Day-one downloadable content is an oft-talked about topic. It's simultaneously great, especially when free, but a pain since console hard drive sizes aren't where they need to be. Yet one part of the discussion rarely seems to get brought up: why developers don't just slap that content on the disc and call it a day.
Talking with Ars Technica, Mass Effect 2 project director Casey Hudson explained -- in easy-to-understand terms -- the reasoning behind this choice. Three cheers for logic! "What goes out on disc, it takes about 12 weeks to debug and certify and get into the trucks to go out into stores."
"That gives us a period of 8 to 12 weeks where we can make content, but we can't put it onto the disc because it's already out there. But we can insert it digitally, day one."
Compare that to the amount of time it takes for a finished add-on pack to leave Microsoft after certification and become playable for us gamers, which Casey says is "down to a matter of two or three weeks -- it makes a big difference."
And that's the story of how Zaeed was born. It makes perfect sense now, but honestly, a lot of people don't take the time to think these things all the way through.
Day one content: Bioware explains why it's sometimes legit [Ars Technica]