There has been a bit of a controversy about EA's handling of microtransactions, loot crates, and overall fairness to gamers in the past week. Star Wars Battlefront II has been available ahead of general release to various subscribers / premium purchasers and sections of the internet have been throbbing with displeasure. The price vs grind ratio to unlock heroes was probably the main bone of contention and one that garnered world record beating down-votes on reddit at the start of the week. However, someone at EA made a big decision a few hours ago and decided, as the game launches worldwide today, to "turn off all in-game purchases". Before we go any further, in-game purchases will be back at a later date but will aim not to overshadow the game.
In another update on the EA blog, Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager at DICE shared the news. As the hours ticked away towards the worldwide launch of the new game Gabrielson didn't want challenges in the design, potentially giving big-wallet gamers unfair advantages, to "overshadow an otherwise great game". He apologised in large, bold, gold lettering: "This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right."
Meanwhile EA / DICE hope to work on the game post-release. Hopefully that means that the excessive amount of hours you have to clock up to earn heroes etc (AKA grind) will be adjusted downwards). It is noted that even after the previous mea culpa changes implemented by EA / DICE earlier this week, a player would have to spend approx 4,500 hours to unlock every base-game piece of content in Star Wars Battlefront II (or about $2,100).
It wasn't just the gaming community that piled pressure on EA with regard to its in-game purchases. At the same time some influence seems to have come from both Belgian and Dutch gambling authorities over the Loot Crate mechanisms employed by titles including Star Wars Battlefront II and Overwatch. Are Loot Crates that can be earned or paid for gambling? - that is the question.