EA Temporarily Backs Away From Virtual Currency In Star Wars: Battlefront II
EA has removed purchasable crystals from Star Wars: Battlefront II after a sustained and heated backlash against the system took over social media and, more importantly, mainstream attention by large media outlets.
Players can no longer spend real money to buy these crystals, which are one of the game's virtual currencies used to buy loot boxes. What this means is that the game is no longer pay-to-win as players can not just purchase crystals to get Star Cards faster. This also means they are only able to be earned through in-game grinding.
It solves part of the problem, but if the rest of the game remains as it has been, and does not solve every issue people are complaining about.
In the blog post announcing the change, DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson said that the crystals will return once they figure out a solution to make players happy.
You can find the official announcement below. Rumors arose about the change as the result of an EA conference call earlier today, but has just been confirmed by EA and DICE.
Thank you to everyone in our community for being the passionate fans that you are.
Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.
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.
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.
We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our progress.
[Source: Battlefront Blog]
I can't imagine Disney was happy about the mainstream news articles suggesting they were introducing gambling into the family-friendly Star Wars. While this is a good first step, if EA is assuming this is the only problem, they are going to be disappointed by the reaction to this move. The fact that they say it will be turned back on makes me think they just need to calm people down for the game to get its holiday and movie sales in first.