Did you feel that great disturbance in the Force, as if dozens of EA executives cried out in terror? It’s probably got to do something with this story.
After what feels like weeks of backlash and criticism, EA has decided to temporarily suspend all microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II. The announcement comes via a blog post on the official games website just hours before the games official worldwide release.
“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,” wrote Oskar Gabrielson, GM of Battlefront II developer DICE.
He continued, “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 II 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.”
Some speculated that EA’s decision was triggered mostly by the intense fan reaction to the initial microtransaction system–which included mass returns of the games, social media outcry and media exposés–but its recently come to light (via VentureBeat) that perhaps Disney had a direct hand in the chaos and subsequently attempted remedy.
The outlet indicates that “according to sources familiar with the situation,” Andrew Wilson, CCO of Electronic Arts “had a phone call with The Walt Disney Company chief executive Bob Iger about Star Wars Battlefront II.” Following the reported conversation, “players are finding that the option to purchase the premium crystals currency is no longer working,” suggesting that Disney laid down the hammer.
It doesn’t take someone attuned with the Force to realize that this whole debacle isn’t done for good. Of course, there will be more updates, changes, and controversy before this is all truly resolved, but these steps by EA and DICE are ones moving in the right direction. While some will, understandably, still be cautious of the game, it doesn’t seem likely that Star Wars Battlefront ll will be a financial failure because of this.
Star Wars Battlefront ll is now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. You can check out our coverage of the game over at our YouTube channel.