Free Mass Effect 2 For Dragon Age II Owners

Knees not included.

Coo – want Mass Effect 2 for free? If you’ve bought Dragon Age II, then it’s already yours for the taking. Indeed, even if you buy a copy of Dragon Age II now, before 30th April, you can get the superb space-RPG for zero dollarpounds as well. This is, BioWare say, how they’re celebrating their having sold one million copies of DA2 in two weeks.

I’m sure there must be a more cynical reason for this seeming generosity. Perhaps every time someone plays Mass Effect 2 a puppy-fairy dies, and their cafeteria is powered by the sadness of children. I imagine that’s likely it.

This offer works for anyone who’s bought Dragon Age II on any platform, so long as they still have their Online Pass code (or can retrieve it). There’s instructions over on BioWare’s site that explain how you can claim your copy. And you flipping well should, because Mass Effect 2 is ace. And contains a really quite splendid song.

The catches are tiny. You can only get your copy through EA’s rubbish EA Store and EA Download Manager. I’m not sure who that’s supposed to help, because being forced to use the thing certainly isn’t going to encourage anyone to want to ever use it again. And of course it means that anyone who had their customer rights taken away by the Online Pass system, when buying a pre-owned copy, will need to go and pay their tithe to EA before being allowed to take advantage of the offer.

But for the vast majority, this is a case of a great thing for free. Or a really cheap present for someone if you already have ME2. So it’s a win, really. Unless you’re a puppy-fairy.


  1. KikiJiki says:

    Read another way:
    Bioware apologises to the poor fools who bought DA2 by giving them a good game instead

    • cmi says:

      haha, this. ^^

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      I suppose after playing DA2 ME2 looks decent enough in comparison.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I actually prefer Dragon Age 2 to Mass Effect 2, by a large margin.

      Anyway, it’s a nice gesture by Bioware.

    • Orija says:

      Lars, I did a google check to see if you worked at Bioware. No evidence so far but don’t think you can fool me.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I don’t think ME2 is a bad game, but I don’t connect emotionally to the plot or the characters. Unlike DA2 I don’t feel challenged by the combat, even on harder levels. So what I’m left with is a good looking shooter, with some talky bits in between.

    • Holybasil says:

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Also it feels like it was made by people who would rather work in cinema. Ok I’m done now.

    • My2CENTS says:

      Of course you like DA2, you grew up with Dragons, we on the other grew up with the Space as a fascinating destiny.

    • Bilbo says:

      I knew the first comment on the page would be words to this effect.

      Also, no.

    • Lars Westergren says:


      Hey, I love sci-fi, have since I was 10 and read Carke, Asimov, Heinlein etc. If the far future in Mass Effect had felt a little bit less sterile and more vibrant, or contained more hard and/or fantastic science – say, like the space-opera worlds of Vernor Vinge (Fire Upon the Deep, Deepness in the Sky), I would have liked it better I think. Somehow I expect space combat in the far future to be less about deploying small teams on planets who then run towards people firing machineguns.

      Vinge’s programmer-archeologists, sensory dictatorships, crypto arbitrage wars, bandwidth-restricted space armadas, viral demi-gods, a race for whom network topologies are psychological experiments…. Now that’s more like it.

    • Solivagant says:

      What I like about Dragon Age 2 is that it inspires me to create. I identify with the game to a level I’ve never felt before, which you can read up if you’re so inclined.
      I haven’t been able to finish it yet because I like being in that exact moment in the game so much. It’s every story I dreamed up when I was a kid,

    • Zenicetus says:

      As someone raised on sci-fi, I have to agree with Lars about the sterility of the Mass Effect universe. I just wasn’t grabbed by the setting or the plot of either game. It’s basically a Star Trek rip-off, with humanoid aliens and “away teams” doing all the grunt work. Also, they give you this wonderful military starship that you never get to actually command in a battle; it’s a glorified taxi. At least Kirk got to fight a few space battles. The mechanics of the game were very polished though, so that was enough to lure me through two play-throughs of ME1 and one playthrough of ME2, so I guess plot and setting isn’t everything. Or maybe it’s just the lack of good sci-fi RPG’s these days, so anything halfway decent is worth playing.

      On the other hand, I think Dragon Age 2 stunk on ice.

