Electronic Arts today announced that the company is removing all in-game microtransactions for Star Wars Battlefront II, an aboutface that comes on the eve of the game’s release and after the publisher faced weeks of backlash over its system for selling timely access for in-game heroes and content.
Earlier this week, EA detailed significant cuts in the cost to unlock characters in its game and promised to continue to listen to player feedback.
Most importantly, Electronic Arts announced at the time that they were reducing the number of credits needed to unlock top characters in the game by 75 percent.
“Making games great comes from regular tuning,” John Wasilczyk, Executive Producer at DICE, wrote at the time. “As one example, today we’re making a substantial change based on what we’ve seen during the Play First trial. There’s been a lot of discussion around the amount of in-game credits (and time) it takes to unlock some of our heroes, especially Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Unlocking a hero is a great accomplishment in the game, something we want players to have fun earning. We used data from the beta to help set those levels, but it’s clear that more changes were needed.”
But even after those reductions a player estimated that it would take more than 4,500 hours to unlock every base-game piece of content in Star Wars Battlefront II, or about $2,100.
It was clear that fans of the game remained unhappy with the way the microtransactions were being handled.
While Star Wars Battlefront II is a full-priced retail game, a number of the heroes playable in the game can only be unlocked with in-game credits. Those credits can either be earned through hours of gameplay or purchased instantly with real-world cash. One gamer estimates that before today’s discount, it would have taken about 40 hours to unlock Darth Vader without spending extra money.