Sony has told MCV that SCEE policy is the reason behind why many of the boxed expansion packs that get released on Xbox 360 and PC only get a PSN release on PS3.
A number of games – including Dragon Age, Borderlands and Fallout 3 – have seen their post-release DLC get bundled onto disc and sold at retail on Microsoft's machines, but the exact reason behind their failure to do the same on PS3 has until now been a bit of a mystery.
Speaking to Joystiq about Dragon Age: Origins Awakening, an EA spokesperson claimed that:
Apparently this is a Sony Europe rule – you cannot have expansion packs be available on PSN and at retail. You can in North America, which is why we have both here.”
However, a spokesperson for SCE UK has clarified the situation: It has been SCEE's policy since the launch of the first PlayStation in 1995 that all discs must carry a PlayStation executable – i.e. they must be game playable discs.
This policy is in place in order to protect consumers from mistakenly buying discs they can't play due to unknowingly not having the original version.
"Therefore, by including a PlayStation executable with sufficient DLC content, we can provide disc-based versions of content that offer a fantastic user experience e.g. LittleBigPlanet Game of the Year Edition or GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City.”
Additional reporting by James Batchelor and Dominic Sacco