Disney may have stepped in on Electronic Arts’ (EA) public relations nightmare revolving around their latest release, Star Wars: Battlefront II. During the past week, the video games’ big debut, which was supposed to be a comeback after 2015’s reboot letdown, has been clouded with drama surrounding microtransactions, loot boxes, enabling gambling and angry Star Wars fans.
While the idea of pay-to-win has been plaguing the video game industry since mobile gaming started, fans have been relentless in their protest to stop Battlefront II from becoming a game meant to make money for EA, and not for the Star Wars community. Since it was revealed on Reddit that it would take roughly 40 hours to unlock hero characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, gamers have been calling out EA to make a change so all the content in the game can be accessible for everyone – not just players who have the time to dedicate 4528 hours to unlock everything Battlefront II has to offer. Yesterday, EA made a big announcement stating that they have turned off all in-game purchases, but they are still planning on introducing crystals and in-game purchases at a later date – leaving gamers in limbo.
A new report on Venture Beat is hinting that it may not have been EA’s decision alone to turn off in-game purchases, but Disney’s too – the company that owns Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars. According to the article, EA’s chief executive officer Andrew Wilson had a phone call with Walt Disney consumer products and interactive media chairman Jimmy Pitaro about Battlefront II.
This isn’t surprising because it’s not the first time Disney, or their subsidiary Lucasfilm, has had to step in to “fix” problems surrounding Star Wars. During this past year, Lucasfilm fired directors Lord and Miller, replacing them with Ron Howard, for Solo: A Star Wars Story due to creative differences. The same seemed to happen to Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, who exited the film in September and was replaced by The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. Clearly, Disney is trying to make Star Wars as clean a universe as possible, and EA stirring up controversy is causing problems for them.
It's not surprising, considering loot boxes and microtransactions in video games are now being deemed by some as a gateway for gambling addictions in children – definitely a problem Disney does not want to promote.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on all Star Wars: Battlefront II news, the game is available to purchase now.
Source: Venture Beat
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017