The road to the Star Wars Battlefront II launch has been a long and winding one. After weeks of controversy concerning microtransaction practices, EA has announced that the highly critisized functionality has been temporarily pulled from the game.
Mere hours before the wide release of Battlefront II, EA updated the game's blog with a post to inform the community that, for the time being, microtransactions were being pulled from the game. That post begins with a bunch of jibba-jabba about listening to the fans and making adjustments based on feedback which, to be fair, DICE has been doing following the game's beta phase.
When it was discovered how expensive certain in-game unlocks were ,and how long they would take to earn simply by playing the game, the concern was that EA/DICE had balanced Battlefront II too heavily toward encouraging players to spend money on microtransactions. In an effort to correct matters, the cost of certain in-game items was drastically cut. Even so, the in-game economy seems grossly out of whack and, despite the adjustments, it will still take an insane amount of time to unlock in-game items.
The other big problem is that microtransactions will allow players to buy more loot crates and, unlike similar games, the gear you can get in Battlefront II can actually affect your gear and stats in multiplayer. Cries of "pay to win" rang out pretty quickly.
In short, it's been a bad couple of weeks for Battlefront II. As stated in our review, the game itself is pretty fantastic, so it's a crying shame that EA had to go and "EA" the hell out of this one. They've gotten a lot of negative press because of these systems and due to their halfhearted responses up to this point.
So it's good news, then, that they've decided to cut microtransactions for the time being.
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.
Of course, that means microtransactions will be reinstated at some point, but not until after DICE continues to tinker with the various moving pieces that make up the multiplayer economy. Hopefully they'll eventually come up with something that feels more reasonable.
After all, most folks weren't complaining simply because yet another game was going to feature microtransactions. There were half a dozen other issues piled on top of that which made players feel like they were being taken advantage of on several fronts. Nobody really gets up in arms when microtransactions are implemented with care and forethought. The problem is that Battlefront II demonstrated neither.