After several tense days full of complaints from gamers, developer EA decided to fundamentally change Star Wars: Battlefront II just hours before the game’s worldwide in a drastic effort to appease fans.
Originally, Battlefront II was meant to offer in-game purchases that gave players a way to quickly earn special rewards and top-tier characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader at an an an exorbitant cost, which would give those players an advantage over the ones that didn’t buy their way to the top of the food chain. The alternative, for people who didn’t want to fork over money, was a lengthy unlocking process. Following several days of intense criticism that included the most down-voted post in Reddit history, EA temporarily disabled all in-game transactions, EA temporarily disabled all in-game transactions, EA temporarily disabled all in-game transactions.
Rather than having to spend dozens of hours or hundreds of dollars to unlock the characters, players will instead earn them strictly through progression in-game at a presumably much quicker pace than previously estimated.
The decision was announced less than four hours before global release in a last-ditch effort to improve public opinion about what’s a legitimate fun game with a great story and entertaining gameplay.
Here’s the official announcement straight from EA:
The “unfair advantages” refers to how any player with lots of money to throw at the game could conceivably unlock all sorts of perks, characters, and other advantages that would allow them to dominate in multiplayer matches. Gamers like to call this a “pay to win” model and they really, really, really hate it. It works as a money-maker in many mobile games, where multiplayer elements tend to be slight. But in top-tier console games, players would rather win on merit alone.
In the meantime, they’ll try to find that sweet spot where in-game transactions might make sense in a game of this nature.
Venture Beat reports information from “sources” that The Walt Disney Company chief executive Bob Iger might have gotten directly involved in the debacle by placing a call to Electronic Arts chief executive officer Andrew Wilson yesterday.
One thing’s for sure: It’s the fans — and “arm chair developers” that have all the power in this galaxy.
Star Wars: Battlefront II is available now.