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Mass Effect 3 DLC is "sugar on top", "always optional"

"We would never take stuff out of the core game"

Mass Effect 3's day-one DLC pack From Ashes hasn't been carved off from the core game, according to executive producer Casey Hudson - you'll still get answers to all the trilogy's Big Questions if you opt out.

It will, however, deliver a neat little sidestory in the shape of - well, you should probably stop reading here unless you want the experience spoiled. Here's hoping they don't put the relevant name-checks on the Xbox Marketplace blurb.

"As a fan, some people fear the worst, and they put their own spin on what they think is happening," Casey began, speaking to VentureBeat. "As a fan, if I believed those things I'd be worried too, because what some people are saying is that we've taken all of the lore of Mass Effect out of Mass Effect 3 and it's only in the DLC, stuff like that.

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"Of course that's not true. In fact, Mass Effect 3 is all about answering all the biggest questions in the lore, learning about the mysteries and the Protheans and the Reapers, being able to decide for yourself how all of these things come to an end.

"The DLC, whether it's day one or not, is always going to be sugar on top, the extra... You know, the extra little bits of content that tell side stories."

(Spoiler touchdown in three, two, one...)

"So even though the character we're releasing on day one is a Prothean, which is part of a race that's important to the lore of Mass Effect, his story is still an interesting kind of side thing, and then you get this character that's good if you want to have him for your first playthrough.

"But it's always optional. We would never take stuff out of the core game and only have it in DLC.

Why move onto DLC so quickly? Because with Mass Effect 3 locked down, BioWare had a bit of time on its hands.

"We've got 150 people who worked on the Mass Effect game," Hudson continued. "When we get towards the end of the project, we get into the certification phase, and everything that we've ever wanted to do with the core game is actually finished. And now we just need to get it certified and put on the trucks and manufactured on discs and stuff.

"That takes three months or more. Three months or more for a team of 150 people, that equates to millions of dollars of development time. So we either would move on to the next game, which you might not see for several years, or we're a multi-team studio, so they might move on to Dragon Age or The Old Republic.

"But we know that people really enjoyed the DLC for Mass Effect 2. So we wanted to start working on DLC."

Mass Effect 3 is out this week - 9th March in the UK. Our Mass Effect 3 review is hours away.

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