EA has been busy trying to manage a huge backlash concerning its recent Star Wars Battlefront II release. At the weekend a redditor complained of the excessive costs to unlock heroes such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader - 60,000 credits at the time, equivalent to US$80. Rather than paying extra cash, it is possible to earn that amount of credits from playing through the game for approx 48 hours total.
630,000 down votes on Reddit
As a measure of the gamer ire displayed, a reply to the original complaint on Reddit, by the EA Community Team, received nearly half a million down-votes in its first day (now totalling - 630,000). These are record breaking totals for any topic ever discussed on Reddit. The henpecked EA contributor said that the high credit prices for heroes was judged "to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes" (or you could spend two minutes and use real cash for the unlock). Furthermore, readers were informed that these costs were decided upon from monitoring the open beta. In a more conciliatory tone, EA said it will be "making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay".
Changes already implemented
Now it seems like the weight of the protest has had some effect already. EA/DICE has now implemented some big changes to the credits / microtransaction amounts. John Wasilczyk, Executive Producer at DICE, relayed the credit cutting decision on the EA blog. After a preamble about how the developers make adjustments to gameplay and other mechanics though beta and play test stages, and that "making games great comes from regular tuning," Wasilczyk got to the point to spell out the following:
"We’re reducing the amount of credits needed to unlock the top heroes by 75 per cent. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 credits; Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa for 10,000 credits; and Iden at 5,000 credits. Based on what we’ve seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.
It's a big change, and it’s one we can make quickly. It will be live today, with an update that is getting loaded into the game."
Adding some further soothing ointment to the wound, Wasilczyk focussed further on positive gaming changes that are on the way. He talked about how well received some aspects of the game were, including Starfighter Assault, 40 player MP battles, Darth Maul lightsaber throws, and more. There will be further updates and changes to improve the game in the over time, it was promised. We already know about some free DLC and lots of daily challenges on the way (see image below).
Star Wars Battlefront II hasn't even hit its full-blown worldwide release, scheduled for 17th Nov. It has only so far been made available to Deluxe Edition buyers and via trials available to Origin Access and/or EA Access subscribers.
If you want to chat and influence the game and its development you can take part in the Reddit AMA with some of the key leads from the EA/DICE team. Join via the Twitter link, once it has been announced by EA (planned for Wednesday).