The day Star Wars Battlefront II was announced, it all changed.
Gamers saw the upcoming shooting video game set in the Star Wars universe as a thrilling opportunity to run around shooting blasters as a Clone Trooper, to fight as the insidious Darth Maul and cause terror in the enemy ranks, to fly high with spaceships, and all kinds of other exciting things. The game promised players that all their Star Wars dreams would come true, so naturally, the moment the trailer launched on YouTube, it spread like wildfire all across the internet. It was all that the gaming community seemed to be talking about. As more trailers were released and more information about the content was shared, the excitement only grew.
Electronic Arts, the company putting it out, put their feet up and watched the predicted sales skyrocket. All signs pointed to this game being the game, the one that everyone would play and that would deliver EA another huge profit. If you had ever watched a Star Wars movie and liked anything about it, you’d love this game. It had everything: great graphics, plenty of characters, vehicles… everything.
Unfortunately, it also had loot boxes and microtransactions, a system designed to get consumers to pay more for in-game items like weapons, powers, and characters.
To the producers, loot boxes and microtransactions seemed like a great idea. The $60 – 80 base price for the regular game did not include a lot of the things that people wanted the most.
You want to play Darth Vader?
Did the trailer show him in action and make it seem like you, too, could be playing him immediately?
Well, too bad.
Many of the fan favorites ended up being not included in the base price, meaning that players had a couple of options: pay more money to buy something in game (microtransactions) that many people thought were already included, or play enough to where their level unlocked the desired character or item. On paper, this might have seemed like something that would have been accepted with open arms. EA would bring in some more money from people who were impatient and wanted to play Luke Skywalker the day it came out and boom, everything would be sunshine and rainbows as stockholders gasped in awe that EA had done it again.
This wasn’t the case. Once their greatest weapon, social media became EA’s worst nightmare…