Star Wars Battlefront 2 is out now the world over. But hours before release, publisher EA has revealed that the game's predatory and intrusive micro-transactions have been removed. What this means is, Star Wars Battlefront 2's crystals, which is the game's premium currency that can be bought with real money for in-game advantages has been removed for now. According to a statement on EA's official Star Wars Twitter account attributed to Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager at Star Wars Battlefront 2 developer Dice:
"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."
While some sections of the gaming community might chalk this down as a victory, EA's stance is far from it. Despite priding itself on user feedback, it fails to understand that this is far from a game balance and progression problem. The fact that unlocking Star Wars icons like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker is still an expensive or time-consuming affair is still a glaring concern. More over, this statement insinuates that micro-transactions will be back and will tie into progression when it returns.
If EA really cared about user feedback and what its fans think, it would remove micro-transactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2 permanently. Though given the success of FIFA Ultimate Team, raking in close to one billion dollars in revenue in FIFA 17, this does not seem likely. Rather, this seems to be a move to appease shareholders who are worried that the backlash on social media could impact the company's stock price.
For what it's worth we felt Star Wars Battlefront 2 in its current state to be The Phantom Menace of video games. Check out our Star Wars Battlefront 2 review.