EA has decisively responded to widespread criticism of Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s loot boxes and premium in-game purchases by completely removing them from the game tonight. EA DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson issued a formal statement and apology announcing that, for the time being, all Star Wars: Battlefront 2 progression will be earned through gameplay.
Gabrielson’s cited causes for removing Battlefront 2’s premium options include perceived gameplay imbalance and the controversy overshadowing the game itself:
“As we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in [Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s] design. 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.”
The decision caps off a lengthy period of drama up until now, the night of Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s worldwide release. Controversy erupted regarding Battlefront 2’s loot boxes as they existed in the game’s beta. In the following weeks, DICE changed what content was included in the loot boxes, but it was just the beginning. The online community grew angry over the time it takes to unlock heroes like Darth Vader, the PR response to the outrage, the rate of currency income, and more.
While EA and DICE’s decision may seem like some sort of conclusion to a marathon of controversies, the future remains uncertain. The removal of in-game purchases, according to Gabrielson, is only temporary. “Crystals,” the in-game premium currency, will return later. However, DICE plans to make significant changes prior to in-game purchases returning.
Exactly what those changes entail is uncertain at this point, but DICE does state clearly that “all progression will be earned through gameplay” for the foreseeable future. For now, DICE just wants Star Wars: Battlefront 2 to be judged on the game that it is, removed from its initial monetization:
“We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our process.”
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One tonight at midnight, November 17. A 10-hour “trial period” allowed for early access to the game via an EA Access subscription starting from November 9.