Nov 14th 2017

Battlefront II's Locked Hero controversy and EA's response and fix

EA has been under near constant fire for Star Wars Battlefront II. The beta revealed how the game gave people who paid money a clear (and often very large) advantage over others, and that got toned down due to the fans response; although, probably not as much as many people would prefer. Well, now there is a new controversy with people who got the game early and heroes you can play as within the game.

EA was found to have locked several characters behind a pay wall of in-game credits. The characters just happened to be some of the most iconic of the series, like Chewbacca, Palpatine, Luke, and Darth Vader. On top of this they also changed the way credits were earned by basing them on the time played rather than on player performance. So it is just how long you play, not how good you are at the game. As for how long it would take to unlock a hero behind this in game paywall, a Reddit user named TheHotterPotato calculated it out in this post to be roughly 40 hours of gameplay if you want one of the top tier locked heroes. That also means not spending those credits on anything else during that time. That’s just for one, and there are several locked heroes.

Fans exploded over this, and the EA community team came to their own defense and broke a record. They created a reply that is now the most downvoted post in Reddit history. They explained how the intent was to provide a sense of pride for unlocking these heroes, and the price was set based on information they got “from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch.” They ended it saying they appreciate the feedback and will look at what people have to say. For many this only confirmed what they suspected about EA wanting to force people to spend money by turning it into an unbearable grind.

Well, again EA has backpedaled. In response to the public outcry, they released a blog post outlining a few changes. They cut the cost of all heroes by 75%. Luke and Vader dropped to 15,000. Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia dropped to 10,000, and the game’s protagonist Iden Versio dropped to 5,000. The post went on to detail how it’s a change they made based on fan input, and that they will continue to listen to fans. They even said that tomorrow they will do a Reddit AMA with some of the key leads for Battlefront II.

Star Wars is something a lot of people get passionate about. Changing the dynamic to add more microtransactions have been rubbing fans the wrong way, and it seems that Dice and EA are walking a fine line between making fans angry enough to cancel preorders and make a ton of money. Although if it doesn’t end well it could harm the brand in the long run even if it does turn a short term profit. Anyway, what are your thoughts? Are the star card microttansactions not a big deal? Did EA fix the issue? Were people overreacting?