Friday, November 17th 2017

Under Fire, EA Backs Down on Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions

In an announcement on EA's website, Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager at DICE, came forward to respond in no uncertain terms to the issues looming over Star Wars Battlefront 2. In the post, Gabrielson vows that EA and Dice have "(...) an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. 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."

This culminates on a decision to abandon all microtransactions as they were coded into the final version of the game, or, as Gabrielson puts it: "(...) 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." So, it's not a total, definitive cut as it is; it's more of a "back to the drawing board" kind of approach. which only makes sense, as EA has been loud and clear in saying that they consider these microtransactions as essential components of a given games' development.
The addition of a single player campaign may have quelled some of the criticism from the first Battlefront; however, uglier problems have reared their head with the latest installment's handling of microtransactions. It's not a single issue on this. On one hand, there's been considerable community backlash over the amount of money (or time, so, again, money) users would have to devote to the $60 game in order to unlock everything it has to offer - a situation which was badly handled by some EA representatives. On the other hand, EA also has to consider the announcements of investigations in regards to the game's handling of microtransactions, which, in the state they were, were being considered too close to gambling to offer comfort.

Sources: EA, EA Twitter
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26 Comments on Under Fire, EA Backs Down on Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions

#1
natr0n
I wonder how long Dice has left now.
Posted on Reply
#2
EarthDog
(Much) Longer than everyone gives them (like AMD). They are a juggernaut, for better worse...
Posted on Reply
#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
People shouldn't be fooled. This isn't EA hearing our voices and trying to do the right thing. They are only doing this to get through the holiday season, so people will actually buy it, and as soon as the holidays are over they are going to go right back to the old ways.
Posted on Reply
#5
Prince Valiant
(...) an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. 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.
Read as: "Please bear with us as we figure out how to avoid regulation, exploit everyone, and continue being a terrible company!"
Posted on Reply
#6
Easo
I wonder for how long this will last. They will try again for sure in different games.
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#7
bug
Reviews seem to agree that the game can suck on its own, it doesn't need microstransactions for that.
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#8
jaggerwild
It makes me lol that some gamer thinks they are going to change the way EA does business. OR that EA/Disney cares what they think or say one bit.
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#10
Fluffmeister
It's a shame... DICE have gone from AMD pimp to just another EA bitch.
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#11
lexluthermiester
natr0n said:
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/17/wall-street-is-freaking-out-as-ea-caves-again-to-social-media-outrage-over-its-star-wars-game.html
From that article; " Investors are now worried the controversy over Electronic Arts' "Star Wars Battlefront II" in-game monetization model will hurt the video game's sales. "
Good! Let it hurt sales. This kind of crap needs to end. If the gaming world takes a hit, so be it. Things need to go back to being ethical, moral and focused and the artistry of game building instead of being a wasteful money grab. And before some nitwit chimes in and says something pedantic like "Business is business and they exist to make money. ", save it. Good games have always been made to be a fun past-time and video games are no exception to that rule. There is nothing wrong with making money, but the primary focus is supposed to be making quality games. Make a great game and people will flock to buy it. Instead companies spend millions on creating a "hype train" for everyone to get on. Drop those same millions into better game development and you won't need a "hype train", or at least much of one. While EA's current decision is correct ATM, they are still very much an example of what NOT to be/do/follow.
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#12
StrayKAT
jaggerwild said:
It makes me lol that some gamer thinks they are going to change the way EA does business. OR that EA/Disney cares what they think or say one bit.
Gamers as a whole "can". But they won't.
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#13
RejZoR
EA backing off. "For now". Which means they removed it to sell the game and then shove it right back in after people buy the game. They won't stop and they'll keep trying till they get it their way.

Only way to really send them a message is not to only complain and bitch, but to also boycott this game. Let them send a message by causing them multi million losses on this game alone. This however WILL send them a clear message. They only care about the money and if you cost them millions, they'll get the message. Until we just complain on reddit and Twitter it's just a minor inconvenience for them and maybe few thousand dollars lost in money. That's what 5 idiots will get them back through microtransactions alone.