    • Kdansky says:

      Boarding an enemy ship on behalf of our criminal boss (who kills and tortures humans for a living, why are we working for him again?) that apparently sent out a distress signal, but without even bringing a bolt-cutter (or explosives?) in case anything goes wrong, getting trapped and shooting your way out, then getting told that the boss knew this was a trap but inconveniently didn’t tell you. Is it possible to make an excuse? Of course. Will this make it any more sensible? No.

      Risking life and limb to get some FoF-code, but forgetting to bring some evidence with you that would make the council believe you and get rid of TIM (because he is either incompetent, or evil, or both)?

      Shooting a three eyed metal space terminator made out of human gello in the glowy glass tubes while it is CHARGIN MA LAIZA?

      Spending dozens of hours playing Whack-A-Mole?

      I still stick with my assessment that DA2 is a good game with some annoying flaws, while ME2 is a huge flaw with some neat bits in it (mostly Mordin). I cannot for the life of me understand why people ignore how bad ME2 really is. Somehow it’s an issue when Merryl lives in a flat that is a bit too large for the slums (the real reason: camera issues), but space Schwarzeneggers are acceptable. Bad excuses can be found for either, but one is a minor artistic oversight, and the other is a huge, giant laughingstock. Why does nobody care about the plot of ME2? It’s an atrocity! If you want a full listing, go and google Shamus Young.

      There is also nothing like the zeal that ME2 fans use when they come up with the most ridiculous examples, such as “TMI could not tell Shepard, because he could not trust Shepard to not give it away.” Because sending the one and only hope into a planned trap without telling them is clever, eh?

  2. Branthog says:

    I wouldn’t be willing to deal with EAs bullshit “online pass” garbage for all the free games in the world. Doing my taxes is less frustrating than dealing with that fucktarded EA site/service/authentication/etc.

    • Bhazor says:

      Awww diddums.

    • Bilbo says:

      Yeah, it was really complicated… I clicked the link, clicked “lost my code”, and it spat out a new one that I just plugged in to EA download manager… I’m gonna have to go lie down because that was so complicated and draining

  3. Bobzer says:

    Buy a shit game get a good one free!

    • MadMinstrel says:

      That’s just crude. DA2 is by no means a shit game. It just a bit short of great.

    • Orija says:

      It’s mediocre just like the first one was.

    • TariqOne says:

      @MadMinstrel: Seconded. It fell short of what people expected from the follow up to Origins, but that doesn’t make it crap, in my opinion. If anything, the skill trees, story, and writing were much improved over Origins, even if the combat, encounter design, and inventory management were in many eyes a step back.

      I actually finished DA2 because I wanted to see what happened to the characters. I lost steam with Origins about 80% of the way through because the rather generic and slightly stiff battle-for-the-fate-of-the-world story failed to carry me through.

      Just one fellow’s opinion though. YMMV.

    • Tuco says:

      @Orija: no, is far worse.
      Recycled content for the win.

    • Bhazor says:

      PC Gamers, complaining about recieving free games.

      You ever wonder why everyone hates us?

    • Urael says:

      @Bhazor: Would you be saying the same if these were Cryo games being given away free?

      It’s a tempting offer – I’ve used EA’s store before for Batman and Just Cause – but I still want to get a version of Mass Effect 2 that has all the DLC already. Thankfully, that requirement is enough to stop me trying to overcome my hatred of the Dragon age series to actually buy number two.

    • Baboonanza says:

      I never wondered. It’s because we’re all arseholes isn’t it?

    • Eversor says:

      Yes, Tuco, because Origins didn’t suffer from the exact same scenery syndrome? Remember those random encounters and how they always seemed to occur in the same place, despite you being on different areas of the map? Remember traveling through Denerim, going into the same house layout over and over again, and fighting random battles in the same courtyard? Remember fighting Darkspawn, bandits, angry bears and whatever else in that same little road along a large wall and some trees?

      Yeah, you don’t, and neither does a large majority of people. I do, because I decided to play through Origins one more time a few weeks before DA2 was about to hit. It recycled content only slightly less than DA2. Only slightly less. BUT OMG ORIGINS WAS AWESOME BEST GAME EVER, DA2 IS UTTER SHIT BECAUSE INTERNET SAYS SO! Whatever. First game had faults, second game had faults. I’ve played better games than both, but that does not mean they are automatically shit. I’ve just played better games. That is all.

