The Industry And Fans Have Turned Their Backs On EA And Star Wars Battlefront II

Star Wars: Battlefront II
Star Wars: Battlefront II NPD loot boxes controversy


Star Wars Battlefront II has been a PR nightmare for EA, and although for the time being they have decided to turn off microtransactions the damage it seems is irreversible.

In all fairness Star Wars Battlefront II might have been a great game had EA not messed up and antagonized their fanbase. I mean this is the same studio (EA DICE) which gave us one of the standouts of 2016 in Battlefield 1 . Hence the potential was certainly there and it still might be a great game , but EA is in damage control mode and it seems like nothing that they can do can make things right.

It all started of with a simple concern for loot boxes and how it would hamper in game progress, and as the story unraveled it became clear that either you had to “pay to win”, or endure an exorbitant amount of grinding to make progress in game. Needless to say this did not go down well with the fans.

More importantly though EA’s behavior in ignoring constructive fan criticism has apparently also not gone down well with the video game industry . With many notable names calling them out on the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle.

Recently SIE Santa Monica’s Cory Barlog took to Twitter to take a sly dig at EA with this tweet.

From the tweet you can clearly see that Kratos ; The God of War does not approve of loot boxes. The tweet is a shot at EA who have temporarily turned off microtransactions instead of getting rid of it altogether.

Then there is the director of Bulletstorm Adrien Chmielarz who also weighed in on the controversy with some very well thought out insights.

Perhaps what Adrien says is true. We have a history of voting with our wallets and it’s high time it stops. We have seen this recently with Shadow of Mordor as well , and it’s becoming an industry wide practice of publishers benefiting with the “pay to win” formula.

He further continues to talk about the new microtransactions trend and how certain publishers are taking it a bit too far.

It takes a lot of hard work to make a game , and it’s perhaps one of the most challenging jobs out there. The gaming community has no problem recognizing the hardwork and paying a buck or two extra for in-game purchases. The problem however arises when microtransactions turns into full fledged exploitation, as it did in Star Wars Battlefront II. No one wants to pay $200 and above for in-game progress and new characters for a game that they have already paid $60 for.

EA’s greed is perhaps the reason for this PR disaster and maybe the catalyst for these events was the closure of Visceral Studios, who were allegedly shutdown because they were making a linear story driven Star Wars game. This was I think the start of all the hate that is now coming EA’s way , as many within the industry were outraged with the news. Recently EA acquired Titanfall devs Respawn Entertainment and many fans worry that Respawn may end up suffering the same fate.

THQ recently took shots at EA as well while answering a question on twitter regarding the acquisition of Experiment101 the studio for it’s upcoming title Biomutant.

While Star Wars Battlefront II may still turn out to be a commercial success , it may take a number of years for EA to recover it’s reputation. What’s different this time around is the fact that it’s not just fans but the developers and key figures within the industry who do not agree with the way EA has handled the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle. Maybe EA will turn things around  but presently they have been the architects of their own downfall.