The content unlocked by the controversial Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Online Pass is day one DLC, one of its creators has said.
The Online Pass, included in new copies of the open world fantasy RPG, unlocks the House of Valor faction quest, which includes seven individual single player missions. In addition, it unlocks a Mass Effect 3-themed in-game item - the N7-inspired Shepard's Battle Armour.
If you have a second hand copy of the game, you have to pay for the Online Pass to unlock the content.
This revelation was met with anger by some gamers who complained that the Online Pass should not apply to a purely single-player game.
Now Curt Schilling, head of co-developer 38 Studios, has had his say, explaining that the content is day one DLC, free to anyone who buys a new copy of the game - but, yes, if you buy a pre-owned version you have to pay for the content.
"It's clear the intent right?" Schilling wrote on the Reckoning forum. "To promote early adopters and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, REWARD fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company.
"Every single person on the planet could wait and not buy Reckoning, the game would hit the bargain bin at some point and you could get it cheaper. 38 Studios would likely go away.
"That's just how business works. We MUST make a profit to become what we want to become. THE ONLY way we do that is to make games you CANNOT WAIT TO BUY! If we do that, and you do that, we want to reward you with some cool free stuff as a thank you."
Schilling went on to discuss the thorny issue of second hand game sales, which most developers and publishers love to hate.
"The industry is in a very odd place," he said. "The data coming in on used game sales is not saying the things many thought it should, or would. But companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how.
"Again, you can argue with methods, or process, and you absolutely can bitch and gripe about ANY DAY 1 DLC you are charged for, because I think I agree with many on that, but we are trying to create something here, product and company wise, and it takes dollars to do that."