EA Quits Online Pass

Back in 2010 I purchased Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360. Along with my game came a code to join the Cerberus network. This was the first of many online passes that I would get in future games that are used to detour the sale of used games. They essentially were $10 DLC passes that came with a new game. Most gamers did not take kindly to this online pass idea. And while a number of companies are using it, EA is no longer counted in their number. Recently they have decided to kill the online pass program they started after finding that it was not popular. This was confirmed by EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg. 

This means all new EA games will be finding a different way to get extra money from us gamers. Perhaps buying crafting materials like in Dead Space 3. That would be something right up their proverbial alley.

Assassin's Creed Season Pass

This has nothing to do with the DLC. I just liked the shot.Ubisoft has announced that you can get all 5 DLC packs that will come out for Assassin's Creed III as they come out for one cost of $29.99 (2400 MS Points). The season pass will come out within 6 months of the game coming out and will give people a saving of 25% on the DLC packs (assuming you buy all 5) and, this is the cool(ish) part, you get the DLC a week before non-season pass owners. This means you get a chance of bragging rights on beating the new DLC before your friends get a chance to even play it.

So what do they plant to do with this DLC? Well for the first one they are doing a "what if" model. A quick quote from the press release:

“History is our playground – and AC teams have always loved playing with historical facts and their consequences as a way to better understand a time period,” said Sebastien Puel, Executive Producer at Ubisoft. “While Assassin’s Creed III concentrates on history as it happens, we wanted to take some liberties with this DLC and tell you how things ‘could have happened.’”

To show this off the first DLC is titled "The Tyranny of King George". In it George Washington looks at the newly freed colonies. People love him and want him to rule. In this reality he take the over to live as king, and the power goes to his head. Now Conner must fight a man he once called friend to end the new tyranny.

So what do you think? Do you like the idea of this sort of "What If" DLC? Also what d you think about this continued use of a season pass?

Quantum DLC

Square Enix has announced the two promised DLC packs for Quantum Conundrum. The first DLC title "The Desmond Debacle" will be released first on Steam starting 07/31/2012, then PSN on 08/14/2012 and finally XBLA on 08/15/2012. In this DLC you will be tasked with solving puzzles created by Desmond the drinking bird in a new section of Quadrangle Manor. How a drinking bird managed to create puzzles I have no clue, but this was an invention by Professor Quadrangle. It will run about $2.99 or 250 Microsoft Points.







The second DLC pack that will available on Steam starting 08/28/2012, PSN 09/11/2012, and XBLA 09/12/2012 will the "IKE-aramba!". In this you must once again embark on a rescue mission, but this time for IKE (Interdimensional Kinetic Entity) instead of your uncle. Not sure how a creature that can jump from one dimension to another gets trapped, but we can probably blame the professor again on this one. Just the the other DLC it will run $2.99 or 240 Microsoft points.


Mass Effect 3 - Your Endings are Here

Gamers have whined and complained, and now it has paid off. The extended endings for Mass Effect 3 are officially here. Pop open your copy of Mass Effect 3 and download the most recent DLC. Once downloaded you can access the new endings in one of two ways.

::SPOILER:: You can either A) Start at the assault on the Cerberus base to get the biggest bang for your buck or B) You can start at the point where you return ot the Citadel. From what I have heard they have gone all out and you will have to play the game differently to get all the different endings. So get out there, and save the universe several times!

Mass Effect 3 Gets Extended Ending

The geeks have whined, bitched, and moaned. Now they get to see the fruits of their labor. EA and Bioware are releasing free DLC that will expand (read: not change) the ending to the epic that is Mass Effect 3. The DLC will add extra cinematic scenes as an epilogue to the game. BioWare believes that this will strike a nice balance between between answering the fans questions and maintaining the artistic vision of Casey Hudson and his team.

Look forward to downloading the DLC on all three platforms (PC, 360, and PS3) some time this summer. And while they have it marked as expiring on 04/12/2014 they do plan on keeping it free and availble as long as they can, but they add expiration dates to all free content.

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This Week(end)s Geek - DLC Part 2

A few weeks ago I did an article supporting publishers on having day one DLC for games. For those that missed it you can find it here. When I wrote the article the I mentioned how publishers had been doing day one DLC did not really bother me. The day one DLC was included with new purchases of games. You only had to buy it if you purchased the game used. My rational was they were supporting their customers on the rational that you are not their customer if you buy it used as they get no profits from a used game, and only become a customer if you buy the new game or the DLC.  It seemed like a good argument when I wrote the initial article. Then EA / Bioware goes and f*&ks it up.

Not a screen cap from the DLC, I just liked Legion.

With the release of Mass Effect 3 they are going to have the day one DLC From Ashes. This DLC does come with the game, but only the collectors edition or digital deluxe versions of the game (which was not announced until this month). If you happen to only purchase the normal version of the game then you have to shell out the $10.00 for the DLC should you want to play it. Now it feels like they are sticking it to their existing customer base with this. The DLC is not content they started working on after launch to add to the life of the game; it is not a bonus for buying a new copy over a used one, it just seems like a money grab. Don't get me wrong, I am a sucker and will be getting the DLC.  I even canceled my normal version pre-order at Gamestop and placed an order for the digital deluxe version on Origin (since now it would only be a $10.00 difference between standard and digital deluxe). But I still feel like I am getting slighted by the publisher on this one.

(Ok, this was more of a rant then normal articles are, but I wanted this off my chest).

This Weeks Geek - Day One DLC?

Day one downloadable content (DLC); more and more games are finding one way or another to include them in your games.  Mass Effect 2 did it with the Cerberus network, Mortal Kombat did it with their restricted access to online play, Catwomen in Batman: Arkham City and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is doing it with House of Valor faction quests.  Now all this DLC has been free to people that have purchased the game new; but used buyers have to shell out for the content.  Is this a fair or are publishers purposely restricting game content to make more money on their products?  That is the focus on This Weeks Geek.
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