This caused quite an uproar, and BioWare seems to have heard this as they have responded. Casey Hudson, executive producer for the franchise took to his twitter to answer allegations that the DLC was already on the disc but was purposely locked out to make people pay for it.
It takes about 3 months from ‘content complete’ to bug-fix, certify, manufacture, and ship game discs. In that time we work on DLC.
DLC has fast [certification] and no [manufacturing], so if a team works very hard, they can get a DLC done in time to enjoy it with your 1st playthrough on day one. On ME3, content creators completed the game in January and moved onto the ‘From Ashes’ DLC, free with the [Collector's Edition] or you can buy separately
If that wasn’t enough, BioWare has responded officially via their official forums and claims that the content “From Ashes” was developed by “a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification.”
Would it make a difference if EA kept this a secret and released the info regarding the DLC, say a month from release? To be honest, I think it’s safe to say that we should expect things like this from now. The question is, are you okay with it? Let us know what you think.
Mass Effect 3 will be coming out this March 6 on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.