In the latest thrilling saga that is Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s release, EA and DICE have opted to completely remove all in-game purchases and microtransactions right before its release today. The stunning move comes as a direct response to the staggering amount of complaints and vitriol that Battlefront 2’s loot boxes and pricing economy have generated.
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: https://t.co/asGASaYXVp pic.twitter.com/vQSOmsWRgk
— EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) November 17, 2017
“We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases,” writes Oskar Gabrielson, GM of DICE. “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.”
This is a complete 180 from the Reddit posts that EACommunityTeam made earlier this week defending the 40-hour grind it would take to unlock the top tier heroes. After resounding complaints, EA slashed hero costs by 75%. By eliminating the ability to purchase anything with real money they’ve taken it a step further.
Note that the message cryptically mentions that in-game purchases will return at a later date.
Many AAA games have some form of loot boxes, with Overwatch being a primary example. However, Overwatch’s loot boxes contain purely aesthetic goodies. Battlefront 2’s extra purchasable content unlocks new heroes and abilities to use in multiplayer, giving gamers with deeper wallets a direct advantage. Hence the outrage.
Does this news absolve EA of bungling its microtransactions, or are you skipping Battlefront 2 altogether? Early reviews show that the game itself is fun, though the single player campaign is disappointing.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 launches today on PC (Origin), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s rated T for Teen.