Electronic Arts has temporarily disabled Star Wars: Battlefront II microtransactions just before the title was launched, responding to the massive backlash that it has received from gamers.
Things have not gone well for Star Wars: Battlefront II, but hopefully this decision by Electronic Arts will lead the game down a better path.
Star Wars: Battlefront II Microtransactions Questioned
Earlier this week, Electronic Arts made massive Star Wars: Battlefront II changes by reducing the requirements to unlock some of the franchise's iconic heroes and villains in the game. For example, from the 60,000 credits needed to unlock Darth Vader, the number was knocked down to 15,000 credits.
The publisher did that as a response to backlash brewing online. A Redditor known as TheHotterPotato calculated that it would have taken 40 hours of gameplay to earn the 60,000 credits needed to purchase Darth Vader as a playable character in Star Wars: Battlefront II. Needless to say, that was an enormous amount of time to gain access to a major component of a game that players already paid full price for.
Electronic Arts has also found itself under investigation in Belgium, as a commission deliberates whether Star Wars: Battlefront II loot boxes may be considered as gambling. If the loot boxes, which can be purchased with real money for random contents, will be categorized as gambling, the publisher may be facing fines worth hundreds of thousands of euros and a ban of the game in the country.
Star Wars: Battlefront II Microtransactions Deactivated
After all the controversy surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront II, VentureBeat reported that Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson spoke with Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger over the game. A few hours after the call, Electronic Arts made another drastic change to Star Wars: Battlefront II.
In a press release, the publisher announced that it was disabling all in-game purchases right before the Star Wars: Battlefront II launch. This meant that players could no longer buy in-game crystals using real money to buy loot boxes, which also contained credits that can be used to unlock characters.
"We've heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages," Electronic Arts said in a statement, referring to players who are worried of a "pay-to-win" environment.
"And we've heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right," the statement continued, adding that the only way left for players to earn credits in the game was through gameplay.
Star Wars: Battlefront II microtransactions will return in the future, but Electronic Arts said that it will come back once further changes are made. In any case, this is a huge win for gamers against the scourge of microtransactions, which has been making games more expensive and less fun to play.