Rebels can rejoice and celebrate as their days of virtual protests have created enough disturbance in the Force to force the Empire of Arts to relent and reconsider its bid for supremacy and money. It, however, be too soon to call it a complete victory, as the Empire ominously hints that it will be back, but perhaps in a way that will catch gamers unaware. For now, however, would-be players of Star Wars: Battlefront II can rest assured that they won’t have to pay to win, as in-game microtransactions have been temporarily put on hold.
The gaming industry has come up with new business models in the recent years that have run afoul of gamers at large, either with simple bias like “freemium” types, or outright derision for “pay to win” games. The latter include the purchase of critically advantageous perks and loot boxes, which have recently come under government scrutiny even.
Given the heat on that business model, you’d think EA would tread carefully. This is, however, EA, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise when it decided to adopt such a system for Battlefront II. And now it is paying the price for that, almost literally.
Just days before the game’s launch, disgruntled fans of the franchise took to the Web to vehemently protest how the game was designed to squeeze out every last coin from players. In addition to paying $80 for the game itself, you would, in effect, be “forced” to pay even more just to unlock some of the most popular characters. Sure, you can actually earn in-game credits by playing the game, but then you’d have to spend around 40 hours just to behold the glory of Vader.
At first, EA and DICE decided to lower the required credits, but that obviously wasn’t enough. So now they are turning off all in-game purchases and progression will only be possible through gameplay. But that won’t be true forever. Buying crystals in-game with real-world money will be back, once they figure out how to do it without causing a riot.