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BioWare announces Mass Effect 2 DLC launch plans

Tuesday, 19th January 2010 18:00 GMT By Johnny Cullen

masseffect26

BioWare has revealed its DLC platform for Mass Effect 2, known as The Cerberus Network.

The Cerberus Network is available to those who buy it new next week for free, although if you buy it second-hand, you can use it by buying a one-time only code to use to activate it.

The service will give to you news and daily messages on upcoming DLC releases for the game without paying a single penny.

BioWare also revealed two new DLC packs will be coming for free: one at launch and the other soon after it.

DLC pack one will launch with new missions and in-game items, as well as a new party member to Shepard’s crew known as Zaeed.

Pack two will include new in-game vehicle the Hammerhead. This pack also contains new missions and in-game items, plus the Cerberus armour and M-22 Eviscerator Shotgun.

“We’re thrilled to be able to reward loyal BioWare and Mass Effect fans with ongoing, high quality content and provide a direct channel for our players to dive deeper into the intriguing lore of Mass Effect,” said GM of EA’s RPG/MMO division and co-founder of BioWare, Ray Muzyka.

Full PR is below. Mass Effect 2 launches next Tuesday in the US, and next Friday in the UK for 360 and PC.

BIOWARE UNVEILS ‘THE CERBERUS NETWORK’ – AN IN-GAME PIPELINE FOR DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT IN MASS EFFECT 2

On January 26 Mass Effect 2 Players Can Download Exciting Bonus Content

Edmonton, Alberta (January 19, 2010) – BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), today revealed ‘The Cerberus Network’, an in-game portal in Mass Effect 2 that will keep fans engaged with the rich and dynamic Mass Effect universe through downloadable content (DLC) and news. ‘The Cerberus Network’ is activated exclusively by original purchasers of Mass Effect 2 through a single-use unlock code that comes included in retail and digital versions of the game worldwide. ‘The Cerberus Network’ is a conduit for players to receive bonus content as well as daily messages and news on upcoming releases for Mass Effect 2 for no extra charge. For players who do not buy the game new, ‘The Cerberus Network’ can be unlocked through a one-time, in-game purchase of a new activation code*.

Mass Effect 2 is the first blockbuster video game release of 2010, having recently been named as one of the “Most Anticipated Games of the Year” by the New York Times, IGN and Wired.

“The Cerberus Network augments and extends the rich universe of Mass Effect 2,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder, BioWare and Group General Manager of the RPG/MMO Group of EA. “We’re thrilled to be able to reward loyal BioWare and Mass Effect fans with ongoing, high quality content and provide a direct channel for our players to dive deeper into the intriguing lore of Mass Effect.”

Players who access ‘The Cerberus Network’ will receive the first DLC pack on January 26th (launch day in North America) featuring 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.

After launch, BioWare will release another DLC pack for Mass Effect 2 that introduces the Hammerhead, a new vehicle in the Mass Effect universe. This agile hover tank features improved handling on rough terrain and maneuvers deftly in combat — a necessity for players traveling across harsh planetary environments throughout the galaxy. In addition to this new vehicle, BioWare will release new missions and unique in-game items, including Cerberus Assault Armor which boost shields, health and heavy weapon ammo and the M-22 Eviscerator Shotgun.

The Mass Effect trilogy is an epic science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life and mysterious, uncharted planets. In Mass Effect 2, players will step into the role of the heroic Commander Shepard, commanding a crew of the most dangerous operatives from across the galaxy on a mission so challenging that it’s potentially suicidal. Featuring intense shooter action, a rich futuristic storyline, stunning space exploration and emotionally engaging characters, the game delivers an unparalleled cinematic experience.

Mass Effect 2 is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC on January 26, 2010 in North America and January 29, 2010 in Europe and has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘18+’ by PEGI (please visit www.esrb.org and www.pegi.eu for more information on ratings). For more news from the development team, please follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect2 or visit the game’s official website at http://masseffect.bioware.com/.

* Activation is tied to a specific EA Online account and is non-transferable.

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22 Comments

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  1. onlineatron

    So ‘The Cerberus Network’ allows for FREE DLC?

    ‘The Cerberus Network’ is a conduit for players to receive bonus content as well as daily messages and news on upcoming releases for Mass Effect 2 for no extra charge’

    #1 4 years ago
  2. AHA-Lambda

    I’m surprised O_O

    then again why isn’t all of Dragon Age’s DLC free then? This seems too good to be true :|

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Aimless

    “The Cerberus Network is only available to those who buy it new next week, and not if you buy it second-hand.”

