Mass Effect 2 universe is a sprawling place -- but BioWare is prepared to expand it in ways far more elaborate than demonstrated by the delayed and haphazard additions to the original game. Available to new purchasers of the galaxy-hopping RPG later this January (digital and retail), "The Cerberus Network" will offer an in-game delivery mechanism for Mass Effect 2 downloadable content, including a free day-one pack featuring new missions, in-game items and Zaeed, a mercenary sporting very appealing proportions of deadliness and ruggedness. He might also have a scar on his face.
Though BioWare's future plans seem ambitious -- a second DLC pack featuring the Hammerhead hover tank is promised, as are pieces of armor and new weaponry -- some may consider them to be equally aggressive. Exhibit A: Yo three-headed dawg, I heard you like DLC, so I put the Cerberus Network DLC in your DLC so you can get more DLC. In other words, if you buy a used copy of Mass Effect 2, you'll need to unlock The Cerberus Network through a "one-time, in-game purchase of a new activation code."
We've asked BioWare and EA to comment the price of that activation code, and whether or not Cerberus will act as the exclusive mechanism to obtain future DLC.
BioWare's most recent title, Dragon Age: Origins, also offered in-the-box DLC in the form of "The Stone Prisoner" add-on, which costs $15 separately.
Update: Reiterating that the day-one DLC will be "free to those who access The Cerberus Network," EA has told Joystiq that additional details regarding "all ways to access DLC" are forthcoming. As for the price of Cerberus Network access itself? "More details to come on that."