The Internet has been a buzz over the past few days with news of day one downloadable content for Mass Effect 3. The piece of content in question, entitled “From Ashes,” adds a significant (at least in terms of the series’ lore) character, in addition to a gun and some alternate squad outfits. The content, free for buyers of the premium editions of the game, will be available to everyone with a vanilla copy of ME3 for 10 bucks. With the significance of the piece of content in question unknown to this point, gamers need to take a step back and stop blowing their rape whistle.

The hatred that has been placed at the feet of Bioware over the past few weeks is nothing short of disquieting. The fuming hatred spurned by a general discontent with Dragon Age 2 has turned into a speculation filled ball of malcontent that is hell bent on badgering the studio with unreasonable demands of the vocal minority. With rational discourse an impossibility, Bioware made the only play they had and adressed the issue, and moved on.

Now, if you want to get into a big discussion about DLC and the lack of content complete experiences available on day 1, then I think you may be able to find a valid argument. When handled well, DLC has the ability to extend and enhance the experience of a game. However when handled poorly, DLC creates an upswell of consumer entitlement stemming from the fact the content was not included with the original purchase price. Online passes and single use download codes have become the norm to encourage consumers to buy new copies as opposed to fueling Gamestop’s bottom line, and this is where I think some of the more general discontent consumers have towards publishers stems from.

New copies of Mass Effect 2 came with access to the Cerberus Network and with that access came a downloadable character, much akin to the “From Ashes” DLC. By making the new copy “bonus” an online pass to the game’s multiplayer (while wildly speculating was probably an EA decision/policy), there was little reason from a financial standpoint to include the DLC with copies of the base game. The tradeoff between single and multiplayer content seems to provide the biggest schism between angry gamers and a confused Bioware. Fans of the series see online as an unproven entity for the series making the single player content a known quantity, and thus more of a value.

I am an individual that is going to be faced with purchasing the piece of content, having seen no reason to pick up the Collectors edition. I’ve yet to make any decision one way or another simply because the last piece of Mass Effect 2 DLC “The Arrival” left a bad taste in my mouth. At this moment the speculation is borderline absurd, and any attempt to boycott Bioware will provide more chuckles in the studio’s offices then actual lost sales.

Moral of the story: Stop complaining. You sound like a kid who is angry about going to Disney World and finding you have to wait in lines. Games are no longer a consumer good, they are a service. The sooner you realize this the better – its not something that is ever going to change.

Whenever you find yourself angry at the price of games, just be thankful you don’t live in Japan.

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