So we got 2 people, who don't work in the gaming industry in any capacity, let alone as a programmer or producer or director, or even work for EA/Bioware (the main "villain" in this instance) making claims one way or the other as to if something was pulled from a finished title to make DLC.
To be fair, I do not work in the industry in any capacity. I do have some insight into game design though so I'm going to share some info I feel may be helpful.
Now to give people something to think about, DLC is NOT created in a vacuum. Most idea's for DLC comes off the cutting room floor of the main game. This means that many of the DLC ideas could have been (and most likely were) ideas that were meant to be put into the release build of the game, but for whatever reason did not make it.
This also means that the designs/animations/VO could have been (and usually is) done BEFORE the decision was made that the content wouldn't be put into the game. They may not (and most likely don't) have any actual content done (like missions) at this phase but rather cut the concept itself from the main game, as it doesn't mesh with their plans for the game.
Should they delete any animations, VO work, or designs that don't make it into their games after they are completed, just because they've elected not to use them as part of the main game? Hell no. All of that has already been built into the game prior the creation of missions and events, so scrapping it would do nothing for the game. They could remove those graphics and VO work, but if the character may be used for DLC at a later date why make the download bigger?
DLC is made from these concepts that the directors and producers have opt'ed to cut for various reasons. If you feel that this entitles you to have free access to every DLC put out because it's not a "new" concept 100% independently (read: from the ground up) developed after the main game is completed well that's your thing.
As to DLC being released on Day 1 there is a logical reasoning behind this (and I would recommend this link for your viewing pleasure
). A games "shelf life" is very short in the current market, unlike a decade ago (or longer) where a combo of limited means of getting a game and a limited number of releases per year meant people were playing games for a longer period of time. In the current market with services like Gamefly and Redbox, access to demo's of new games to play before release, and publishers like EA and Activision pumping out several AAA titles per year, single player games are meant to be turned over within 2 months of release to ensure "gamers" pick up the next big title (I know this from my time at gamestop). Given that time frame, the best time for DLC sales would be within that window, when the maximum amount of people have the game to purchase such DLC. Selling DLC 6 months to 1 year down the road won't have the same financial gain for the company, as most people would have sold the game, or given up on it entirely for something new.
Now, to the meat of the issue, the "From Ashes" DLC for ME3. Game Informer got the following information from EA concerning the DLC (Link
"From Ashes is a 600 MB+ download with all new content, including the mission on Eden Prime, new dialogue options and conversations with Javik, new cinematics, the Prothean weapon, and new appearances for all squad members. All of the above content was completed while the main game was in certification and are not available on the disc.
"As stated previously, in order to seamlessly integrate Javik into the core campaign, certain framework elements and character models needed to be put on disc. We did something similar with Zaeed and Kasumi in Mass Effect 2."
I personally feel that this is a more then sufficient explanation as to why there is animation and VO work for the DLC character on disc for ME3. If people don't like the explanation, that's their business.