Mass Effect 2 Free And Paid Downloadable Content Plans Clarified

News this week of free-for-some downloadable content plans for Mass Effect 2 generated confusion about who will have to pay for what. Answers are emerging, including more free content and a $US15 cost for used-game consumers who want it all.

The main element that has puzzled gamers is The Cerberus Network, which was announced on Tuesday as a portal that would grant Mass Effect 2 gamers access to free downloadable content and news about new offers. The Network is free to consumers who buy a new copy of the game, but would cost those buying the game used an unspecified fee. That fee would possibly cancel out some of the savings a used-game purchaser would gain by not buying a game new.

Kotaku has been able to confirm that the Cerberus Network is currently listed on the servers of Mass Effect 2 publisher EA as costing 1200 Microsoft Points, or $US15. That is the same price that BioWare/EA's previous game, Dragon Age: Origins, charged used-game shoppers in order to access its similar free-for-original-consumers DLC.

On Wednesday, before that $US15 price came to light, Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of Mass Effect 2 development studio BioWare told the live audience of Kotaku Talk Radio, this website's weekly podcast, that the plan is for the Cerberus Network to extend Mass Effect 2's appeal. "For us, really, the Cerberus Network is a way to reward our fans and give them a long-term relationship," he said. "There will be some free stuff ... There will be surprises that we spring on people, [saying]'Hey there's a new x,y, or z, go check it out.' That's one of the benefits of being part of the Cerberus Network."

What the Cerberus Network won't be, Zeschuk said to ally concerns, is a requirement. People will not need to be a part of the Network in order to make future Mass Effect 2 DLC purchases. "You could either join it or not join it," he said. "You could still get... DLC ... for purchase."

The free day-one DLC offered via the Cerberus Network includes a set of armour, a gun and a new character who is introduced via an extra mission. EA confirmed to Kotaku today that the previously announced Hammerhead hover tank will also be a Cerberus offering, free to those who have joined the Network.

Zeschuk said that EA will pay close attention to how these DLC offerings are adopted by Mass Effect 2 players. That comment seems to leave the company room to be adaptable.

The BioWare chief also said that all of this will be much more clear to owners of the game, who will be able to use a virtual laptop interface to check out what they can get, when they can get it and for how much.

Mass Effect 2 will be out for the Xbox 360 and PC next week.


    Maybe if game companies and retail stores lowered the price a bit people wouldn't buy so many second hand games.

    The difference in price between here and the US is outrageous.

    For example take a look at Mass Effect 2, at EB Games in Australia it's going to be AUD$108 and at EB in the US it's going to be US$60. Going on todays exchange rate that works out to be $66.63, so even when you include postage you're still saving a bundle.

      If anyone buys at RRP they are morons - EB Games are a ripoff - JB HiFi and Big W get all my purchases because I never have to pay more than $89.

        Yeah, and I get a staff discount at JB so I end up paying around 80 bucks.
        I highly recommend buying from if you want cheaper PAL games though. I preordered Dead Rising 2 for like 20 quid in a special offer they had!

        Same here; I got Batman for $60 two months or so after release.

        JB FTW.

        I agree 100% Big W and JB all the way!

        But.... this time terminus armour.... and cool gun..

        yer im sick to the teeth of all these people going "waah, we have to pay $120 for games whaa" when the reality is you can get brand new games for $80-$89. the only people who pay that much for games are idiots who think eb games is like the only place that sells video games.

        I found an online retailer that haves prices < 50% of EB prices. You do have to wait for delivery, but the games are released about a week before their Australian counterparts, so you get it at about the same time.

        Oh, and free shipping.
        And also, usually cheaper than steam.

      Or you could pick it up on Steam for US$50 (basic edition)!

    I'm a little sleept atm. Does this apply to PC too or only console?

    better find an ethernet cable so i can get this dlc

    I was very upset knowing that EB have the exclusive rights to the Limited Edition of Mass Effect 2. I want it that bad that i have no choice but to pay it.

    EB Games are a rip-off and i tend to avoid them at all costs, but people forget that they price match like every other retailer such as; Kmart, Big W, Target, Game & JB Hi-Fi.

    Big W do have great prices but tend to only last the launch week. I also find that with some games they won't release til a day or two after their actual release date OR they won't go on special a day or two after their release. They did that with ODST - went on sale 3 days after release.

    I usually go to Kmart by price matching - JB or Big W - cause i get discount there. But JB do have great prices with probably 90% of games on release. Theres only the odd occasion they are over $89 - like MW2 for example.

    Eb are a last resort when I want to trail a game a week before one i really want is released. Then i abuse their 7 Day Trial. Thats all they're good for! I may shop around online for ME2 Limited Edition cause i really don't want to go to EB for it.

    Does this some with all editions or just the EB collectors edition?
    If so, it is not really a reword for buying it new - just a collectors edition bonus.

    GAME also had free exclusive DLC with it's not just EB where you get exclusives.

    I got inferno armor or something with my GAME copy

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