So, think about this thoroughly if you really so desperately need Battlefront 2 now or send them a message and play a proper Star Wars Battlefront 3 game next year or in 2 years time?
Posted on Reply
#14
haxzion
The game is trash and already full of cheaters since there isn't any serious anticheat protection just like battlefront 1
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#15
Divide Overflow
EA will wait a bit for the hype to blow over and then they'll simply turn it back on while claiming they are "listening to the feature demands of their users".
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#16
Vario
Fluffmeister said:
It's a shame... DICE have gone from AMD pimp to just another EA bitch.
DICE was good when it was Desert Combat. It hasn't been good since. BF2 wasn't the greatest launch ever. It was a pretty good game, but it had the typical EA crap associated with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trauma_Studios

edit: Technically DICE was never good. Just acquired a good mod team.
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#17
RejZoR
Best thing from DICE is the Frostbite engine. Gotta give them credit for that because it's one of most capable and beautiful engines in existence.
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#18
sinnedone
newtekie1 said:
People shouldn't be fooled. This isn't EA hearing our voices and trying to do the right thing. They are only doing this to get through the holiday season, so people will actually buy it, and as soon as the holidays are over they are going to go right back to the old ways.
I agree, but I'll take it a step further.

Since they are being investigated by several governing bodies, they are getting their legalize ready for when they reinstate the system so they can't be sued or fined.
Posted on Reply
#19
kabarsa
RejZoR said:
Best thing from DICE is the Frostbite engine. Gotta give them credit for that because it's one of most capable and beautiful engines in existence.
Not trying to mock your comment. Just hearing so many times game engines debates and how engine A is so capable and engine B is not rendering human skin good enough is ridiculous. Most gamers should probably praise PBR shaders, photogrammetry, Enlighten GI solution, Umbra occlusion, Havok, PhysX, Simplygon, Scaleform, NaturalMotion, RAD Game Tools, Speedtree, Substance Designer and Painter, Quixel tools, Marvelous Designer and a lot of other things. And a lot of human hours spent on optimized assets. And it all sadly just eventually ends up being "good engine"
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#20
Vario
Galaxy In Turmoil looks interesting,
Supposed to be Battlefront2 remade but they removed the Star Wars element to avoid legal issue.
@1:43
Posted on Reply
#21
Vayra86
RejZoR said:
EA backing off. "For now". Which means they removed it to sell the game and then shove it right back in after people buy the game. They won't stop and they'll keep trying till they get it their way.

Only way to really send them a message is not to only complain and bitch, but to also boycott this game. Let them send a message by causing them multi million losses on this game alone. This however WILL send them a clear message. They only care about the money and if you cost them millions, they'll get the message. Until we just complain on reddit and Twitter it's just a minor inconvenience for them and maybe few thousand dollars lost in money. That's what 5 idiots will get them back through microtransactions alone.

So, think about this thoroughly if you really so desperately need Battlefront 2 now or send them a message and play a proper Star Wars Battlefront 3 game next year or in 2 years time?
My words precisely, boycotting its sales entirely is the only way to voice your opinion. No mercy.
Posted on Reply
#22
RejZoR
Vario said:

Galaxy In Turmoil looks interesting,
Supposed to be Battlefront2 remade but they removed the Star Wars element to avoid legal issue.
@1:43

I wonder why Disney didn't step in and made a deal with the guys. Could be that EA wants exclusive rights and Disney then can't give it to these guys...
Posted on Reply
#23
Vayra86
RejZoR said:
I wonder why Disney didn't step in and made a deal with the guys. Could be that EA wants exclusive rights and Disney then can't give it to these guys...
You're going to have to explain what looks interesting about this, because all I see is a super clunky alpha build with Star Wars themed assets, and a whole lot of nonsense.
Posted on Reply
#24
Vya Domus
I don't know what to say , shares going down really puts pressure on a company like EA which is driven exclusively by it's share holders and their fear of losing money.
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#25
RejZoR
Vayra86 said:
You're going to have to explain what looks interesting about this, because all I see is a super clunky alpha build with Star Wars themed assets, and a whole lot of nonsense.
Only nonsense is the name "Turmoil" it's such an unfortunate word for a game title. They should really pick something else.
Posted on Reply
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