! But I don’t want to have to pirate the game just to be able to play the whole thing. EA’s strategy incentivizes pirating…and then they cry about not selling enough copies.[/quote]

    You make a few too many assumptions I think.

    You can still buy this DLC without having to preorder it.

    I don’t understand the “gutting half the story” bit.

    And we don’t know that they cut any content to have it be released later. They submit the game and then start on DLC. Hence, Day 1 DLC.

  10. @Cossack I agree that the way EA handles their DLC and their communication with customers is frustrating and poor, but comparing the Prothean to talking to Sovereign in the first Mass Effect is probably taking it too far.

    Honestly, we can’t make any judgement until ME3 comes out and we can see what the prothean offers in the term of story. He might have been frozen the whole time and when he waked he just says “I dunno, I know as much a you, man.”

  11. @Anthony

    Well, I think it’s important to discuss the business side of games in general, but if people don’t like DLC, they should just stop buying it. The game that is sold is “the game” and everything added on should be considered an addition. If it’s something integral to the actual story, like the game doesn’t make sense without it, then I’d be really pissed off that it was extra, and would be much more tempted to pirate it.

    I just bought The Missing Link DLC for Deus Ex HR (because STEAM is crazy and it was only $5 all weekend.) and I’m yet to play it, but I’ve heard the same complaint from reviews and gamers. That it seems like it really should have been part of the full game. We’ll see if that’s true.

  12. Cerberus Network in ME2 was great. If you bought a new copy of the game, you get free DLC, or else you pay for it. From Ashes for ME3 is charging an extra $10 for content that should be in the game because it’s Day One DLC. I wouldn’t mind if they did another Cerberus Network thing, but it’s insulting to have Day One DLC. EA just has to nickel and dime us, don’t they.

  13. [quote comment=”18749″]Cerberus Network in ME2 was great. If you bought a new copy of the game, you get free DLC, or else you pay for it. From Ashes for ME3 is charging an extra $10 for content that should be in the game because it’s Day One DLC. I wouldn’t mind if they did another Cerberus Network thing, but it’s insulting to have Day One DLC. EA just has to nickel and dime us, don’t they.[/quote]

    When the finish the game and submit it for printing on discs, that’s when they work on DLC, which is why you have Day 1. It is made AFTER the game is finished. Just b/c it is Day 1 doesn’t mean it is inherently sinister.

  14. I’m siding with Total Biscuits on this one, even though it seems like most people here are saying “whats the big deal”. Honestly I think that everyone who sides with the “who cares, this or that” is justifying to themselves why they will buy it. I think Total Biscuits is trying to show people why this kind of action is taking away from a finished product. The article Tassi posted gave two examples that fall very short in my opinion. First the GPS. Sure I bet all cars could have them, but its not needed. A GPS isn’t vital for a car to run and to get everything out of it. Imagine if they left out the gas gauge or a rear view mirror. You need that to get the full experience of the car. Not a GPS. With this DLC being so vital to the story and its lore, it should be included. He then tried to break games down into a $-to-Hours ratio. I personally think its more about what a game offers and how much it costs in its components than time spend playing it. If a 3 map pack DLC is $15, you can then see how much a company values a single map in terms of price-to-development-hours. His idea of how much time we spend playing seems irrelevant, as that could be said for any game. Hell, people spend hours upon hours playing Minecraft. Last I checked, its way below what people pay for games like MW3 yet its a fraction of the cost.

    Again, I think the idea is that something that’s very relevant to the game should not be an extra expense on launch day. I cant imagine what it would be like if some part of Skyrim had come out as a $10 extra but was very important to the games story line. I would have been ticked off too. Developers shouldn’t do that kind of a thing. Hell, if it had been left to sit for 2 months and released/revealed then, no one would care. No one wants to pay for a car, then be told that “oh, you need to pay more for the engine or buy the deluxe car now” DLC and all of that jazz is so iffy in my book, that I say paying for half of it is pretty garbage to begin with. Ill stick with TB’s side of the story and say its wrong of them to have this type (with emphasis on type) of DLC available on launch. If its out on day 1, it should be available as part of the game.

  15. I’ve been too harsh. If Bioware wants to charge for an extra DLC pack, fine. If it comes out around Day One, it just comes off as insulting, but they’re free to do whatever. I just think the Prothean would be way too integral to the plot for him being DLC. Sure it’s speculation, but you can’t make a DLC character an important part of the story or else it falls apart.

  16. Casey Hudson tweeted this earlier: “For the many who asked, plot arcs of the Protheans and other races are resolved in #ME3, not DLC. That is after all the focus of the story.”

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