This week the full power of the gaming community came to a pinnacle point as Electronic Arts announced it would be suspending any microtransaction aspects from its newly released Star Wars Battlefront II. The first person shooter was officially released this week, and within hours gamers took to social media to denounce the “pay-to-win” game design.
EA’s latest release has been hyped up for the last seven months, leading gamers to expect an amazing product, especially given that SWB2’s predecessor was seen as fairly lackluster in regard to its similarities to EA’s Battlefield franchise as well as the absence of a campaign mode.
While the actual gameplay of is no less than visually stunning, the accessory aspects of the game such as weapons, gear, and character unlocks could all be purchased via microtransactions; however, this particular aspect of gaming is nothing new. The combination of absurd prices for the transactions as well as high-power characters available for purchase is what drove gamers to voice their frustrations so openly across the internet.
The tipping point for EA seemed to occur on Reddit, after the company’s account responded to an upset user MBMMaverick’s post in which the user complained about the $80 price tag for unlocking and upgrading characters. As the first part of its response, EA stated their intent was to give gamers a “sense of pride and accomplishment.” In an unprecedented show of disapproval, that response on Reddit has 676,000 downvotes as of now.
EA didn’t just take a beating from angry gamers online though. The news seemingly caused enough worry on Wall Street to see the company’s stock price drop 2.49%.
Thus far there has been no comment as to whether or not microtransactions in SWB2 will be reinstated at some point in the future.