New Mass Effect DLC info due 'this week' - BioWare

Over a year after Bring Down the Sky, the Canadian developer will soon unveil the "gaming-casino fight club" update to its interstellar role-playing game--which "sets up" Mass Effect 2.

In the years leading up to and following Mass Effect's 2007 release, BioWare has often discussed a steady stream of downloadable content for the game. "Post-release downloadable content to Mass Effect is definitely something that's very important for BioWare," said cofounder Ray Muzyka in a video interview on a bonus disc included with the Platinum Hits edition of Mass Effect. (See video below.) "It's this big toy box, this enormous galaxy, with millions of stars and planets to explore."

No word on whether or not the space casino will have a "No Batarians" policy.

However, to date, BioWare has explored exactly one star system via the sole downloadable content pack for Mass Effect, Bring Down the Sky. It was released in March 2008 as a paid add-on for Xbox 360 and then in July 2008 as a free add-on for the PC edition of the game. The mission concerns one populated planet--or, more accurately, a giant asteroid threatening to strike said planet after terrorists from the Batarian race hijack giant engines affixed to it.

Soon, though, BioWare will unveil the second downloadable content update for Mass Effect--which will act as a mini-prequel to Mass Effect 2, due out in early 2010. The official Twitter pages for both BioWare and Mass Effect 2 are promising new information on the still-untitled expansion by Friday.

According to a tweet from BioWare staffer Chris "Evil Chris" Priestly, he is "getting the feeling some news about the next ME1 DLC may be coming this week. Keep your eyes peeled." No pricing or release date information has yet been revealed.

During the same video interview, Mass Effect project director Casey Hudson and lead designer Preston Watamaniuk both described the second Mass Effect DLC in some detail. Said Hudson, "With things like Bring Down the Sky, we want to make sure there's always content out there for [players] to be able to play through, so it kind of leads into Mass Effect 2. In particular, we kind of have some exciting things we want to do in terms of the story on how, through the story, the downloadable content is going to set up the sequel."

According to Watamaniuk, the DLC itself will contain "something that we weren't able to pull off, we didn't think we had the time and we didn't think we'd do well enough, which was a fight club, or an arena. So we're working on that for our next downloadable content piece, which we're hoping will be really special."

"We wanted to give people something that's much more combat-oriented [and] a little bit lighter story kind of experience," Hudson said of the new add-on. "You can go to a kind of a casino-gaming fight club space station."

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