So this is just a little follow up on my previous Micro-transactions/DLC article from a week ago. In particular the backlash EA had been receiving from the micro-transactions they included in Star Wars Battlefront II. Just hours before the official release of the game – EA made the following statement on Twitter…
So there you so, the general manager of Dice who developed the game making the decision to remove the micro-transactions… except they haven’t – not really.
I’ve been reading up on this whole debacle and many sites are ‘celebrating a win’ for gamers due to EA/Dice removing the much hated micro-transactions. The bigger picture reveals there is nothing to celebrate at all, we gamers have ‘won’ nothing. But before I get to that, lets look at why EA feel the need to make gamers happy.
There have been boycotts over the game resulting in Star Wars Battlefront II selling around 60% less than the previous game in the franchise from 2015. There has been so much bad press in relation to this game with its micro-transactions that its seriously affecting sales. So its good that EA removed them right?
The thing is Dice nor EA made the decision to remove them. That call came from much higher up. Reports are saying that it was Bob Iger, Disney’s chief executive who made the call and ordered EA to remove the micro-transactions from the game… but why? It has nothing to do with keeping gamers happy. If you pay attention to the previous statement, they have only removed the micro-transactions temporarily...
“The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date.”
The micro-transactions will be back, only after more games have been sold making it possible for more people to buy the micro-transactions after Christmas when more units are likely to be sold. The reason Disney made EA pull them is for damage control and nothing more. There is a new Star Wars film due out very soon and the release of Star Wars Battlefront II was meant to be part of the film’s publicity – there is even some DLC for the game coming out that ties in directly to the movie. For those not in the know, Disney own the Star Wars franchise and the bad press the game is getting, the low sales are not the sort of thing they want to have promote their new film.
So gamers have not ‘won’ anything, all we have done is force a major film studio to put some damage control in place. This is nothing to do with making gamers happy and all to do with making the Star Wars brand look good.