Mass Effect DLC Missing From Remaster Due To Corrupted Source Code

Mass Effect DLC Missing From Remaster Due To Corrupted Source Code
Commander Shepherd takes on husks in the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. (Screenshot: BioWare)

On May 14, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will bring 4K versions of the original Mass Effect trilogy plus most of its downloadable content to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. However, one single-player expansion is notably absent: the first game’s Pinnacle Station. According to an interview with Game Informer, the original source code was corrupted.

Pinnacle Station marks an odd moment in the original trilogy. Rather than a narrative-driven expansion — like the third game’s venerable Citadel DLC — Pinnacle focused more on gameplay, serving up about a dozen timed combat missions, wave battles, and other general tasks. It gave a taste of Mass Effect multiplayer without the multiplayer. (A true cooperative mode with other players wouldn’t come to the series until 2012’s Mass Effect 3. Multiplayer won’t be returning for Legendary Edition.)

The Pinnacle Station expansion was not developed BioWare, like much of the franchise, but by the Boston-based Demiurge Studios. In developing Legendary Edition, BioWare and EA hit up Demiurge for the original Pinnacle Station files, but much of the data was corrupted.

This meant BioWare would need to recreate Pinnacle Station if it was going to make it into Legendary Edition. Instead, the DLC was left on the table.

“It would basically take us another full six months just to do this with most of the team we’ve got,” Mac Walters, game director on Legendary Edition, told Game Informer. “I wish we could do it. Honestly, just because this is meant to be everything that the team ever created, brought together again — all the single-player content. And so, leaving it all on the cutting-room floor, it was heartbreaking.”

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Comments

  • What’s the reason that you can’t recreate the code for Pinnacle Station by having access to a platform with the DLC installed? Just wondering if its possible, in theory, to try another approach. From what I’ve heard, people can make games which rip-off other games, using the code from that other game. Maybe I’m wrong on the details of that but a primer on this topic would be interesting. There must be a lot of assets that can be salvaged just by studying and playing the Pinnacle Station DLC.

    • Maybe it was Kotaku which mentioned people recycling game assets, so maybe I got confused on the details, above, I’d say that I was thinking of “asset flips” as mentioned in this Wikipedia section on shovelware games:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shovelware#Shovelware_video_games

      Still, I would have thought that a lot of assets could be salvaged just by having access to a platform’s DLC, e.g. voice acting, dialogue options etc.

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