    • Delusibeta says:

      >I’ve used EA’s store before for Batman and Just Cause

      Yer wot? Are you sure you aren’t thinking of Edios?

    • Nick says:

      Bhazor, you are more like the reason people hate PC Gamers than anyone here.

    • malkav11 says:

      It falls short compared to DA1, but it also derails into a horrible trainwreck towards the end that would have me label it as deeply flawed at best even if it were a brand new series starting game.

  4. StingingVelvet says:

    Gave mine away… it was a cool thing to do, even if it smells of desperation to increase DA2’s sales.

    • Bhazor says:

      … poor sales? Of Dragon Age 2?

      “they’re celebrating their having sold one million copies of DA2 in two weeks.”

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      EA being a business and all I struggle to see this being a kindness of their heart action. Generally when a game is selling well you just keep selling it you don’t add an unheard of level of inducement to purchase.

    • Nameless1 says:

      @Bhazor: It’s probably only you on this planet that really believed in those two lines of “PR epic sales” bullshit. One million of copies, better than DAO. Sure, maybe the copies sent to the stores and sitting there since then (yes, it’s not uncommon to count the “sales” like that).

      PS: and NO, I won’t buy that thing anyway.

    • Stupoider says:

      @Bhazor: It would’ve been an amazing figure if sales hadn’t dropped off so suddenly after that week. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume a lot of those sales were preorders.

    • Highstorm says:

      Also consider that anyone who hasn’t bought ME:2 yet and dives in on this deal, is highly likely to be hooked into buying ME:3 later this year, and possibly even ME:1 if they want the full story.

      ME:2 has been out for a year now, so there’s really no way they can do anything but profit from a deal like this.

  5. KauhuK says:

    Do I have to use my EA account to use the code?

    • Bilbo says:

      The code registers on EA download manager, I tried steam but no use

  6. supacoo says:

    Negative word of mouth is gonna hit this sumbitch hard and they know it. This is how they’re attempting pre-emptive damage control.

    • Lilliput King says:

      That ship’s already sailed, I think. This would be the latest pre-emptive damage control in the history of pre-emptivism.

    • The Promised Landt says:

      Well, there’s something to be said about post-emptive damage control too

    • Nick says:

      shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted?

  7. reticulate says:

    I see the good jokes about buying a mediocre game and getting a great one for free are already taken.

    I’ll get my coat, then.

  8. LarsBR says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy ME2, with the added bonus of not having to play DA2?

  9. Stense says:

    Just to balance out the naysayers, I like Dragon Age 2.

    • Anguy says:

      I think it’s not quite balanced out yet ;)

    • James G says:

      I’ll jump on your side, although I admit with slight hesitation. DA2 is currently on hiatus for me, although this is mainly down to having major time commitments, and a free month of Rift which I’m trying to make the most of (which is probably a bit silly, as I think DA2 is the better game). So yeah, while I’m somewhere on the warm side of lukewarm wrt. DA2, I completely don’t get the vitriol that is thrown at it.

    • Kdansky says:

      I’ll go one step further: I won’t even get ME2. I’ve seen most of it in video format (Let’s play), and I find it to be boring and stupid, while I really liked DA2.

      DA2 is way better than Mass Effect 2. There, I said it. (again)

  10. John Walker says:

    Oh dear, here’s the tiresome binary iTunes ratings system at work. Dragon Age II may suffer from some significant flaws, as I detailed in my article, but it’s not a “shit game” by any measure.

    I really encourage people to fight for some perspective.

    • Anguy says:

      I might try to do that, but not until it’s cheaper.

    • Jhoosier says:

      If you don’t already have ME2, then it’s 50% off. Assuming you want ME2.

    • reticulate says:

      John, I really liked your piece on DA2 and what it got wrong. Actually, as a fan of DAO it sort of put me off buying the sequel, but the balance of opinion about the place had already made this likely – especially at full price.

      As a thought experiment, though, out of ME2 and DA2, which is the better game at what it intends to do?

      It’s ME2, right? Because I think a lot of the sniping hereabouts isn’t so much a lack of perspective, just a healthy appreciation for the fact that you’re getting the better game for free. At least, that’s how I see it.

    • Orija says:

      Flaws are in things that could have been perfect and though DA2’s not a bad game, its shortcomings amount to more than just flecks in a… uum, a soup or something.

    • Lilliput King says:

      John – Very true. Also, will there be a full WiT incoming?

