Last night, Star Wars Battlefront II developer DICE made a somewhat unprecedented move in announcing that the game’s paid microtransactions were being removed in response to absolutely brutal headlines over the past week taking DICE and Electronic Arts to task for Battlefront’s predatory progression system.
Here’s DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson’s full statement, which quickly went viral:
“Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.
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.
We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.”
While some quickly championed this news as a victory for gamers — a sign that if you speak loud enough and make a big enough stink, big publishers like EA will have no choice but to bow down to demands for change — many others were quick to seize on one particular passage in DICE’s statement: that Battlefront II’s in-game economy “will become available at a later date.” In other words, Battlefront II’s microtransactions haven’t been scrapped altogether; they’re just being turned off temporarily.