Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition: What A Cluster...
I am usually one to bypass collector's editions of games. Most of the time they're overpriced, full of total useless crap, and take up eight games' worth of space on my shelf. I was fully prepared to pick up a nice standard copy of Mass Effect 3 when it releases on March 6.
Recently, the "From Ashes" day one DLC info leaked and was later confirmed. It sounds like it'll be an important mission and feature a new squad member. This will cost $10, unlike the free Cerberus Network content all new game buyers received with Mass Effect 2. Now BioWare and EA are saying that this will be free with all copies of the collector's edition, which is $80 instead of $60. Okay, I want the DLC so I guess I'll get the fancy version for an extra ten bucks.
I'm not the only one to discover that pre-orders for the collector's edition on Xbox 360 are sold out everywhere, and have been since November. As of now, PS3 and PC collector's editions pre-orders are still out there (PC has an infinitely available downloadable version) so get on it if that's your platform of choice or risk getting screwed like the rest of us. I played multiple characters on my 360 copies of Mass Effect 1 and 2 and I'm not about to dump them now for a different platform.
All descriptions of the bonus content included on this thing have heavily downplayed the bonus mission and character. Let's take a look at what EA has chosen to focus on for this thing: metal case, art book, comic book, N7 patch, lithographic print, digital soundtrack, Normany avatar prop. So far all I'd be interested in is the soundtrack, which I can probably get from iTunes. What about the digital add-on content? You'll get some guns, new squad outfits, a faithful robodog buddy on your ship, and a stylish hoodie for Shepard to chill in. Sure, this stuff is cute, but it's not meaningful in-game content. Take a look at the banner for the collector's edition.
No wonder people missed the mission and character content. It's completely buried. More importantly, it's not mentioned at all in the breakdown text below this image on the site and that was what was reposted all across the Internet. Now that real DLC information is up front and out there, it changes everything. Many Mass Effect fans are out in the cold because EA wasn't clear about what was included in the collector's edition. What did EA gain from all this? A bitter sector of the fanbase. Missed $80 premium sales. Lost trust for future collector's edition packages.The only people winning here are ebay sellers who are commanding upwards of $100 for 360 collector's editions.
If EA came out of the gates with all of the collector's edition content clearly described and I just missed the boat due to laziness this would be a completely different story. Put the game content in the main billing, and be sure to make enough copies of your damn game for people who want to give you money for them.
I leave you with the promo video which also pushes the DLC mention way to the back and only flashes on the screen for an instant.