    • Carra says:

      It’s still well worth playing. Peoples expectations were just off. It’s more like an expansion to Dragon Age then a Dragon Age 2. They should have marketed it as a standalone for Dragon Age.

    • Navagon says:

      “Oh dear, here’s the tiresome binary iTunes ratings system at work.”

      I’d argue that it has been the gamer’s rating system for a lot longer than iTunes has been around. Generally public opinion on something falls into either Good, Shit or more commonly Meh.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      To some extent I am dubious of the defence that people are overly angry / lack perspective because it failed to live up to the hype. EA / Bioware spent millions on an advertising campaign to build up that hype, if they failed to live up to the expectation they created then gamers being hyperbolically critical is fair enough. They used hyperbole first.

    • Navagon says:

      @ ReV_VAdAUL

      That is actually very fair when you think about it. A lot of games are sold as if they are the best thing ever. If this proves to be a lie a strongly negative reaction is justified.

      Yes, Dragon Age 2 might be a perfectly alright average game. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? In the case of Dragon Age 2, and other major AAA titles sold with similar marketing, these games are placed in the context of being among the best ever made.

      Dragon Age 2 might not be a terrible game in the broad context of every current title out there. But it was sold as being so very much more than that. By the standards its marketing created for the game it is pretty woeful (from all I’ve heard and read).

    • Vinraith says:

      But, to use the rating system analogy, there are 4 star games, 5 star games, and things not worth my money and time. The field is too populated and too rich to bother with anything whose quality and fit to my particular tastes dips below a certain point. Based on DA2’s apparent design priorities it’s fairly clear that it wouldn’t break 3 stars for me, so better to simply move on to stuff that will.

      There’s a tendency to give too much weight to big game releases in this regard, since they’re perceived to be a cultural phenomenon that people want to share, but a mediocre game is a mediocre game and if this thing didn’t have the Bioware name on it I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

    • abhishek says:

      A lot of games are sold as if they are the best thing ever. If this proves to be a lie a strongly negative reaction is justified.

      It seems to me that you don’t really understand advertising. What are they supposed to say exactly? “Hey, our game is good but not that good so buy it but don’t have very high expectations”? Have you ever seen any advertisement which is trying to sell you something while telling you it’s not very good? If you had seen an ad for Dragon Age 2 like that, would it suddenly have become a better game?

      The real problem is with PC gamers’ expectations. It’s okay to have high expectations from a game (especially from a company like Bioware after DA:O). The issue is when those expectations are not met, it suddenly becomes a shit game to them. PC gamers judge the game on what they wanted it to be instead of what it actually is. And when a game inevitably fails to be exactly how they wanted it to be, it automatically becomes shit. There’s no middle ground at all.

    • Kadayi says:

      John given that instead of going for ‘DA2: Wot I think’ you went for ‘What’s wrong with DA2’ (which sat in DA2 steam news page most of last week) you can hardly start claiming the high ground tbh.

    • Sidorovich says:

      Yeah I’d like some perspective too John, but they took away my isometric viewpoint….

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Being that only a few actually seemed to have read that article and understood what it was saying, bet you would have a lot more positive comments to DA2 if you simply titled the article “what they did right”, instead of “what they did wrong”.

      The title makes the common folks mind. Not what you write.

      But then… and here’s the kicker… you would be accused of having sold out, being a shill, “we know there would be nothing good coming from having joined with Eurogamer”, etc.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      What if one deeply feels the shittiness?
      I couldn’t make it past act 2. I was bored out of my skull with the flaws (that have been repeated ad nauseum) and neither the story nor the setting was enough to pull me through the general ennui and/or the constant assault on my intelligence. There’s no discounting that unfulfilled expectations played a large part in my initial disappointment, but by the the time I lost all interest the game had thoroughly disgusted me on its own merits.

    • D3xter says:

      Unfortunately DA2 deals in universal mediocrity/shitti-ness, its not only the “PC gamers” complaining like some of you want to believe and sales are dropping on all platforms.

    • FrankGrimes says:

      DA2 *is* a steaming pile of shit, no matter how nicely you try to dress it up. And free games aren’t about to get me to waste my money on it. Bioware lost one of their most loyal customers for good and it will take a seriously great game to get me to ever come back.

  11. Joshua says:

    “This is, BioWare say, how they’re celebrating their having sold one million copies of DA2 in two weeks.”
    No, this is their tactic so they can celebrate selling 2 million copies in the next two weeks :P.

