Mass Effect 2 To Sweeten The Deal For "Original Purchasers"

In the war against used game sales, publisher EA appears to be favouring one tactic: Adding value for those who purchase the company's games new. The publisher announced such a tactic today for Mass Effect 2.

With Mass Effect 2, as with last fall's Dragon Age: Origins and The Saboteur, EA will reward "original purchasers" of the game - those who buy a game new rather than paying for it used from a game shop and therefore sending no money from said purchase in EA's direction. As with those other EA games, new copies of Mass Effect 2 will come packed, physically and/or digitally, with a single-use unlock code. The code will add "The Cerberus Network", an in-game portal that will funnel Mass Effect 2 daily messages, downloadable content and news about such DLC to players.

Those who purchase Mass Effect 2 used or for some other reason don't have the single-use unlock code, will have to pay for the Cerberus Network for an unspecified amount.

The "original purchasers" reward for November's Dragon Age: Origins was a DLC pack called The Stone Prisoner. The pack contained a new party member, plus "new environments, items and hours of additional gameplay that adds to the Dragon Age: Origins campaign," according to the game's official site. For used-game purchasers, it cost $US15.

The Saboteur's "original purchasers" reward was optional female toplessness, added hiding locations in the game's World War II–era France and the option to watch topless dances. For used-game purchasers, it cost $US3.

Mass Effect 2's "original purchasers" incentive, according to an EA press release today, contains the following day-one offerings: "New missions and in-game items. Included in this pack is a mission that introduces Zaeed, a rugged and deadly gun-for-hire who is recruited to join Commander Shepard's mission to save mankind." (Note: That's Zaeed poking his finger at Shepard in the image above.)

EA's announcement today also mentioned post-launch DLC that will include a new hover tank called The Hammerhead, new missions, shield/health/heavy-ammo-boosting Cerberus Assault armour and an M-22 Eviscerator Shotgun. A spokesperson for the game was unable to tell Kotaku whether these items will be free or for pay.

Game publishers have long complained that sales of used games cost them revenue, but gamers on a budget have found irresistible used games that are $US5-10 less than the new copies of the games shelved near it.

Adding bonuses to games in order to reward new-game purchasers seems like a savvy way to discourage the purchase of used games, though it will likely also raise the common questions about how content is doled out - or locked off - from those who buy and play games.


Comments

    You get the feeling that they are cutting features out of the game to add in under the guise of 0-day DLC.

    Gets people use to the DLC system for future purchases and and gives the 2nd hand market a reason to pause and consider buying a "full" version rather than a "lite" version

      It think that's kind of obvious. A while back, Ubisoft release a DLC pack called Epilogue for the 2008 Prince of Persia game.

      I'm still convinced to this day that Epilogue is 'real' ending to the game and that Ubisoft are trying to get a share of the used game market.

      Which reminds me, I have to seen $200 to Ford for the car I got second hand....

        The Prince of Persia Epilogue clearly wasn't the original ending to the game; the game design in the epilogue is fundamentally different from the main body of the game. I'm willing to believe in at least that case that it was something designed and implemented after work on the main game was finished.

        But people who bought Prince of Persia new at release also had to pay for Epilogue, so it seems weird to classify it as "trying to get a share of the used game market".

        As far as being the "real ending", it didn't really add anything to the story and was the kind of thing that could be glossed over with one line of dialogue in a sequel (if they ever make a sequel).

    To be honest, although I disagree with almost everything EA does, I don't mind this tactic. For one, I buy 'original copies' of games 90% of the time, and although it would obviously be better if they included it in the original game, the way I see it, if you pay $20 dollars less, it's ok if you get $15 dollars less value.
    Anyway, on the Stone Prisoner DLC, is it just me or was it really short? All that happened was I went to the village, got Shale, the quest ended and the village didn't have anything else to offer, and unless I'm mistaken, there weren't any new quests added. Am I missing something?

      If you talk to shale you can get him to talk about his past life in the deep Roads which will give you a quest to go there.

      The quest itself is quite short, yes. There were some DLC-only items in the village, though.

