EA: 40 pct. of Mass Effect 3 buyers bought DLC ‘From Ashes’ at launch, guaranteeing more day-one DLC for future AAA games

ea 40 of mass effect 3 buyers bought dlc from ashes at launch guaranteeing more day one for future aaa games sells percent

Mass Effect 3’s downloadable story mission “From Ashes” was not an expansion of the game. It was another portion of the full game’s story that had to either be purchased with an expensive limited edition version or separately as downloadable content through Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. “From Ashes” was about recruiting Javik, a party character and the last surviving member of the Prothean race whose technology forms the backbone if the entire Mass Effect mythology. It was essential and EA left it out to make a buck, which angered more than a few fans.

“From Ashes” also guaranteed that downloadable content available from release will be an essential part of future big budget games for Electronic Arts. Don’t like day-one DLC? Too bad. It’s here to stay.

Speaking with Gamasutra on Wednesday, Electronic Arts’ Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore discussed the dual importance of both digital and physical retail sales for his company’s games. “The key thing [for boosting launch revenue] is selling digital content on the day of launch,” said Moore, “When we sold Mass Effect 3 back in March, we saw a 40 percent attach rate that first week to DLC at GameStop in the United States. Not only are you selling a $60 game… you’re selling $20 DLC, so the sale becomes $80.”

That proposition, turning a $60 sale at retail into an $80 one, is the core of the video game business going forward according to Moore, and he’s right. Big budget video games need to evolve and fast. Just look at April’s retail performance—total sales for the industry were down 32% year-on-year. That’s bad news for anyone.

Of course, the new model is bad news for players with little pocket money and a desire for coherent stories. Day one DLC like “From Ashes” for Mass Effect 3 certainly increases the amount of money EA is going to make, but it’s also a brazen deception. You’re telling consumers that they’re buying a complete game for $60, when in fact they’re only getting most of a game.

EA has in effect found a way to return games to the expensive heights the industry saw back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s when games still predominantly came on cartridges. New home releases of the era like Mortal Kombat 2 could cost as much as $90 on day one. The success of day-one DLC like “From Ashes” is bringing AAA games right back to the bad old days.

Emerging Tech

How Super Mario, Magic: The Gathering, and PowerPoint are low-key supercomputers

What if the creators of Super Mario World, PowerPoint, and even Magic: The Gathering had accidentally created tools hiding a general-purpose computer in plain sight? Turns out they have.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Need a new Switch game? These will scratch the itch without emptying your wallet

Besides its great AAA games, the Nintendo Switch also has plenty of cheaper options. Here are some great Nintendo Switch games under $20, including some new versions of old classics.

Red Dead Online poker missing in some parts of the world due to gambling laws

The massive update for Red Dead Online as it left beta added poker, among many other things, to the online component of Red Dead Redemption 2. Some players can't access the card game though, due to the gambling laws of their country.

Minecraft may be best-selling video game in history with 176 million copies sold

Minecraft has sold more than 176 million copies since it was launched 10 years ago, across all platforms where it is available. The milestone may make it the best-selling video game in history.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 publisher opts out of Epic Games store sale

Epic Games launched its first major sale and made the decision to cover the cost of discounts, but a couple of publishers opted out anyway. One withdrawal, involving Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, seems to be rooted in a…

Ubisoft is making strides towards more accessible games

Ubisoft's accessibility project manager David Tisserand shared details on a new accessibility initiative during Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Here's what's to come in the future from the company.

From platforms to games, here's how Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce size up

Google Stadia will have some stiff competition in Microsoft's Project xCloud, but that isn't the only game streaming service. We compared Google Stadia vs. Nvidia GeForce Now to see the differences and features.

Apex Legends patch waves goodbye to Gibraltoad, addresses hit-detection issues

It has been quiet for a while, but the Apex Legends developers are gearing up for a patch update in the coming weeks. A Respawn employee took to Reddit to share the planned changes for the next major patch.

PlayStation Productions is taking inspiration from Disney’s Marvel films

Sony announced PlayStation Productions, a studio dedicated to bringing the gaming properties to film and television. The new studio is aiming to model things after Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The best iOS games you can play offline on your iPhone and iPad

Even though we're always glued to our phones, we don't always have access to Wi-Fi or have steady service. Whether you're on a flight, riding the bus, or sitting in a waiting room, you can always play these excellent iOS games.

Sony’s next-gen PlayStation Now vision includes games streaming without console

Sony has made the topics from the yearly investor relations meeting available to the public and now we have an even clearer picture of what the PlayStation brand will look like in the next generation of home consoles.
Product Review

Oculus Quest is the affordable VR rig we’ve been waiting for

Oculus announced that its Project Santa Cruz virtual reality headset will ship next year as the Oculus Quest, and we got to try out several new game titles on the Quest. Find out our impressions of VR without wires.

Amazon’s one-day sale takes up to 69 percent off wireless accessories

Looking for a mechanical keyboard or a better mouse to take your gaming experience to the next level? You can now save up to 69 percent on these accessories through Amazon's sale. These prices are only good for today, so act fast!