Star Wars Battlefront II: Microtransaction Update
From the game’s many previews, it showed much promise. Unlike its predecessor, the sequel has a single-player story mode, and EA promises that it’s going to be lengthy and meaningful. The game mode even has a new and game-exclusive character, Iden Versio, which will serve as its leader. It also features locations, vehicles, and characters from all the currently existing Star Wars movies. Yes, that includes the mythos’ most iconic legends such as Darth Vader, Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, and many others.
All of these things were more than enough to make the game one of the most highly-anticipated ones of the year. Unfortunately, despite the game having much potential, many fans were turned off by two things: locked heroes and loot boxes.
For the former, it means you’ll have to pay for a certain amount of in-game credits before a particular character becomes playable. For example, if you want to step inside the mechanical shoes of Darth Vader or his son Luke, you’ll need 60,000 credits. If you don’t have enough time to earn that many credits, you can earn them with real money, indirectly. In fact, this is where EA’s mistake number two (loot boxes) come in: crystals that you can only get with real-life currency to buy loot boxes, which yield random items, including Star Cards. By getting duplicate Star Cards, players obtain credits.
The Fans Awaken
It didn’t sit well with the fans because they believe that they should have full access to the heroes and all other content in an $80 game without having to pay another cent. After all, they will pay the full price, so they should get the entire content. Even though many of the stuff players can get from loot boxes can be obtained by playing, EA has adjusted gameplay in a way that players would rather put out money instead of simply spending time in-game to have them. EA managed to do that by putting time limits on how players can earn credits in certain modes, as well as being somewhat stingy when it comes to giving credits. Reddit user HotPotato did the math, and he said that players would be earning around 275 credits for an 11-minute match. Given how pricey fan-favorite characters are, that’s not much.
A vast majority of players believe that this makes the game pay-to-win since there’s a way for players to buy powerful characters with real money instead of EA ensuring that everyone can only earn them by playing.
The Game Empire Backtracks
In response to the overwhelming fan outrage, players have called for the boycott of the game and even said that the million-dollar game production felt like a mobile game, thanks to its microtransactions and paywall-locked content. In hopes of the fans, EA decided to backtrack. Aside from posting an apology online, they slashed the amount of credit needed to unlock characters by 75%. From 60,000 credits, Darth Vader and Luke now only require 15,000 credits. EA is also turning off in-game purchases for the moment.
Unfortunately for EA, lots of players aren’t buying it, claiming that the company will be back to their old, money-grubbing ways. Regardless of what fans say and whether their concerns are justified or overrated, EA made the right call. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to calm angry fans down. Hopefully, both sides can reach an agreement because of Star Wars: Battlefront II, for all of EA’s mistakes, is a great game.