Attack of the Fanboy

EA Not Giving Up On Microtransactions In Star Wars Battlefront 2

by Jelani James


You might recall that during a statement concerning Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA stated it would be temporarily removing microtransactions from the game, but it would be returning in some capacity in the future.

“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.”

Considering the damage that has been done to EA following this whole event, one would assume that EA wasn’t seriously making that claim. Surely, EA would see the folly in trying to reincorporate microtransactions in almost any capacity and wouldn’t dare touch the subject with a ten foot pole.

However, as it turns out, EA was quite serious.

Speaking at a Credit Suisse conference yesterday, chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said, “We’re not giving up on the notion of MTX [microtransactions].”

As indicated before, EA fully intends to bring microtransactions back to Battlefront 2 — it’s just looking for the right time to do so.

“We’re really watching how people are playing the game. We’re trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We’re learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future.”

One route which fans and critics repeatedly mention are cosmetic-based microtransactions, like those seen in Blizzard’s Overwatch. Fortunately, this is something that EA acknowledges as a possibility, with Jorgensen saying, “We certainly might be able to do that.”

He does admit there is one thing standing in the way: canon.

“The one thing we’re very focused on – and [Lucasfilm is] extremely focused on – is not violating the canon of Star Wars. It’s an amazing brand that’s been built over many many years. If you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon. Darth Vader in white probably doesn’t make sense versus in black, not to mention you probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink – no offence to pink but I don’t think that’s right in the canon.”

“There might be things we can do cosmetically, and we’re working with Lucas on that, but coming into it, it wasn’t as easy as if we were building a game around our own IP where it didn’t really matter. It matters in Star Wars, because Star Wars fans want realism. But Star Wars fans also may want to tailor things: different colour Lightsabers, things like that, so you may see something like that.”

If EA does follow through on this, it could very well turn out to be something like the hidden character customization menu which was uncovered the other day.

At any rate, even if EA messed up horrifically at the start, it’s nice to see it still trying to rectify the situation as best it can. Of course, Battlefront 2 is already dead for many prospective players due to the microtransaction debacle, but if there is one way to incorporate them without aggravating the fanbase, cosmetics alongside a robust character customization system is likely the best way to do so.

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