BioWare will be enabling gamers to spend even more money on Dragon Age: Origins the day that the game is released.
Though BioWare's DLC intentions for Dragon Age: Origins were fairly well known, it looks like the company's official plans for launch are now in order. BioWare confirmed that the Warden's Keep DLC will definitely be available the day Dragon Age: Origins is released, and will be priced at $7 across all three platforms. The Stone Prisoner DLC will still be included in every copy of the game, but will also be available for $15 as reported earlier if you don't happen to acquire the game by natural means, or if you buy it used (perish the thought). Warden's Keep, the trailer for which is accompanying this article to the right, will be included for free with the digitally downloaded collector's edition, as confirmed by BioWare on its forums, to compensate for the lack of the cloth map and metal collector's box.
I'm sure people will get pretty upset over payment-required DLC being launched with Dragon Age: Origins, but it doesn't really bother me all that much. The $7 price tag does seem fairly hefty, but according to BioWare Warden's Keep "will add a dungeon-based quest to the game along with six new abilities, a variety of items, and a base where players can trade with merchants." If the game is 50-70 hours, and costs $60 average, it's fair to assume that the DLC will add around 10% to the original value of the game, or about 5-7 hours of gameplay right?
It doesn't look like BioWare is just going for the addition of hours when it comes to its DLC though. The Stone Prisoner trailer, available below, reveals that the DLC will add a somewhat self-conscious stone golem to the player's party permanently. Executive Producer Mark Darrah believes: "in one way, it's 60 hours or 70 hours of content because if you put this character in your party right away, it's going to enrich it and affect your experience throughout the entire game." I'm not sure I agree that the addition of a character adds 60 hours of gameplay, but he does have a point about it enriching the entire experience. We know that characters are pretty important in Dragon Age: Origins, so maybe the addition of a character could be more important than it has been in the past. I'm personally just looking forward to pissing the golem off with whatever actions he may seem to be adverse to.
Look for Dragon Age: Origins, and its DLC, on November 3 for the PC and Xbox 360, and on November 17 for the PlayStation 3.