- Game publisher EA has temporarily removed microtransactions from “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” the flagship new “Star Wars” game launching on Friday.
- “Battlefront 2” was at the center of controversy this week, with fans outraged that they might have to spend real money on “loot crates” of random items just to see everything the game has to offer.
- EA says the feature will return at a “later date”
EA has temporarily backed off a controversial plan that players feared would give those who paid real money an unfair advantage in “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” the flagship new game in the franchise officially launching on Friday.
In a blog post on Thursday, the studio behind the game said the feature would be available at later date, after they had addressed the player concerns that led to a massive backlash earlier this week.
“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,” wrote DICE, the game developer on its official blog on Thursday.
— The Kenn Leandre (@kennleandre) November 17, 2017
Earlier this week, EA, the publisher of “Battlefront 2,” faced a massive backlash on Reddit and social media over microtransactions. And EA’s comment responding to the backlash became the most-disliked comment in Reddit history, with over 600,000 “downvoting” it.
The crux of the issue is that so-called “hero” characters, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader, require a certain amount of “credits,” the main in-game currency, to unlock. In other words, if you want to be one of the main characters of the “Star Wars” series, you have to earn it.
While you earn small amounts of credits just by playing the game, the fastest way to acquire the currency is via “loot crates.” A loot crate is a bundle of premium items, dispersed in a random bundle. And while you can earn them just by playing the game, players of the “Battlefront 2” beta complained that paying real money for them was the only efficient way to actually make progress without just grinding away for dozens of hours.
The notion that players would have to spend more money for loot crates, just to make progress in a game that they spent their $60 on, was a bridge too far for many players.
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” wrote EA in its now-infamous Reddit comment. Following the Reddit backlash, EA announced that it was slashing the amount of credits it would take to unlock certain characters by as much as 75%.
That did little to quell the backlash. And so now, EA has taken out the ability to pay real money in “Star Wars Battlefront 2” altogether. Players logging in on Thursday night, amid the official launch, saw that the real-money options were removed.
It’s not immediately clear how the removal of real-money payments will change “Battlefront 2.” A representative for EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.