Our long national nightmare is over. After a PR disaster near the scale of the destruction of Alderaan, EA has issued an apology over its handling of the Star Wars: Battlefront II progression system. The company stated in a blog post that in-game purchases will be removed, just in time for the game’s full launch today:
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.
The decision comes after a long saga, with loot crates an issue of contention after the multiplayer beta, and EA announcing changes to the system. After that, players with early access to the game estimated that an absurd number of hours were required to unlock iconic heroes such as Darth Vader, leading the company to again enact some changes, this time cutting the in-game currency price needed by 75 percent. With complaints still present for the perceived pay-to-win (and perhaps gambling-like) nature of the loot crates, EA has gone with a nuclear option of ridding the game of in-game purchases altogether.
Keep in mind, however, EA’s phrasing: “The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date,” with the promise of “changes” to the progression system. Cynical players may interpret that as EA attempting to earn goodwill after the mass of online criticism and preorder cancellations, and then reversing that decision once players have moved past the controversy.
Regardless of the intentions and what will follow after the game’s launch, EA really, really wants you to know that they’re sorry.