DICE boss Oskar Gabrielson has released a statement announcing that payments in the new Star Wars Battlefront II game will cease for the time being, based on feedback from players.
Over the last week, as the game went live for trial on EA Access and, Wednesday, for early release, there has been a steady build up of complaints over the microtransactions in the game being unfair, both from players and, seemingly, from those who have never actually played the game. These payments allow access to loot crates which give a chance of winning major characters like Darth Vader or weapon and skill upgrades, though it’s still a gamble as these crates throw out random items. The same items can be bought with in-game credits after many hours of play, but it was thought that the ‘pay to unlock early’ system was far too biased.
After a surprisingly civil Reddit AMA, where design director Dennis Brannvall said “We were incredibly saddened by the negative response from you, the community on Reddit about the game. In fact, we hated it, we truly did, because we want to make a game that you love. We’ve made a really cool, fun and beautiful game but it was overshadowed by issues with the progression system. We will fix this.” DICE seemed to be working on a solution. It now looks like that solution was to temporarily disband the payments altogether.
The statement from Gabrielson was posted this morning by EA, shortly after removing the payment options for the game from the console and PC. “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 2 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.”
It remains unclear what the future holds for further Micro-transactions in the game or, for that matter, what it means for other EA games with similar models in the future.