Battlefront II Reducing Hero Prices, Keeping Loot Box Based Progression
A little over 24 hours after its community team scored the worst received comment in Reddit history, EA and DICE have responded to the criticism of the cash-grabbing practices in Star Wars: Battlefront II by announcing changes to the pricing of the unlockable hero characters in the game.
In an announcement on the game’s official website, Battlefront II Executive Producer John Wasilczyk announced that the price of hero characters was being reduced by 75% in response to “discussion around the amount of in-game credits (and time) it takes to unlock some of our heroes.”
Wasilczyk also noted that the DICE team analyzed data from the beta to help them arrive at this decision. That beta ran from October 6th (or the 4th for pre-orderers) to the 11th. It must be coincidental that the day after their PR response was downvoted over 500,000 times, they were able to use the data to determine they can decrease the hero pricing.
With top-priced heroes now costing players 15,000 credits instead of 60,000, the previous analysis showing that unlocking these heroes would take 40 hours can be extrapolated down to “only” 10 hours to unlock those heroes. According to Origin, I spent a whopping five hours playing Battlefront 1 so at that pace, I wouldn’t be able to unlock any heroes. Well, I could unlock Iden Versio who is only 5,000 credits which is also the credits you get for completing the campaign. That reward was reportedly 20,000 until yesterday when Iden’s price was cut by 75% to 5,000 credits.
So with six heroes available for purchase (per the DICE announcement) for 65,000 credits in total, that still means that you will need to play for over 43 hours to unlock all heroes. That doesn’t factor in any spending on loot boxes that will slow you down and any microtransactions you spend on which would likely speed up your progress.
Of course, this all misses the bigger point that the best way to progress in the game is through microtransactions. As long as stat boosts for characters and vehicles are available most easily through loot boxes and you can spend as much real money as you want to get said loot boxes in order to overpower yourself instantly, there will be a fundamental flaw in the progression and monetization of the game.
And while I’m not one to stand up for predatory business practices, as much as Blizzard designed the Overwatch loot boxes in such a way to encourage you to spend money, at least it doesn’t tie progression or your competitiveness to the loot boxes. If Battlefront II was free-to-play, maybe their current system wouldn’t be so bad. But since this is a $60 game, there really isn’t a place for these sorts of microtransactions. I understand chasing the hot new thing in gaming by copying Overwatch’s loot boxes but basically forcing people spend real money on loot boxes in order to win in a multiplayer game is an anti-gamer loot box design. And with reviews for the game dropping today, we’ll start to find out which outlets and reviewers actually care about the exploitation of your wallet in game design.
Posted on November 14, 2017, in Games and tagged Business of Gaming, DICE, Disney, EA, LongReads, Loot Boxes, LucasFilm, Microtransactions, Star Wars, Star Wars Battlefront II. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.