Star Wars Battlefront II has faced a whirlwind of criticism from fans in the weeks leading up to the game’s launch. The sneaking suspicions of users that the game’s loot box system resembled a “pay-to-win” scheme were only exacerbated by the staggering hero unlock times. EA has already made significant modifications to the requirements for securing the game’s top heroes, and on the eve of the game’s launch, the studio that many fans have expressed their ire toward in recent days made another big adjustment — the removal of microtransactions.
“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,” Dice GM Oskar Gabrielson said in a statement just hours before the game launched.
That means that no player will be able to get an unfair advantage simply by throwing money at the game’s loot boxes in hopes of nabbing powerful Star Cards. All of your unlocks, from heroes to Star Cards, will have to be earned via in-game credits — at least for the time being.
“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,” Gabrielson continued.
While the eventual return of microtransactions may sound bad, suggesting this move has only been made to calm the steady stream of outrage the game has received, one can hope that when microtransactions do enter the fray, they will veer away from any system that can be construed as pay-to-win. Naturally, nothing is guaranteed, but perhaps EA will go the route of other successful games like Overwatch and Call of Duty: WWII by locking microtransactions to cosmetic items.
Battlefront II has now officially launched for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. One has to wonder, though, if the early experiences chronicled by EA Access subscribers and reviewers will deter fans of Star Wars from picking up the game, even after the grievances have been addressed. After all, EA received the most downvoted comment in Reddit history during the hero debacle, and the game currently has an abysmal and frankly unfair Metascore due to the backlash.
It’s worth noting that we have enjoyed our time with Battlefront II, declaring it an improvement on its predecessor in almost every sense.