    (And off-course, Mass Effect 3. I know a DA fan (fan of both titles) who does not have ME, this might be a good time to recommend it (Again).

    • arghstupid says:

      Yeah I see this laregly as an early ME3 promotion in the same way that ME1 was on sale for £3 or something a few months before ME2 came out. Get a million people hooked so they buy the next installment on release day. Might also get some DLC purchases out of it, which are probably worth as much or more then the now highly discounted game, especially as you buy them direct..

  12. Dalmatian says:

    Dragon Age 2 is far from a bad game. It’s a flawed game, sure, but so was DA:O.

    • Rinox says:

      While I’m not saying it’s a bad game (and agree to that extent), at least DA:O was clearly a PC game. DA2…not so much. That alone is reason to be peeved with it, for me.

    • Eversor says:

      “Clearly a PC game”. How? By allowing you to zoom out very far and see over the edges of the set pieces of the levels? Anything else? Hm? Nope, can’t think of anything else that DA:O PC version had and DA2 PC version doesn’t. Yeah, isometric view is totally what makes a PC game!

    • Vinraith says:

      But that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? DA:O was flawed. It would have been nice if DA2 had fixed some of those flaws, instead of keeping the majority of them and then adding a flotilla of new ones.

    • Rinox says:

      @ Eversor.

      DA:O had zoom/camera options that were clearly made for PC, but also much more detailed backgrounds, was less binary, didn’t try as hard to make combat look ‘cool’ (ridiculous giant swords of DA2 for one)…

      And if you need a three-word explanation on why DA2 is not primarily a PC game: “press any key”. :-)

    • Eversor says:

      So only PC games can have detailed character backgrounds and boring combat. Okay, got it! Wait, that makes zero sense. Lack of detail and changes in art direction are not related to the platform of the game at all. Don’t even pretend Origins didn’t have giant unrealistic weapons. And binary? All games are coded in binary, badum-tish. But on a serious note, this, again, is something that is not related to the PLATFORM but the GAME itself, or would you go out and say that there are no such games exclusive to PC?

      Really, your only legitimate points about consolification are the camera and MAYBE the “Press any key to start”. Dayum. Didn’t bother you in ME2, did it, a game that the PC version was specifically said to be coded for PC and consoles separately?

    • Rinox says:

      I meant the graphical backgrounds btw, not the character ones – and yes, there is a specific reason why the current generation of multiplatform games can’t do both detailed settings and detailed character models, and that’s quite simply that the current consoles just can’t handle all of that at once. So you get relatively empty and monotonous settings with really good-looking models in it most of the time. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed the lack of detail on the background in DA2?

      Upon closer inspection, there doesn’t really seem to a massive difference between the weapon sizes in Origins and DA2, so I stand corrected on that.

      Mass Effect 2 never bothered me, because I never thought of it as a ‘PC game’ anyway. The difference just is that going from a game that was clearly primarily made for the PC like Origins to a game that clearly isn’t (DA2) feels like a let down, while ME1 was a multiplatform game from the very start. I personally don’t believe the difference in the games is independent of their preferred/focus platfoms. I think it matters a whole lot. Origins didn’t do too well on the consoles, for the same reason that DA2 feels a little off to me on the PC. Not a bad game by any means, but off.

  13. Avenger says:

    Requires EA Download Manacrap. I will pass. (out)

    • James G says:

      Never had any issues with EADM, although I understand that it has undergone substantial improvements since it first launched.

    • Dominic White says:

      It really is just a downloader. That’s it, nothing special about it. You download the games, they install as normal, and you never have to open it again as your games launch independently.

      Quite why people would turn down a free game because of it is truly beyond me.

    • Bhazor says:

      Serriously? As a service its far less restrictive and much lighter than Steam. Hell if you have either game then you already have an account and just need a <20mb download.

      Good old hypocrisy huh?

    • Bilbo says:

      This kind of nose-face-lateral-incision behaviour is what makes the internet go round… bah, I can’t stand it

    • Urael says:

      Spoken like some who’s never used it.

