BioWare's not in the carving-off-DLC business, insists director of online development Fernando Melo, but accusations that the developer is "lying" about the origin of simultaneous-release expansions are, he believes, inevitable for the moment.
"If you have a consistent culture of how you're communicating to your fans, that will increase the number of people that are more likely to believe in your explanation," Melo explained during a GDC Europe presentation last week (via IGN). "You're not lying to them, but they will take whatever you're saying as like, 'you're lying to us.' That will always be there.
"The only way that that's going to go away is you fast forward a few more years, where this is just normal. Every game is digital from day one. Every game is an ongoing service, almost like an MMO, where on any given day new content shows up. Maybe that's part of the base package, and maybe it's a premium feature."
Melo also echoed fiery comments by former BioWare producer Christina Norman, who observed in March that "there's no point in releasing DLC a year after your game comes out when most people have already sold it back to Gamestop three times".
"Contrary to what you might hear on the internet," said Melo, "fans do want more content. They tend to say, 'I want it now.' The problem with day one content and the challenge around it is that the right answer for now is different for every player. There is no single right time, there is no single now. It's subjective, and it's unique to every player."
The safest way to ensure sales, he argued, is to release DLC as early as possible and let players decide when they want to actually invest. "They choose when to pick that up. It's not based on us. It's not based on some first-party release schedule. It's there, if they want it they can pick it up day one. If they don't, they can wait until they've finished their game."
The next Mass Effect 3 DLC pack is Leviathan, a chunk of single player action set during the main campaign. It's out on 28th August. Trailer below. BioWare has suggested that Mass Effect 4 may explore the origins of certain Mass Effect races.