EA's "Project Ten Dollar" initiative marches on in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, with four multiplayer maps included on the disc, unlocked via VIP codes found only in new copies of the game.
Using the VIP code that comes packed in every new copy of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, players will be able to unlock two new maps upon the game's release - Laguna Alta for Conquest mode and Nelson Bay for Rush mode. Later in March, players with codes will unlock Arica Harbor for Conquest and Laguna Presa for Rush.
I say unlock because that's the terminology the official release uses. "Available in the box, the content packs are unlocked by simply inputting a VIP code."
The VIP codes in question are packed inside every new copy of the game. As expected, if you lose your code or purchase the game used, you'll have to shell out $15 to unlock the content, which again makes "Project 10 Dollar" a bit of a misnomer.
I've confirmed with EA that the maps are definitely included on the disc, which means that purchasing a used copy of the game gives you a disc with content you can't access. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
It's one thing to offer downloadable content for a game like Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect 2, where not having the additional content doesn't necessarily lessen your experience. It's something else to restrict content included on the physical disc itself, so that pre-owned customers are restricted to the multiplayer matches they can participate in because they haven't paid EA. The fact that the maps are located somewhere on a disc that the pre-owned purchaser owns just seems like a slap in the face.
I do understand EA's desire to keep money in their pockets instead of pre-owned game retailers, but surely there's a better way to do it than this.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 hits North America on March 2.