    • Bilbo says:

      Really? That’s odd, because I’ve literally got it running as we speak. It’s downloading my free game, because I’m not prejudiced against software that literally-just-downloads-the-game-and-doesn’t-go-any-further-than-that-and-really-isn’t-intrusive-or-difficult-to-use-or-in-any-way-problematic-except-oh-no-it-says-EA-in-it-so-my-hate-circuit-must-be-badly-calibrated-initiating-self-destruct-pattern-one-alpha-two-bravo-three-char*BANG*

  14. aeromorte says:

    So if i got Mass Effect 2 do i get Dragon age 2 free? :P …

    • bogeymanuk says:

      Thats what I was hoping for, sadly no. Then again I would have to stop my second playthrough of ME2 to play it so can’t win either way :p

  15. adonf says:

    Weird, no voice over. Was deep-voice-dude sick when they made this trailer ?

  16. Phinor says:

    For some reason it almost feels like an apology from Bioware. “Hey, we screwed up but simply can’t admit it publicly due to various marketing reasons so here’s our GOTY game from last year”. I’m not saying this with ill intent, we all know the flaws of Dragon Age 2. Saying “it’s not a bad game” isn’t saying much. It isn’t a bad game but we can only hope it isn’t a preview of what’s to come from Bioware.

    • Navagon says:

      The Mass Effect and Dragon Age teams are totally separate. So that alone means that it won’t affect ME3 at least.

  17. Schadenfreude says:

    They’ll probably end up shifting a lot of ME2 DLC off of the back of this. Shrewd move.

  18. Navagon says:

    Nice offer. But seeing as I have Mass Effect 2 and I somehow still haven’t got around to playing Dragon Age 1 (I know, I know!) this isn’t really tempting to me.

  19. noodlecake says:

    Blah… I can’t even be bothered trying to defend Dragon Age 2 again. Needless to say I’m enjoying my 2nd play through much more than my first playthrough of origins simply because of it’s more unique and original approach to PC RPG combat, brilliant voice acting, beautiful visual style and distinct story and setting that set it miles apart from origins, NWN, Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale or any other more bland and generic RPG.

    I’m rather chuffed that they hit one million says despite the huge negative response from unimaginative nerds who crave bland settings and stale mechanics in their games. Innovation FTW. :)

    • Lars Westergren says:

      If you had put a period after “distinct story and setting” and ended there I would have agreed wholeheartedly.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yeah, at that point the comment really goes off the rails. Dragon Age is as about as generic as you can go without actually liscensing Tolkien or D&D.

      The reason people complain about the setting is not that is far too original but the fact that it’s tiny and shamelessly repeats itself.

    • D3xter says:

      This post made me laugh out loud, thanks for that :P

  20. Grot_Punter says:

    I think I should point out that the free copy of ME2 is for the PC only. Yes, console owners can get in on this deal, but unless they also have a PC capable of running ME2, they’re fairly shafted.

  21. Lobotomist says:

    Yes , the sales of DA 2 are going good :P

  22. Koozer says:

    Isn’t it obvious why they’re doing it? To inflate the potential future customers for ME3?

    *imagines people being filled with helium while playing ME2*

  23. Teddy Leach says:

    I’d have actually bought DA2 if I knew they’d do this. Ah well, no ME2 for me.

    What a shame :(

  24. Tunips says:

    I still miss my Mass Effect 1 Shepard. He was ace.

  25. Ajh says:

    …Well, That’d be all fine and good if half the people who were going to buy dragon age 2 didn’t already OWN ME2.

  26. poop says:

    this is similar to what valve did with portal last year, i guess, its hard to not be suspicious and cynical when its EA

    • Bhazor says:

      Hypocrisy? Why I never.

    • Jimbo says:

      What did you have to buy to get a free copy of Portal last year? Nothing iirc.

      They’re both just business promotions; neither of them really require suspicion or cheering. Valve’s Portal giveaway was about increasing the Steam install base and getting people invested in the franchise. EA’s ‘free’ (but gimped) copy of ME2 promotion is about selling copies of DA2, selling ME DLC, increasing EADM’s install base and getting people invested in the franchise/s. Additionally, both generated a lot of free press coverage which typically results in increased sales.

      Neither of these things are gifts (or an apology, or a celebration, or whatever else). They’re just giving away something which costs them ~nothing with the aim of maximising profit elsewhere. It’s not being cynical to say so, it’s just stating what should be blindingly obvious.

