To be honest, it likely needs to be assessed on a per-title basis, especially for games released after the rise of digital distribution.
For older games, it seems more cut and dry as to whether it would be allowed or not, though there are still some areas that would require discussion.
As I posted in the Discord, (where this is copied from, though this is cleaned up a bit more,) I'm thinking we could categorize content unlocking into a few categories:
Do not mention:
-Unlocking paid (nor previously paid and now delisted) content.
-Unlocking content directly included in the game files that used to be paid or would have likely been intended to be paid judging from the same content being paid for console releases.
-Unlocking content not directly included in the game files that is available on other platforms, whether it is paid or free on other platforms.
-Unlocking content that is free on other platforms, and is included in the game files for the PC release, but does not include story elements. (Cosmetics don't affect gameplay; not worth the trouble.)
-Unlocking preorder exclusive content.
-Unlocking content that is specifically intended to be platform-specific to non-PC platforms.
Maybe mention that it's possible to unlock the content, but do not mention how to do it:
-Unlocking content that is free on other platforms, and is included in the game files for the PC release, and includes story elements. (Gameplay altering/changing content that's already in the game; it was just never released and doesn't seem to be intended to be released at a later date.)
Free to mention:
-Unlocking content that is included in the game files but never released by the time final DLC and patches are released. (Assuming the content isn't released and isn't paid on other platforms.)
-Unlocking content that is included in the game files but was never fully completed. (Cut content. Best to discuss on a per-title basis though as it may not be worth recording on PCGW.)
-Unlocking content that was part of limited time promotional offers. (Assuming generic codes from the promotions can be used indefinitely, and no purchase was necessary as per the promotion's rules. Cosmetic-only content may not be worth recording on PCGW, though other items that may affect gameplay may be worth recording.)
-Unlocking bonus content that was included with physical copies of games but may not be included with digital copies. (For example, Evil Genius' bonus content? Stuff like that where it was seemingly intended to be free for everyone, but just wasn't distributed with all copies of the game.)
-Unlocking bonus content that was only ever provided for free download. (For example, scenarios for RollerCoaster Tycoon made by the developers and officially released by them for free.)
I put a bit of work into separating these out, and tried to stick to keeping the policy on piracy in mind.
While there are some things that may fall under "do not mention" that could theoretically be okay, it's a moot point; the whole point of the policy is to eliminate (or at the very least limit) PCGW's liability.
As much as it sucks that it could mean the loss of content in the future (no matter the relative status of that content) that's the way it has to be.
Any thoughts on this list?