Gamers’ Recent Victory Over Micro-transactions
Electronic Arts, a.k.a. EA has given early access to their recent title Star Wars Battlefront 2 to gamers who pre-ordered the game. This game is a direct sequel to another game of the same title released in 2015. While it’s predecessor was mainly focused on the multiplayer aspect it left gamers and myself included, seriously wanting a solo campaign. Not only that but the season pass and DLC didn’t offer much, which probably showed in their sales.
EA decided to listen to their gamers, but turned the tables on us yet again. Instead of a season pass and DLC, they decided to implement something called “loot boxes”. This enables players to buy items in the game with the option of using in-game currency or real money. Here’s the kicker: even though you have the option of buying these loot boxes with in-game currency, it would take an average of 40 hours of gameplay just to be able to buy them.
To add salt to the wound, Darth Vader was once a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront but is now an unlock-able character in the sequel, which you have to spend that same in-game currency to get. Let that sink in for a bit. 40 hours of “grinding” to unlock a single hero for use in the multiplayer campaign. Gamers were pissed. For those select few that purchased the deluxe edition(retailed at $80) what was included?
How Do You Make a S@#% storm Go Viral?
On November 12, 2017 one gamer went to the Dark Side, and the force was strong with this one!
The reddit posted prompted a response from a representative of EA trying to justify this transaction model, and here’s what was said:
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.
Following this bogus response came the action of being down-voted on the reddit community forum. Literally 1 day after this post, it received 200,000 down-votes. Jeez…how can a company go down in history for having the most down-votes ever? According to the Huffington Post, it received 678,000 down-votes when they published the article about this entire fiasco. When you go to that very same forum you’ll see it’s been locked.
Did E.A. Seal Their Own Fate?
Due to the overwhelming backlash from gamers that EA has received, EA has taken to twitter to announce that as of right now, all forms of micro-transactions are temporarily suspended in the game. No date on when it’ll be back up but I highly doubt it’ll be a long time before that happens.
Due to all of this controversy EA’s stock dropped to 7% but overall it’s still up 42% according to CNBC. To make matters worse, the company is also being investigated by the Belgian Gaming Commission for illegal gambling! If that isn’t cosmic karma I don’t know what is. Of course they tried to combat this by saying everything can be earned, and players don’t have to spend money for items. While that may be true, it’s not the reality. Not everyone who plays games is the type to actually earn something if it can be bought to save them time. If they have the money, it’s theirs to enjoy. Of course a few other games have been tagged onto this investigation as well, but if the ruling goes against EA this could open up other companies to investigation based on a certain countries gambling laws.
People said complaining about micro-transactions wouldn’t do anything, and that we should choose to not participate if we didn’t like it. They didn’t see the bigger picture here. This is proof that if we make ourselves heard, things will change for the better. Consider this as all the dead Jedi’s looking out for us padawans!