    • D3xter says:

      @Jimbo: It’s also a very good way to generate Free positive Press and raise awareness of the game on every single gaming site out there… so there’s that…

      Also their sales of DA2 have been constantly dropping, sure they might’ve sold more DA2 than “DA:O” but DA:O started out mild and remained strong while DA2 started out very strong with the 400.000 Pre-Orders and dropped to almost nothing in the first 3 weeks:

      Dragon Age: Origins

      XBOX 360
      Week 1 – 335,941
      Week 2 – 173,230
      Week 3 – 96,340
      Week 4 – 134,460
      Week 5 – 107,755

      Week 1 – 155,660
      Week 2 – 72,304
      Week 3 – 80,920
      Week 4 – 77,414
      Week 5 – 59,219

      Dragon Age 2

      XBOX 360
      Week 1 – 392,508
      Week 2 – 128,897
      Week 3 – 61,735

      Week 1 – 163,410
      Week 2 – 61,210
      Week 3 – 35,455

      Week 1 – 148.830
      Week 2 – 38.002
      Week 3 – 26.165

    • Jimbo says:

      I have no idea how accurate those figures are, but you’d expect an established franchise to tend towards a more front-loaded sale curve anyway, because people are already invested in the franchise and are more likely to pre-order (plus they pushed pre-orders real hard for this game, and with good reason it seems).

      To be honest, it was a given that Dragon Age 2 was going to sell at least ok. Considering this game took about half a normal dev cycle to develop, and given the non-holiday release date, they probably aren’t going to be too upset with 1-2 million sales, even if they do end up lower than Origins. Are they going to make more profit on DA2 than Origins? It’s likely. The thing is though, you don’t really get to see the full effect of a ‘weak’ game (in an established franchise) until the next game comes out. It’s hard to judge how badly burned the DA2 purchasers are actually feeling – bad enough to dismiss DA3? Personally I don’t think so. It’s weaker than it should be but I’d still buy DA3 if they put it out tomorrow.

      My hunch right now is that they could turn around a similar quality DA3 in a similarly short timescale and sell the 1-2 million copies that their games usually sell. Or they could take a full two year cycle, make a better DA3 and still sell the 1-2 million copies that their games usually sell (it’s hard to see them getting back the people that skipped DA2, even if DA3 is great).

      This is Bioware’s dilemma. There just doesn’t seem to be 5 million people out there willing to buy their specific style of game even when they do put in the time and effort and hit it out out of the park (at least not if they’re already part way into a franchise), but there are a relatively safe couple million who I think will keep buying these games even if they are a little weaker than they should be.

    • Kadayi says:

      Spot on commentary there Jimbo.

      Despite the vocal naysayers DA2 is probably on course to do as well as DAO. Throwing in a free copy of ME2 is no bad thing either as it will boost sales and as you say it’s generated free press for them, and they have the opportunity to make some money on ME2 DLC.

  27. Hoaxfish says:

    I wonder what game you’ll get free when SW:ToR falls through

  28. Hidden_7 says:

    I like how the trailer claims it’s rewarding its most loyal fans, when the most loyal fans are the ones that are way more likely to already have ME2.

    As others have mentioned, it seems like an odd promotion, since ME2 really loses a lot if you haven’t played ME1, and anyone that played ME1 and was interested in ME2 would probably have got it by now. Oh well.

    • Pinky G says:

      Regarding your first point (rewarding the most loyal customers), I agree. I know theres worse things in the world but I still find this sickening basically. Its just a lie. Please dont lie to us, its annoying and makes me feel like you think I am really stupid.

  29. Jahkaivah says:


    No the preferable alternative is not to comment on the games overall quality like that.

    Take Portal 2’s recent advertising for example. It doesn’t make such blunt “best game ever” comments as rather just make some funny videos about the game. Which honestly does a much better job of convincing me to buy it (not that I needed convincing to buy Portal 2) as it shows that the people behind the game thinks I would appreciate a good laugh more than a bunch of review quotes which I would.

  30. Araxiel says:

    The other way around would be a lot more helpful for me. ‘Cause I’ve got ME2 already and I’m going to buy DA2 (even though I know it’s not as good as the first one)
    It’s the same for Valve. I’ve got (Not Joking) 4 Half-Life 2’s as gift [so 5 in total] and 2 Episode One’s [thus 3 in total]

    And since I don’t know anyone that does not already own them or has a surplus of them, too, I have no idea what to do with them.

  31. Ann86 says:

    Interesting! I like this