EA’s Mass Effect 2 DLC Plans: A Subtle Salvo Against the Used Game Market?

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With one week to go until Mass Effect 2 comes out, developer Bioware has finally handed out some meaty details on their downloadable content plans.

The good news: free DLC will be available on January 26th and include a few new missions, one of which will introduce Zaeed, a ruthless merc (pictured above right) who becomes a member of Commander Shepard’s team. Subsequent DLC packs, available after ME2‘s release, will add additional missions, plus items like a hover tank, armor, ammo, and weapons to help you in your campaign to save the galaxy.

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The bad news is only bad if you plan on renting the game or buying it used later: players access the launch day DLC and subsequent ME2 goodies through an in-game portal called The Cerberus Network, which you activate with a free code that’s packaged with your game. The code is single-use, meaning you’ll have to buy another one from EA/Bioware at a still-undisclosed price if you rent, borrow, or buy the game used.

I don’t see too many ME2 players falling into any of these categories (especially on launch day), yet I can still see gamers raising an eyebrow over EA’s novel policy. Game publishers don’t see a cent of used game sales, so I wonder if this experiment with the Cerberus Network is a sly way to encourage you to buy your copy of the game brand-new.

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