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[Updated] Star Wars Battlefront II's Microtransactions Suspended, To Return In Some Form At A Later Date

Nub Yub.

Seemingly within the last 30 minutes around 1:15AM GMT, EA have removed the ability to make microtransaction in Star Wars Battlefront II, as packs of Crystals have been removed from both in-game and storefronts, even though the option still appears at the loot crate menu. It’s a sudden and unannounced turn of events, but comes off the back of weeks of negative public reactions and escalating government body investigations surrounding the mixture of microtransactions and randomised loot crates with potential performance enhancing effects in game.

Update: And just moments after posting, we discover a statement by Oskar Gabrielson, GM, DICE which reads as follows:

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 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.

It’s an awkward step for EA to take right now, as even though today 17th November is the game’s official launch, it’s been playable as part of the 10 hour Play First Trail on EA Access and Origin Access, and those pre-ordering the Elite Trooper edition have been able to play since Tuesday. During all this time microtransactions have been available, and even just with regular play newcomers could be at a disadvantage.

Even so, it is the right move for EA to make if they plan to overhaul the way microtransactions tie in with the game.

Update 3 18/11: EA have reached out to us to clarify that the below statements made to US Gamer about an “accelerated experience” were not attributable to EA and have since been removed by the outlet. EA’s only public statement on the matter is Oskar’s blog post above, and we hope that this clarification means that EA are considering all options for the eventual return of microtransactions.

Update 2: US Gamer have spoken to EA in a telephone conversation overnight to try and better establish what wil happen in future. An EA representative said to them that they are going “back to the drawing board” to find the right balance, but that when microtransactions return they will still offer an “accelerated experience” for those who want it.

Obviously the hope is that there is a root and branch revision to the progression in the game, which is too randomised and woolly in its current form and can encourage the use of microtransactions to buy loot crates and get a boost in game.


The original post continues:

We’re obviously waiting on word from EA as to the thinking behind this and what they plan to do going forward. They’ve quick literally just turned off microtransactions at the storefront without patching the game to reflect the change, and we’ve obviously got no idea whether those that have bought Crystals will be reimbursed, whether loot crates will remain, if they’re going to re-do the entire progression system, or anything. We’ll update this post as soon as we can find out, but for now, feel free to dance around and sing like an Ewok after the destruction of the second Death Star.

18 Comments
  1. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    Well that’s a big fat bloody surprise! Nobody saw this coming! (I certainly didn’t, at least)

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 01:57.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Part of me thought it would happen after some Dice guys did an AMA on Reddit. It wasn’t exactly great for them.

      They massively screwed up with their implementation of the MTX but the whole uproar has been quite surprising. Shark cards have been around for ages and that’s even worse than this. Want a jet that will ruin everyone else’s chances of earning money? Sure, pay us £20 quid.

      GTA started this mess. EA have taken the brunt.

      Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 08:36.
      • Nate
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        It’s been a while since I’ve played GTA Online, but you are absolutely right they have had an aggressive P2W aspect for some time. It is strange how this has passed under the radar, I imagine it’s because you get such a strong single player game and the online is more of an aside rather than being advertised as a large component of the game. It would be nice for some attention to focus on other games committing the same crimes, as it feels like we are reaching a turning point as consumers.

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 12:26.
      • leeroye
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        Pretty Sure ultimate team was a thing long before GTA

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 13:10.
  2. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    Wow! Good work EA, a slightly sickly but sincere looking statement backed up with a solidly popular move. Thanks for listening :)

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 08:49.
  3. matthangzhou
    Member
    Since: Sep 2010

    Hahahaha. Very surprising move but one definitely for the better. Let’s hope this is the turning point for the good old days pre micro transactions.

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 09:52.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Season passes? Online passes for second hand games?

      You have to go far back to find a time when no games were monetizing something.

      Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 09:57.
      • Starman
        Member
        Since: Jul 2011

        Back to cosmetic items only seems the best option now. Just let people buy extra skins etc rather than gambling for them, and keep gameplay affecting things away from it all.

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 13:13.
      • kjkg
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        Agreed. Nowhere near as much money to be made but it does seem the fairest middle ground.

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 14:17.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Couldn’t agree more, Starman. The fact that studios/publishers have deviated from this even one iota lets us know what they’re thinking.

        Glad the communities are pushing back on this.

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 15:42.
  4. simplebob
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    I wonder if they’ll now pull the “free” dlc model as microtransactions was supposed to be funding all the new content going forward. If they scale back transactions to say cosmetic items, then there will be less income. Do they dial back the planned DLC or start charging for it, season pass etc, and risk a fragmented player base again?

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 10:05.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      Microtransactions will come back, EA have said, and they will still affect the progression. It’s just not entirely clear how dramatically they’ll be revising the system they currently have in order to do so.

      Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 10:36.
    • Starman
      Member
      Since: Jul 2011

      They’ll probably sell different outfits for the hero characters. That way it doesn’t affect gameplay and EA still get their precious extra income.

      Comment posted on 22/11/2017 at 18:19.
  5. Andrewww
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Ouch. I expect EA shares to start tumbling, dragging down the world economy with them. And soon everyone would wish EA had kept microtransactions in the game… ;o)

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 10:05.
  6. Nate
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    The fact they are still aiming at microtransactions that accelerate progress is the issue. If they could offer microtransactions that do not effect gameplay, like cosmetics, that would be fine. As it stands, it doesn’t sound like they are going to find a happy medium.

    Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 12:23.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Couldn’t agree more.

      I’ve paid good money to play Elite Dangerous but I can still buy some Frontier Credits if I so wish. Sure, it’s cosmetic niceties but the ships I’ve saved for are part of my fleet. I care about them. I want them to look great. It’s why I’ve spent a tenner and never begrudge things like that. My orange ship with it’s orange engine trail looks great.

      Oh, the nameplate? It reads TRUMP FORCE ONE. :-P

      Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 13:29.
      • Nate
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        I hope you are using your power responsibly. Your main responsibility being keeping the Space Mexicans out of Space America.

        Comment posted on 17/11/2017 at 19:22.
    • Stefan L
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      EA have reached out to clarify that reports of this can’t be attributed to them. I’m sure it’ll be within the internal discussions, but the fact that they’ve said as much means they’re obviously not ruling out a jump to purely cosmetics, and everything other option as well.

      Comment posted on 18/11/2017 at 10:14.

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