Production on slightly spoiler-ey $10 add-on started after main game was completed.
Yesterday's leak of some spoiler-filled day-one Mass Effect 3 DLC has been confirmed by BioWare.
Mass Effect 3's From Ashes DLC will be priced at 800 Microsoft Points/$10 for owners of the standard edition, and will be free for those with the Collector's Edition.
Executive producer Casey Hudson took to Twitter to defend the decision to produce day-one DLC. "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 1."
Mass Effect 3 producer Michael Gamble also logged into his BioWare forums account to defend the move. You'll want to avoid them (and the bit underneath this) if you don't like spoilers.
WARNING: There are spoilers underneath this video of Mass Effect 2 squadmate Mordin performing Gilbert and Sullivan.
From Ashes includes a Prothean squad mate, a mission on the massively important planet of Eden Prime, a new weapon, and a bunch of alternate costumes for your whole party.
Fans are understandably irate at having to splash some more cash (or own the Collector's Edition - now sold out in most stores) to get their hands on the content, which sounds like a pretty vital addition for long-time fans of the series. "The Collector's Edition has been advertised from the beginning as containing a bonus character/mission," said Gamble, "but we were not at liberty to provide the details. The Prothean is optional content that is certainly designed to appeal to long-time fans, which is why he is part of the CE offering (the version many fans would be likely to purchase)."
"Mass Effect 3 is a complete - and a huge game - right out of the box," Gamble added.
Mass Effect 3 will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on March 9.