EA, Star Wars Battlefront II, and developer DICE have had a rocky week, to say the least. After gaining the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, cutting the in-game cost of characters by 75%, and a less-than-stellar AMA also on Reddit, DICE have officially delivered a statement regarding the highly criticized microtransaction model being used in the new title.
The official EA Star Wars account (@EAStarWars) tweeted out the following, along with this image as well:
“Today, we turned off in-game purchases for #StarWarsBattlefrontII. The game is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Read the full update: bit.ly/2hyFHce”
Upon opening the link, readers are given a statement by Oskar Gabrielson, the General Manager of DICE. The statement in its entirety reads as follows:
“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 with both 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.”
This statement comes mere hours before the official launch of the Standard Edition of the game. It seems as if DICE and EA are intending to deliver fans what they truly want going forward, as the microtransactions were a major part of what fans were raging over, claiming the system provides an unfair advantage to those who shell out the extra cash.
Aside from the new of the removal of Crystals, interesting is Gabrielson’s mention of Crystals being brought back at some point, but only after they’ve made changes to the game. What does this mean, exactly? Microtransactions WILL return, that much is clear, but how they will be implemented going forward remains to be seen. Perhaps they could be taking after Overwatch, and only granting cosmetic items, as many have suggested.
Overall, this is a HUGE win for the online gaming community. I can’t think of a situation similar to this that has ever happened, with a developer removing microtransactions after an immense public outcry. Then again, this has not been a typical situation, by any means. With DICE showing that it cares what fans have to say and their willingness to change things for the betterment of the community, it appears all is well as far as this situation is concerned. This has been a historic week for gaming, in both positive and negative lights. It just goes to show that companies will listen if consumers are loud enough.