It’s no secret that a lot of people (myself included) consider EA to be one of the great bogeyman of the gaming industry. The company has a notorious history of harsh implementations of microtransactions in their AAA titles, not to mention buying out various games companies with already well established franchises, only to milk these titles as well, one of the more noticeable instances of this case being BioWare and their Mass Effect series. With the upcoming release of Star Wars: Battlefront II, it is now more than clear that this game was not going to be an exception to cruel pay-to-win practices as fans noticed during the game’s beta period that a lot of the game’s elements were gated behind paywalls. These items were not just cosmetic items, but weapons and upgrades that gave players a clear edge in games as well as popular characters of the Star Wars franchise were found to be locked too.
You can of course, play the game and simply earn in-game credits and unlock items that way, but a redditor by the name of The_Kratos calculated that players would need to spend an insane amount of time playing the game in order to unlock even simple upgrades. Needless to say, people reacted very negatively upon learning how the game was clearly designed to make it unappealing to not pay real money for upgrades. One would think that EA’s complete disregard for its consumers couldn’t get any worse, but apparently it was indeed possible when Reddit user /u/MBMMaverick made post on /r/StarWarsBattlefront remarking that Darth Vader was locked behind a paywall despite having paid $80 for the game itself. That’s when EA’s community team added fuel to the fire by trying to justify the actions of the company.
[ss_quote cite=”/u/EACommunityTeam” url=”https://www.reddit.com/user/EACommunityTeam”]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.[/ss_quote]
To no one’s surprise, this comment caused massive outrage with users demanding refunds of their pre-orders and boycotting of future EA products. As of right now, the statement made by the EA community team is now the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, with a whooping -308k (and counting) comment score.
The question now remains if this incident will even make an impression towards the company. With that said, it’s not the first time the company’s been the epicenter of a shitstorm. It seems the only way to make EA listen is if people vote with their wallets and take a stand against their callous practices.