EA recently put their foot in it with the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II, angering longtime fans by hiding key characters behind a lofty paywall. The backlash threatened to derail the release of the much-anticipated game – so much so it seems that EA has taken the incredible step of lowering the paywall.
Speaking via the EA website, the company spelled out the changes for its upcoming Stars Battlefront II paywall;
Since the start of the project, listening to fans has been important in making sure Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II is the very best experience for all of you. We’ve done this with the closed alpha, through the beta last month, and our Play First Trial. And we continue to make adjustments based on your feedback as the game launches worldwide this week. Listening, and providing choices in how you play, will always be our principle with Star Wars Battlefront II. We want to ensure the game is balanced and fun both today and for years into the future.
Making games great comes from regular tuning. As one example, today we’re making a substantial change based on what we’ve seen during the Play First trial. 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. 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.
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.
We’ve also been listening to how much you’re loving features in the game (Starfighter Assault, 40 player MP battles, Darth Maul lightsaber throws, etc.) as well as what you haven’t liked. We know some of our most passionate fans, including those in our subreddit, have voiced their opinions, and we hear you. We’re making the changes to the credit levels for unlocking heroes and we’re going to keep making changes to improve the game experience over time. We welcome the conversation.
The move comes in the wake of the huge controversy caused by the emergency. So negative was the feedback to the discussion that the EA Community Manager’s response quickly became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history.
The move greatly decreases the in-game cost of popular characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
We’ll be sure to keep covering this story as it develops.
Our Take: A little part of me suspects this might have been cooked up by EA to drum up hype for the game. By spinning this as a “consumer victory” – the company is giving gamers a feel-good win, even though they still have to wait a long while to get their hands on core characters. That’s just the cynic in me.
I am happy for Star Wars Battlefront players though, who seemingly have managed to pressure the publisher into backing down over this issue