Electronic Arts, fresh from the Star Wars: Battlefront II microtransactions debacle that forced the publisher to deactivate real-money purchases in the game, is now also making similar changes to Need for Speed: Payback.
Ghost Games, the studio behind the latest installment in the long-running racing franchise, revealed that it will be speeding up the pace of Need for Speed: Payback progression.
Need for Speed: Payback Progression Changes
In a Reddit post, Ghost Games revealed that it was making certain changes to Need for Speed: Payback progression based on community feedback and its own data it gathered from the open-world racer.
According to Ghost Games, the changes now live in Need for Speed: Payback include increased amounts of in-game currencies Rep and Bank awarded in events, through bait crates, and by competing against a roaming racer. The changes also include more frequent air suspension during shipments and slightly increased Rep and Bank for finishing in events outside of first place.
The changes that Ghost Games applied to Need for Speed: Payback makes progression in the game much easier, as players can collect Rep and Bank much faster. The increased awards of Rep and Bank also relieve the pressure of forcing players to spend real money to progress faster in the game.
Games vs Microtransactions
The gaming community has been very vocal in its disdain for microtransactions in video games. Microtransactions, which offer players various unlocks and bonuses in exchange for real money, add up to the total costs of games beyond their price tag. In some instances, they also create "pay-to-win" environments that make players who spend money much more powerful compared to players who choose not to.
The recent Star Wars: Battlefront II controversy is the epitome of the backlash by gamers against microtransactions and the publishers that implement them.
It all started with a Reddit thread where the opening post revealed a calculation of 40 hours of gameplay to unlock characters such as Darth Vader, which required 60,000 credits. The response by Electronic Arts in the thread that defended the massive cost became the most downvoted post in Reddit history.
Electronic Arts later reduced the requirements to unlock iconic characters in the game and then later temporarily disabled Star Wars: Battlefront II microtransactions before the game was launched. Players are currently not allowed to use real money to buy loot boxes, which contained the credits that can be used to gain access to characters.
Even regulators are now paying more attention to microtransactions, as Belgium's Gaming Commission is investigating whether Star Wars: Battlefront II loot boxes should be considered as gambling.
Along with the new changes to Need for Speed: Payback, gamers might finally be winning in the battle against microtransactions in the video game industry.