What was expected to be one of the biggest games to be released this year, Star Wars Battlefront II has had a rough start. We mentioned in last week’s podcast that EA had implemented a “loot box transaction” process into the game. The problem with the issue is that it allowed people to “pay-to-win” which led to a backlash from gamers. So much complaining had happened that EA removed in-game purchases for the moment. However, gamers were still bitter about it.
So much bitterness that a Black Friday protest had taken place. On the picture from Reddit, it shows all the games in the display case empty, with the notable exception of Star Wars Battlefront II still in those racks. While EA had a sure-fire hit on their hands, this was the only way they could bungle the launch. However, their ire drew Disney to listen and after a call with Disney, EA made the announcement.
EA had an issue with the original game back in 2015. As the game was touted to be the Star Wars game that we wanted, it turned out not to be the case. Shortly after the game’s release, EA eventually revealed that they could only develop the game for multiplayer. Which drew the ire, myself included, from fans that this was not the game they were promised.
Even after all the alterations, they made for this game, including a single-player campaign, there was still some anger left over. After the announcements of the loot crates, the whole perfectly marketed plan went off the rails.
“We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases,” DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson. “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.”
You can guarantee that EA was not going to back down until the verdict came from Disney. They are not going to allow a video game developer to ruin a gaming franchise they eagerly sought out. Whether this will hurt their relationship with Disney remains to be seen. However, with the overall performance of this game, I doubt a renewal of their deal will be made.