EA Disables Microtransactions in Battlefront 2

Posted on 17 Nov 2017 by

You’ve surely heard of Electronic Arts astonishing accomplishments this week which was covered worldwide even by big news agencies like CNN in the US. Though, for you uninitiated folks out there, here’s a small recap of what’s been happening. If you already know what happened, jump to the third paragraph.

Back in the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta, people already complained about the unfair microtransactions and star cards in the game. These star cards, which can be acquired by opening loot boxes, gave people advantages against people who didn’t spend real cash money or hundreds of hours in the game. These cards actually increased the damage or hull strength of your ship. Pay-to-Win, basically. Electronic Arts and DICE ensured that they will further tweak and fix these microtransactions for the final release and they surely delivered on their promise…by basically doing nothing at all. Crates still provide you with star cards which will gain you an unfair advantage in battle. And on top of that, Heroes, which were part of the base package in the ‘first’ Battlefront 2 years ago, are now hidden behind a paywall. Of course, Electronic Arts doesn’t think they’re behind a paywall since you can unlock them by just playing the game. Though, it would take you 40 hours to unlock one of the dozen heroes. Or you could just buy enough credit to unlock them right away. Unlocking everything in the game will cost you a pretty penny as well. $2100 pennies, in fact. Soeren Kamper from swtorstrategies.com did the math a few days ago.  But again, it’s not a paywall if you can unlock it by simply playing the game, right? And you’re right, if you have the 4,528 hours of free time to do just that. That’s 8 hours a day for 1,5 years to unlock everything.

Electronic Arts intend was “…to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.”  That comment reached a staggering 676.000 downvotes on reddit, beating the previous record by a mere 650.000 downvotes. Shortly after this record made the news on various forums and news websites, EA lowered the amount of credits needed to unlock heroes by 75%. Which sounds nice at first, but they’re basically just beating around the bush here. They actually lowered the amount of credits you earn for completing the story by 75% as well. Now, I know that you’re only supposed to buy the single player hero with those credits, but this change still leaves you with a bitter taste.

To come to the more recent developments of this whole ordeal, Electronic Arts announced today that they will turn off all in-game purchases to “spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning.” Meaning you can’t buy any more credits to unlock crates. Notice how they don’t say ‘remove’ but just…turn off. So these microtransactions will be back fairly soon after all. It’s all just hot air.

Apparently the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, called Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson shortly after the bad press, so there sure is some pressure on EA not only from the public but also Disney. I still remember when Disney ended its agreement with McDonald’s after concerns about fast food and its part in overweight children back in 2006, so who knows how Disney will react to gambling and insane microtransactions in their licensed Star Wars game. This story is far from over and it’ll be interesting to see how things will turn out in the coming weeks.

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