If one thing is clear, is that Star Wars Battlefront II was one of the most controversial games of last year. This had to do with the fact that publisher Electronic Arts (EA for short) was planning to saddle the game with microtransactions, letting players pay for stat-boosting, in-game items with real money.
This would have effectively turned Star Wars Battlefront II into a “pay to win” game, something that led to widespread player outrage, with EA choosing to remove microtransactions from the game shortly before launch.
But it seems this was only a temporary measure, and microtransactions are still returning to the game in the future. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal (via Polygon), EA executive Blake Jorgensen said that these would return “in the next few months”, while also admitting that the controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II’s microtransactions led to the game missing its sales target.
It’s not that the game has sold poorly though – actually, Star Wars Battlefront II sold a total of 9 million copies during the last holiday quarter, surely the kind of sales any game company would kill for.
This is EA though, one of the biggest video game publishers there is, while Star Wars Battlefront II is based on perhaps the most recognizable entertainment brand in the world and also enjoyed quite a bit of extra publicity due to the release of The Last Jedi film last December.
The thing is, EA was hoping at least 10 million copies of their latest Star Wars game would fly off the shelves, and missing their sales mark surely did not go down well with the bigwigs at the US company. After all, the previous Star Wars Battlefront game sold 14 million, although the sequel still has time to catch up if sales pick up in the coming weeks.
It’s also likely, though, that the microtransaction controversy and player anger prior to the game’s release led to the not so great reviews and diminished sales, although overall we thought this was a pretty good Star Wars game that fans of the sci-fi series will enjoy. And it’s unlikely EA will be getting back its old “Worst Company in America” reputation anytime soon though…
Also, those still playing the game will also be glad to hear that EA and developer DICE continue to update Star Wars Battlefront II, as a new game mode – Jetpack Cargo – will be released this February, while DICE is currently revamping the game’s progression system to deliver something more in tune with player’s wishes as it revealed in a recent blog post.
It would be a great thing too, that when microtransactions return to the game these don’t have a negative impact on gameplay and are mainly of a cosmetic nature, something we will find out more about when EA starts talking more about this in the coming weeks.
Read more: Top 10 video game controversies of 2017