      Shale adds an interesting viewpoint to the Orzammar quests, and later will have a personal side-quest that features a new area. Really, the main addition from this DLC was the extra dialogue.

    DLC is here is sadly here to stay... depends on the game and how it's used, it can be a good thing.

    Other times it's obvious they are cutting out content to hold back as DLC, that is the kinda of DLC I don't like.

    EA's new strategy of DLC bonus for a new game purchase I really don't mind, I'm a person that does buy alot of games on Day 1, so I do find that getting something free that someone will have to pay for down the track is a good thing.

    Of course there are some games that I will also wait for the price to go down because I don't feel as though they are worth full price, so in that instant when they are dropped by 30-50% or bought used and cheap. So certainly there is a high chance that I will miss out on the content being 'free', but what you save on the price of the game, the DLC is generally a few $$ more.

    Finally, this system is also certainly available to be abused. Just buy the game on Day 1 from EB Games or GAME, use the code and then return the game within 7 days. You get the free DLC for when you want to pick up the game down the track, ie: when it gets cheap again... or buying used after the fact.

      Your last paragraph is pointless in this situation. Someone like myself is going out on a hurry to get ME2 even though i really want to play it.

      I want to get a month or two after release personally. So when i do, its still going to have that code in the box cause all NEW copies come with it.

      Why would someone buy it on release, get the code and take back the copy at EB and then wait for a used copy to come along. A used copy thats a lot cheaper may be a month or two away and by then the price of Mass Effect 2 may have dropped to $89 or even $79 at places like Big W or Kmart on special and cheaper than pre-owned versions at JB, EB or Game.

      You make a good point for other games - but in this case, its kinda of pointless really. I do enjoy abusing EB's system but i hardly buy from their even if its a new game i'm unsure on - basically cause i can get it at Kmart or Big W or even JB for $79 or $89 compared to EB's $110. I know you can price match and all but they are real pricks in certain situations.

      But i used your said tactic with ODST. Got the Sgt. Johnson unlock code took it back a day later and then got my ODST version for free. It was funny cause i tried to price match when i got ODST from EB to JB's price which was $79 i think or maybe $89. The guy tried to act cool by being like "well no code if you price match" to which i agreed and paid $110. or maybe it was $99. A day later, walk back in and return it without the code - they can't do anything.

    I don't actually mind this tactic. If you buy something new, you get something better. Fair enough.

    $5 or $10 makes me buy the original. If its only $5 i dont want a used copy with a scruffy manual.

    I see absolutely no issue with this, In fact I quite like that I can support my DEV and I get little something something from them. It's hard to deny that selling pre-owned games doesn't "really" benefit the DEV but only benefits the reseller. I worked at EB Games for 2 and abit years and people trade a game in sometime for $23 store credit and we resell for roughly $70 sometimes depending on the game.

    Touche, teacher! I applaud the publishers trying to claw back some of the revenue they lose to the pre-loved market. Whether in the way of exclusive figurines & collectable trinkets, or DLC codes- the amount of dollars they miss out on when ppl do NOT buy brand new is immense. And the huge profit that retailers gain from transacting preowned games over supplier-bought is crazy- we have all traded a game in only to see that it is on the shelf later for AT LEAST $20 more. Only EB with their inflated prices can hope to make this on new stock, so it makes sense to promote 'cheaper' preowned to customers and make more GP.

      The next horizon is synchronising releases and Aussie versions with overseas territories. I wonder if anyone has a clue how many copies of L4D2 were imported into the country? The lost revenue is surely a strong argument for rectifying our Victorian-era (or should that be South Australian-era?) classifications. I know at least a dozen ppl who REGULARLY buy from playasia and the like, simply because we get it later, or in a watered down version, or not at all. Or even, horrifically, simply because it is cheaper.

    Maybe... and this is definitely just wishful thinking... it will force places that sell used games cheaper. If a new games comes with $10 of free DLC maybe the used game should be $10 cheaper... or the companies should allow used game salesmen to buy new codes for their used games.

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