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EA suspends microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II hours before game launch

"Sorry we didn't get this right," says DICE general manager

EA has suspended microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II following a furore over loot boxes, hours before the game's launch earlier today.

Loot boxes have been increasingly controversial in recent months but the backlash towards Star Wars Battlefront II has eclipsed the debate.

While other developers and publishers have been embroiled in the controversy, EA has taken the brunt due to the imbalance potentially caused by randomised loot in a competitive multiplayer shooter.

"We hear you loud and clear, so we're turning off all in-game purchases," said DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson in a statement. "We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing, and tuning."

The option to purchase in-game currency will be taken offline until a later date while the team make changes to the game. Until then, all progress will be earned through gameplay.

"Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you - devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike," added Gabrielson.

"But as we approach the worldwide launch, it's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We've heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we've heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right."

Just yesterday DICE took to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything session which was met with derision from the community due to the the developer's vague, non-committal answers.

The news comes just days after it was announced that the Belgian and Dutch gambling authorities are investigating whether loot boxes in Battlefront II and Overwatch constitute gambling.

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Latest comments (6)

Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 11 months ago
Im just a small mortal but I would assume that games of this caliber would go through also internal testing as well as the Beta, right? And if there truly were actual gamers inside DICE doing the testing, rather than just people who follow orders and test mechanics being fed from above, the problems with the loot boxes would have been apparent way way way before the Beta.

When internal testing was done, and when it was done By proffesionals, who I would again assume are the cream of the crop, actual gamers and people who care about the game, fairness and quality of the experience, people who do not live in barrel and people who follow what is happening in the industry, I am 100% certain issues were raised......Yet here we are.

This "not caring" attitude is what worries me. It really does.
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Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist / UI/UX Designer / Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games11 months ago
It's amazing that EA thought that microtransactions would be a good idea.

This is what happens when bean counters design games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gary LaRochelle on 19th November 2017 4:06pm

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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany11 months ago
@Aleksi Ranta: " if there truly were actual gamers inside DICE doing the testing, rather than just people who follow orders and test mechanics being fed from above, the problems with the loot boxes would have been apparent way way way before the Beta."

I can assure you that EA's QA noticed it and reported that more than once. But one thing is Testers finding issues and another ones are those issue being fixed (or considered issues at all) by the higher-ups.

Also worth mentioning: you can rest assured that EA testers are mostly dedicated gamers. I worked there in the past and they don't hire people who don't have knowledge of gaming in general. ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 17th November 2017 2:48pm

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Show all comments (6)
Ben Link Video Game Enthusiast and Graphic Artist 11 months ago
Not falling for their crap. As soon as everyone buys it. They will turn them back on. Or right around the movie. When hype is super high. Not getting my money.
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Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio11 months ago
Just more of the same, until these companies put the Quality Assurance people at the TOP of the ladder this will continue to happen. Nothing should ship until the heads of Q&A say it ready to go and give their blessing. Its common sense and it just beyond stupid that so many companies still treat Q&A like some bothersome little brother.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 11 months ago
@Alfonso Sexto: Exactly.....Which is why the corporate greed shines through even more clearly.
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