    This isn’t entirely accurate. Those who buy the game second hand/rent it/pirate it can buy access to the Cerberus Network for a one-off fee. It’s like the Midnight Club DLC for The Saboteur and is evidently EA’s new bag.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. f1r3storm

    I don’t think every DLC will be free. They sure aren’t working for nothing. Maybe some smaller things that those people get for free like weapons.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. AHA-Lambda

    @3 – Ah so like the stone prisoner DLC in dragon age then?

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Aimless

    @4: Indeed. I imagine BioWare are just looking to not be tarnished with the, “You took this out of the game to sell it!” brush. Eventually there is bound to be pay-for content available, and when it is everyone will remember those earlier freebies and think, “Hey, these guys deserve my money!” Or at least I imagine that’s the theory.

    Don’t mistake that for cynicism, by the way. I think it’s a very smart idea and I’m looking forward to seeing what post-release content BioWare puts out, be it for free or for a fee.

    @5: Yep. I reckon you’ll see something similar in the majority of EA’s games going forward.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    I agree with this method of fighting Second hand sales. I can’t wait til next week. Get home from my two classes and playing the shit out of this game.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Hunam

    World at War proved how much money you can make with DLC, I’d wager this is just their way of making sure that the 2nd hand market pays them too :)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. The Hindle

    Now this is how you do dlc

    #9 4 years ago
  10. The Hindle

    Ive read quite a lot on this and i still know hardly nothing about it apart from the characters of course. Cant wait

    #10 4 years ago
  11. onlineatron

    I’m still confused…

    This ‘Network’, it gives you free DLC and you don’t have to pay extra for it if you buy the game new?

    It also sounds like the content automatically downloads and installs itself once available… am I right?

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Hunam

    It might do on the PC if it’s anything like Dragon Age, but I’d imagine PSN and 360 it will be more of a… erm… actually, I have no clue!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    @11 and 12 it will be an improved version of DAO. You don’t have to exit game, pay, download, install reload game it will be able to do it all ingame.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. endgame

    “Those who buy the game second hand/rent it/pirate it can buy access to the Cerberus Network for a one-off fee.” :) now why would they do that when the dlc will be free also for those who have the pirated versions of the game? dao dlc is. i bought the game and all the dlc available and started telling to some of my friends about it, friends who actually had the pirated versions of it and guess what? they also had the dlc. so, if the pirates did it (cracked the dlc) for dao then i’m pretty sure they’ll do it for me2 as well. sad but true. i still preordered the game (me2) though. i just like to do what is right and to support developers like bioware or valve.. :) cheers! ;)

    #14 4 years ago
  15. mington

    i think its probably more for the second hand/rental scene

    for example if i ever rent the saboteur, i think i’d fork out for the tits/disappointment…and it wouldn’t be the first time

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Aimless

    I assume it’s harder to crack DLC on the 360 than on the PC, and I’d imagine quite a few people will be looking to illegally play the game on their Xbox; around a million copies of MW2 on the 360 have been downloaded. Let’s say only 100,000 people pirate Mass Effect 2 on the console and buy the Cerberus Network pass for, say, $10. EA just gained an extra $1,000,000 they wouldn’t have seen otherwise. (Obviously this is a simplification, but you get the point.)

    You also seem to be forgetting the other two demographics I mentioned, those buying the game second hand and those renting it. At least with the former — I don’t know the intricacies of rental license agreements — EA and BioWare don’t see a penny from a second hand sale, but if someone has picked their game up on the cheap they’d probably be quite compelled to lay down a relatively menial fee to have access to a decent amount of new content.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. endgame

    ooo Aimless knows the true numbers. i’m truly impressed. most of the ppl don’t even know that there’s piracy on the xbox or think that’s too low to be of any importance. :)

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    @AImless its been stated the Cerberus Network will be 1200 MS points so around 15$.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Aimless

    I don’t know the ‘true numbers’, exactly, some torrent aggregators just keep track of how many times files have been downloaded. One would assume people aren’t downloading ISOs if they’ve no intention of running them on a cracked machine, so it gives you a good estimate if nothing else. In fact now that I think about it, the figure is probably more accurate than NPD numbers.

    1200MSP, eh? More than I was expecting. Not that it affects me as I have it pre-ordered, but it certainly makes a mockery of the menial saving people would make by buying the game used close to launch; I’m not sure what it’s like in the US, but stores in the UK will only knock about £2 off the RRP.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    @Aimless

    Not sure what you meant by the second paragraph. Any who buy the game new get the Cerberus Network free. It will be done like Shale in DAO. Those that buy it second hand or even pirate it will have to buy it.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Aimless

    Ah, I missed out the all important “used”. Edited it in now.

    I have an annoying habit of missing “not” out of sentences, too.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Phoenixblight

    No harm no foul. SHould see the forums they are filled with rants about Bioware charging for the Network (unless you buy it used) and only CE getting the Cerberus Network Card. Its really overwhelming. I go there to find a some feature info if any has been posted.

    #22 4 years ago