Currently there is a piece of news doing the rounds about Mass Effect 3 DLC and Bioware’s apparent corporate whoring.
With Mass Effect 3 on the horizon there is a plethora of merchandise available which (personally) is welcome as the last two titles had very little or at least very little official products. To sweeten the deal each major piece or merchandise offers a code that will unlock extras in the game. This has lead to many a complaint as people rush to calculate how much they have to pay to unlock a full game.
Here is the list of merchandise and associated bonuses:
Collector’s Edition (needed to obtain all content):
- $80 – N7 Collector’s Edition
- AT-12 Raider – Origin pre-order bonus
- Chakram Launcher – Play the Kingdoms of Alamur demo
- M-55 Argus – Pre-order bonus for select retailers
- N7 Weapons pack – N7 Edition bonus
- N7 Hoodie – N7 Edition bonus
- N7 Warfare Gear – Pre-order bonus for select retailers
- Reckoner Knight Armor – Play the Kingdoms of Alamur demo
- Robotic Dog – N7 Edition bonus
- Squad Outfit pack – N7 Edition bonus
- Unannounced price for the iOS game Mass Effect Infiltrator, which can affect the main game.
- $10 day one “From Dust” DLC
- $44.99 for the Liara figurine – multiplayer unlock DLC
- $24.99 for The Art of Mass Effect Universe – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $80 for four Mass Effect 3 toys – “Slightly randomized” multiplayer unlock DLC
- $59.99 for the Mass Effect 3 controller – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $209.99 for the Chimera 5.1 Headset – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $34.99 for the Mousepad – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $79.99 for the Messenger Bag – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $24.99 for the iPhone case – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $79.99 for the Mouse – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
- $139.99 for the Keyboard – Collector Assault Rifle unlock DLC/Powerup
It is quite a pricy list, however, if you look at it closely several items unlock the exact same item/items – the collector Assault Rifle. It is also worth noting (based on the demo) most powerups in multiplayer are one use only so people with enough money to purchase all those extras will not gain a competitive edge for long.
It’s a dangerous balancing act, while hiding main features behind an extra fee is questionable, rewarding fans with little extras is a noble gesture and I would encourage more companies to link merchandise in this way.
No doubt there will be discussion about “disgusting” business tactics but as with anything if you don’t like it don’t buy it. It’s simple as that, vote with your wallets (channelling Captain Planet) The power is yours.