New copies of the shooter--due March 2 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360--will contain a one-time use "VIP code" that will provide free downloads of the new maps coming on launch day and other future content.
"We want people to insert the code they get when they buy the game to get access to [DLC content]," senior producer Patrick Bach told MTV Multiplayer. "It's connected to your personal account, more or less, and what we want to do is give you something extra, added value, for that. In the future you will get more content, for free, if you have this."
As with the legions of other EA games that utilize a similar approach--Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age, The Saboteur, NBA Live 09 and so on--the content will be available at a price to those that obtain a second-hand copy of the game, though that price is unknown. Nor does this exclude the possibility other paid downloads in the future a la ME2.
Electronic Arts recently touted the success of the strategy, claiming that bundling free downloadable content with new copies "is a great incentive when they first buy the title, but it also teaches them and shows them that there's additional content online and gets them used to that whole ecosystem in the marketplace" and vowing it would "continue to introduce new service and product features [for] unique registered [games]."
The inclusion of free downloadable content with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 apparently comes in addition to the variety of other bonuses being offered to early buyers and pre-orders. The first run of the game will offer a "day one advantage" by immediately unlocking six multiplayer items, while the "Squad Rush" multiplayer mode will be somewhat restricted to those that pre-order from GameStop for the first month.