Ex-Mass Effect Designer Defends ME3 DLC
It seems that many gamers have been in an uproar over the fact that Mass Effect 3 has day-one DLC, leading them to complain that EA and BioWare have simply left material off the disc in an effort to make a quick buck. Much of the anger comes from the recent discovery that data for the “From Ashes” DLC’s downloadable character was already on the disc—signaling to gamers that BioWare was ripping off game purchasers by making them pay for DLC-data even if they didn’t buy the content, and that, in fact, this content should’ve and could’ve simply been included in the main game since it utilizes content that’s on the disc.
But former BioWare designer Christina Norman—who was ME2 and ME3’s lead designer until she left for Riot Games in July—has responded to the criticisms, asking gamers to refrain from denigrating the DLC for its early timing and instead judge it on its own merits.
“There’s no point in releasing DLC a year after your game has come out when most people have already sold your game back to GameStop three times,” Norman is quoted as saying in a post on Eurogamer. “that means getting it out early; that means even day-one DLC.”
At GDC this past week, Norman offered an extended explanation of the DLC’s timing, and whether or not it’s fair for consumers to react so vehemently against it:
“[Day-one DLC] is a terrible thing to some players. Players rant—they know nothing about this DLC that’s coming out except its name. But then it’s ‘oh this game must be incomplete, the game must be ruined.’ Game developers are not evil. (Some are evil.) But most are not evil.
“We just want to release awesome stuff. Players please, give us a chance. Judge our games based on what they are. Judge the DLC based on what it is.
“Stop thinking you’re a producer and telling us when and where we should be building our content.”
Norman doesn’t really benefit at all from defending the final Mass Effect 3 product—though she should still be credited for her work on the game before she left BioWare. But the fact is, she doesn’t work with BioWare or EA any longer, making her defense a bit more, well, defensible. And adding credibility to her statements, a lot of gamers tend to hate on EA really, really easily—myself included. Furthermore, as we’ve learned in the last few weeks, it seems as though fans of Mass Effect are gaining a reputation for being some of the more, uh, passionate gaming fans out there. So it’s conceivable that some of this mountain may, in fact, be more of a molehill.
But, hey, what the fuck do I know? I haven’t played or bought Mass Effect 3. What do YOU, the DISCERNING GAMER think?