EA promises "constant adjustments" to Battlefront II monetisation

Users estimate it will take 40 hours to unlock iconic characters, prompting more backlash against the multiplayer shooter

[UPDATE]: Electronic Arts has slashed the unlock requirements on Star Wars Battlefront II. In a post on the official site today, DICE executive producer John Wasilczyk explained that "change will be a constant" in the game.

"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," Wasilczyk said. "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.

So, we're reducing the amount of credits needed to unlock the top heroes by 75%. 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."

[UPDATE 2]: The review on GameInformer suggests that the number of credits awarded has also been slashed by 75%. The example given is the end of the campaign, which previously gave players 20,000 credits (enough to buy multiple heroes), but now only gives you 5,000.

The original story follows below:

Star Wars Battlefront II seems unable to escape the controversy that first started with its multiplayer beta in October.

Now, as the game nears its launch this coming Friday, players who accessed the full title via EA Origin Access over the weekend claim Battlefront II's economy is still questionable - but Electronic Arts promises that pricing is still in flux.

PC Gamer reports that players are positing characters such as Luke Skywalker cost 60,000 credits to unlock, and that at the current rate credits are awarded this would take up to 40 hours to achieve.

Addressing these comments on Reddit, the EA Community Team said it will be constantly tweaking how easy it is for players to earn credits and the cost of everything they can spend them on, including characters, weapons and more.

"We selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch," the team wrote in one thread. "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."

With regards to earning credits, the spokesperson added: "We're looking at the results daily and will be continuing to tune this to ensure that players feel a meaningful sense of reward for the time they spend with Battlefront 2."

This all follows complaints that progression in the multiplayer beta seemed to be locked by loot boxes - that is, the more loot boxes you purchased with real money, the better equipped you would be for online deathmatches.

Electronic Arts attempted to further clarify the monetisation plans for the final game, stressing that this was a beta and therefore an experiment, but assurances from CEO Andrew Wilson that Battlefront II will not be pay to win were met with skepticism on social media.

The very presence of microtransactions and loot boxes is to offset the cost of development for extra content now that the publisher is eschewing its previous Season Pass model. EA has already announced the first wave of content, with new characters and challenges launching around The Last Jedi's cinematic debut in December, and regularly refers to 'seasons' of content due to come in the years ahead.

Whether or not this consumer frustration affects sales of the final game after it launches on Friday will be something we see next Monday when the UK charts are releated.

However, given the mass market appeal of Star Wars Battlefront II, it's likely the majority of people who buy this at launch - or indeed in the run-up to Christmas - will be fully unaware of the controversy surrounding its multiplayer monetisation.

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Latest comments (5)

George Williams Owner 4 years ago
Pity the parents who have no idea that the Dark Side of the Force clouds everything to do with this game when little Johnny asks for the credit card to purchase loot boxes. Andrew Wilson can claim what he likes - the game IS pay to win.

Doubters call it 'pay to progress' - which is essentially the same thing and it's unforgiveable.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
The insanity is that everybody complaining now, seemed to have been fine when games just demanded 100+h worth of grind on top of $60. When content vanished behind time-gated progress mechanics designed to keep you from getting what you paid for. As if the ideal game is some sort of time-based meritocracy and only the bribery of lootboxes is the big offender.

On the bright side, people flock to Battle Royale games, which do not care about progress and drop people in equally. All people excited about the new Mario may want to question whether the other games they played this year were really games, or just work in disguise. Because there are certainly enough games out there that feel more like work than actual work.

Remember when people idolized lifestyles which included money for nothing and women for free? Not this gaming generation, so I hope you completed your daily/weekly and monthly chores list to unlock a random avatar. look, this one got a blue border around it.

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 4 years ago
"The insanity is that everybody complaining now, seemed to have been fine when games just demanded 100+h worth of grind on top of $60..."

People were fine with that because it was the same for everyone. People are not fine with "here take my money so i can skip the content you created and i just take my competitive edge, thank you"
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Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online4 years ago
"When content vanished behind time-gated progress mechanics designed to keep you from getting what you paid for."

Any role-playing game has content gated behind investing time in it - single and multi-player alike. You have the best spells and weapons usually not available right from the start, and in an MMO, you have to do daily quest e.g. to get a specific mount or gear piece.

BUT: Neither has the option to pay for magic loot chests that give your level 1 character the best +3 weapon in the game.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
Most items in RPGs and MMOs are unlocked as part of gameplay which is designed to be entertaining, not designed to break your will and make you pay extra. The items which are based on a giant grind are also hardly ever items which feature heavily in the ad campaign of RPGs and MMOs. Grind items usually emerge, when all other gameplay is depleted and there is no more story, side quests, challenges, etc, to be done and only repetitive busy work remains.

Marketing for Battlefront2 heavily focused on players being able to take control of iconic Star Wars characters. People will expect that to happen regularly, not just once or twice after having played for 50h (considerably more if you unlock other items) and are basically done with the game by that point. Being Darth Vader for two minutes when playing for an hour per day is expected to be part of the core experience which EA themselves created with their ads.

Compared to MMOs and RPGs, Battlefront 2 has a short campaign at the end of which EA is reluctant to give out rewards. A conscious effort was made NOT to give the player access to any or all iconic characters. Sorry, but the new protagonist is decidedly not iconic. Compared to other RPGs and MMOs the portion of content Battlefront2 hides behind playing PvP over and over is excessive. Blame it on ill will, or lack of experience with loot games, only the quarterly report will ever tell the story a stock company cares about in the end. All these flaws persist before you spend one additional Dollar on the game and that is the core of the real problem in contrast to Eververse in Destiny 2 for example. A microtransaction store which seems laughably superfluous by comparison, considering the rate at which it spits out free engrams..

The more tantalizing question being what Disney's opinion is on that matter. They are in the midst of launching a movie that is expected to gross north of a billion Dollars. They cannot like the emerging greedy company narrative at this point.
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