“Star Wars Battlefront II” Becomes PR Nightmare for EA Games Due to In-Game Micro-Transactions

#StarWars news: gamers that were excited about #BattlefrontII coming out are now upset with #EA Games over their planned in-game micro-transactions for unlocking major characters, similar to mobile freemium games, except that this isn’t a freemium game: it’s a paid console video game. The alternative to paying-to-play is to play for an exorbitant number of tedious hours to earn a similar number of points to unlock the characters.

Many gamers who had or were about to pay $60 US for the privilege of playing the game are either canceling their orders, not planning to purchase the game or calling for an all-out boycott on the game or EA itself.

After a Reddit user who was furious about in-game purchases necessary to use basic components of the game left a public complaint on the website after he bought the deluxe edition (only to have the main character locked), an EA representative responded with a comment to try and explain EA’s position. Within a matter of hours that EA rep’s comment became the single most down-voted comment in Reddit’s history with over 660,000 down-votes (at the time this post was written), overtaking the previous record holding comment that had over 24,000 downvotes.

Others on social media are expressing their concerns that EA & Disney (which owns Lucasfilm & the Star Wars franchise) are encouraging children who play the game to gamble. Whether that is true is hard to say, but is adding to the calls for gamers & families to boycott the game.

This public relations nightmare comes less than one month after EA shut down development of another Star Wars video game (Ragtag) & the studio that had spent several years developing it (Visceral). At the time of the shut down, many said that EA didn’t believe that it would make enough money since it was intended to be a single-player video game.

In response to the gamer & Reddit backlash, EA had said that they are reducing the number of credits required to unlock game content. The statement posted on EA’s website, made by John Wasilczyk (executive producer at studio DICE), said the company will reduce the number of credits required to unlock those classic saga heroes by 75%.

How the micro-transaction controversy further impacts the game & sales remains to be seen.