EA has decided to turn off all in-game purchases for Star Wars Battlefront II following massive backlash regarding the loot box system. The reversal was made last minute, just a day before the game rolls out worldwide.
The initial excitement for Battlefront II after EA seemingly addressed glaring issues from its predecessor, including paid-for DLC segregation and lack of a story mode, immediately faded when fans who had early access got to explore the new game. Many complaints come from the realization it would take either a ridiculous amount of days or money (depending on your preference) to unlock certain features and content in the game. For instance, accessing one playable character could take as long as 40 hours worth of game time. EA has addressed the issue by scaling back on the credits needed to unlock content, but fans are simply not buying it anymore. Now, they make a more drastic change that would hopefully salvage people's interest in the troubled title.
To keep up with the growing outcry from fans, EA has decided to suspend in-game purchases for Battlefront II. The announcement was made via an official statement from DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson posted on EA's official site. You can read a portion of the presser below:
"We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.
We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our progress."
While this could be a step in the right direction to correct the game's seemingly blatant cash-grabbing ploy, the catch here is that buying crystals will still be reintroduced down the line. We do not know how they would rectify the situation or what kind of tweaking they can do to make the system less problematic. If their current contingency plan does not work (or worse, is really a rebrand as something different), Star Wars fans and gamers who are actually looking forward to immersing themselves in the Battlefront series will lose appetite not just for the upcoming game, but the franchise as a whole. This means that while an overhaul is still possible for future installments, people's anticipation with it will always be clouded by this mess.
Admittedly, it is not just Star Wars Battlefront II that is suffering from this imperfect pay-to-win scheme. Other games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War received a similarly hostile reception from both fans and critics, so the ploy is somewhat common in the video game industry. But knowing that the game is a tied with arguably the most famous media franchise of all time makes it worse with the developers seemingly trying to take advantage of the huge fandom's passion for the lore.
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017