If you’ve read my Star Wars Battlefront II Beta impression piece, you’ll know I was scathing in my opinion of the choices EA and DICE made with the use of micro transactions, progression, unlocks, loot boxes within the online portion of the game. I was far from the sole voice in expressing my disgust.
Things escalated this week with a Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit, with the general negativity surrounding the alleged greed of EA and DICE for the choices they made to attempt what some see as milking more money from their customers. Further anger from the fans erupted when those that pre-ordered the game discovered how much gameplay would be required to unlock much loved characters of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader and how much real currency would be needed to reach the same point – both staggering at 4500 hours and $2100 respectfully.
Due to the torrent of bad press, the following statement was released this morning from DICE:
Thank you to everyone in our community for being the passionate fans that you are.
Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this withboth the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.
But as we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.
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 it is disappointing to know it won’t be removed entirely, it is satisfying to know the gaming community banded together and had its voice heard when a company pushed too far. The long term effects of this backing down from EA and DICE is yet to be seen, but at least they now realise that they can’t take their customers for granted. While Star Wars Battlefront II will still be an amazingly profitable game, those profits and DICE’s public image, more than EA’s (they are already considered pretty evil), have taken a huge beating.
Star Wars Battlefront II is out today…in case you are wondering.