You may have noticed that in the past few months, EA has begun to provide content that's free to purchasers of new games, but costs serious money for those buying second-hand. It's no co-incidence. It's called "Project Ten Dollar".
As part of the company's attempts to combat the sale of pre-owned games - where profits go to the retailer, not the publisher - Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello assembled his executives in New York City last year for a "brainstorming session". What they came up with was "Project Ten Dollar".
With a name that like that, I hope Riccitiello didn't just say "yeah, approved" or something equally dull. I hope he leaned back in his chair, pointed at a dossier and said "Men...commence Project Ten Dollar". Then took a drag of a cigarette, gazed out the window, and muttered "and may God help us all....."
Project Ten Dollar made its debut in Dragon Age and, more publicly, with Mass Effect 2's Cerberus Network, but you can expect to see it a lot more going forwards. I mean, it has a codename! You know a company is serious about a campaign when it's given a snappy codename.
With all of EA's 2011 titles to feature DLC of some kind, it'd be safe to assume that most of those games, if not all of them, will feature the same kind of system, whereby DLC that's free for purchasers of new games costs $US10 for anyone buying the game second-hand.
Electronic Arts: Lost in an Alien Landscape [BusinessWeek]