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'Star Wars Battlefront II' Players Outraged Over Progression System, Microtransactions (Updated)

Update, 11/13/2017, 1:52pm PST: A new blog post from DICE executive producer John Wasilczyk has appeared on the game's website. In light of the recent controversy on Reddit, he wrote that "it's clear that more changes were needed." The studio will reduce the cost of credits required to get the game's top heroes by 75%. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker will now cost you 15,000 credits; Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia are available for 10,000 credits; and Iden Versio is now at 5,000 credits. He also mentioned that the studio will participate in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Wednesday. Additional details on the event are coming soon.

Original story, 11/13/2017, 12:05pm PST:

Star Wars Battlefront II isn’t officially available until Friday, but some players already had the chance to play it because of EA’s Play First Trial. The early access period allowed EA and Origin Access members to play 10 hours of the game, and players already discovered that it takes a considerable amount of time to unlock some of the title’s trademark heroes and villains. A member of EA’s community team responded to a complaint from a fan about the system, which only fanned the flames in the ongoing controversy of the industry’s microtransaction methods.

The outrage began when a player, who purchased the $80 deluxe edition of the game, complained on the Star Wars Battlefront Reddit page that Darth Vader was unavailable as a playable character until they gathered enough in-game credits to purchase him. Credits are earned through matches and challenges, but they're also available through the crate system (something to keep in mind for later). Early players discovered that the number of credits accrued through gameplay was small; one user even calculated that players earn an average of 275 credits in a standard match of Galactic Assault, which apparently takes an average time of 11 minutes and 9 seconds to complete. By this calculation, it would take you about 40 hours to earn the 60,000 credits to purchase Darth Vader as a playable character. However--and this is the area where microtransactions come into play--you can avoid this progression system entirely and get the same character in Hero Crates. You can purchase these crates with Crystals, an in-game currency available only by paying real-world money.

Players were already angered about the crates system in the game, which led DICE to explain and then change its mechanics after the beta sessions on consoles and PC. The straw that seemingly broke the camel’s back in the controversy came from the official EA community account, which responded to the initial post with the following message:

"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can."

EA’s response was met with a multitude of comments and downvotes from frustrated players. At over 362,000 downvotes, it’s currently the most hated comment in Reddit’s history. An EA developer also wrote on Twitter that they received death threats and personal attacks because of the response. Dennis Brannvall, an associate design director at DICE, attempted to further clarify the game’s progression system with a post on the Reddit page. He even reiterated that the studio will continue to monitor and tweak the number of credits earned in each match against the price of crates and heroes. As expected, players were still outraged at him about the game in its current state.

Since its inception, microtransactions have been a controversial element in video games. The idea that players could pay more money after the initial game purchase to get faster access to better items put the term “pay to win” front and center. Unfortunately, these methods aren’t going away anytime soon. Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns 2K Games and Rockstar Games, announced last week it will have some sort of “recurrent consumer spending” feature in all of its future titles.

This recent issue on progression and microtransactions casts an even worse light on the game, and more importantly, EA. DICE will undoubtedly continue to add new content and tweak specific mechanics of the game, including progression, but it seems like the damage is already done to the once-beloved franchise.

NameStar Wars Battlefront II
TypeShooter
DeveloperDICE, Motive Studios, Criterion Games
PublisherElectronic Arts
PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Where To BuyOriginPlayStation StoreXbox StoreAmazonBest BuyTargetWalmartGameStop
Release DateNovember 17, 2017
  • michaelwgilbert
    And they wonder why people pirate video games...
    Reply
  • DJowns
    I'm not defending EA... I dislike them as much as the next person and you know they are going to try to justify micro-transactions as funding the DLC. So will they actually go away? Looking at the reality of how games have been developed since there inception it's doubtful so here we all are having to live through another deluded decade of great games convoluted with terrible features.
    Reply
  • LORD_ORION
    Solution is easy... don't buy it, and they will change their ways real damn fast.
    Reply
  • GloriouslyAverageGenius
    I'm not buying until they change their minds, or I'm not buying at all. Screw them, enough is enough...
    Reply
  • targetdrone
    It doesn't matter. People are going to buy this game up like they bought up Loot Box of Duty.
    Reply
  • lperreault21
    Isn't this expected?

    This is EA we are talking about.

    I will stick to original Starwars Battlefront 2, Thank you.
    Reply
  • Dyseman
    I want it NOW NOW NOW NOW. I don't want something to work for, Just want it NOW NOW NOW NOW. - Signed, Millennials... and dudes still living with parents.
    Reply
  • phobicsq
    Idiot gamers that buy games that do this are only hurting their games. It's not hard to understand this.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    The outrage began when a player, who purchased the $80 deluxe edition of the game, complained on the Star Wars Battlefront Reddit page that Darth Vader was unavailable as a playable character until they gathered enough in-game credits to purchase him....EA’s response was met with a multitude of comments and downvotes from frustrated players. At over 362,000 downvotes, it’s currently the most hated comment in Reddit’s history.

    ^^Leave it between Dice and EA to ruin yet another what would be cool gaming experience. By the way - new AAA release titles are $60 USD. What is the benefit of spending another $20 for the "deluxe" version if you are still behind the power curve from the start?

    20375036 said:
    Idiot gamers that buy games that do this are only hurting their games. It's not hard to understand this.

    Well you have to understand that the gaming world, especially in the console world, there's severe peer pressure. If one or two guys in a group of many gaming friends decide to get something, then everyone else wants to join in as well. I am older and wiser and do not bow to peer pressure. But you are correct: buying games like this just supports more junk down the line like buying a 1986 $3,995 Yugo that fell apart after six months.
    Reply
  • armor152
    Great game so far. Graphics are insane and using heroes/upgraded infantry is much better than in 1 when it was random. Lots of variety and it's deeper than before, plus the campaign was great so far (you can only play the first part of it until it's officially released)
    Considering there's no paid DLC, the microtransactions are a necessary evil, most people won't buy them which is great but if you really want to then go for it. Games have stayed at $60 for a long time and they need to get more money somehow. A skilled player with crap cards will still beat a person that's played an hour with maxed out cards and spend a ton of money on it.

    There are crazy people saying they want everything unlocked right away, what's the fun in that? I like unlocking stuff and using a variety of weapons and modes to earn challenges and accomplish something.
    So buy the game, but don't buy the Deluxe version as it's pointless and don't spend any money on loot boxes.
    Reply