Surprisingly enough, during this whole BioWare versus the gaming community fiasco EA has kept completely silently about the going-ons regarding the on-disc DLC and production of the game, until now. BioWare has been fighting tooth and nail to defend their good name and it has come under fire once more after hackers found out how to unlock the "From Ashes" DLC character and play with the character without buying the DLC.
Many gamers felt it was a blatant cash grab on EA's part, while EA has vehemently denied it. What's more is that the game has already sold more than 890,000 copies in North America alone, and EA's John Riccitiellio even admitted that there was a 40% attachment rate of the DLC to the main game, meaning the DLC alone made EA more than $21 million dollars in North America.
Anyways, Electronic Arts responded on behalf of BioWare regarding the claims that the "From Ashes" DLC was purposefully stripped from the main game after new evidence surfaced that the additional premium character could be played without having to download the actual DLC, and that according to the file structure he was completed alongside the main game.
According to Game Informer EA issued the following response...
"From Ashes is a 600 MB+ download with all new content, including the mission on Eden Prime, new dialogue options and conversations with Javik, new cinematics, the Prothean weapon, and new appearances for all squad members. All of the above content was completed while the main game was in certification and are not available on the disc.
Ha, that's the exact kind of statement that was predicted to be said. Nevertheless, the above is true, insofar that the on-disc character is lacking his mission, weapon and additional appearances for the rest of the squad mates.
However, this does not detract from the fact that the character was complete, which should at least have been addressed beforehand. Hackers these days don't sit by idly believing everything a mega-corporation says, and according to them the character structures look like he was in place early on in the development of the game.
For the most part, there's no real way to determine if the DLC was stripped or not and gamers may never know the full truth unless hackers can magically get their hands on early build assets to tell. If hackers discover anything else noteworthy to the cause, we'll be sure to keep you informed.