Controversy has aroused over the micropayments included in Star Wars: Battlefront II, the last title released by Electronic Arts. The continuous complaints lead to the withdrawal, at least for now, of these micropayments. Personally, I think that, taking into account the current situation, the fierce critics against EA’s new game are unfair.
Pay to Win
It all started with the Beta version of the game. Players had the opportunity to try the three skills system and the possibility of improving using cards in the multiplayer mode of Star Wars: Battlefront II. These cards could be obtained by opening loot crates that could be bought either with credits or with real money. This feature aroused the first complaints against the game being pay to win.
Regarding these accusations, it should be taken into account that the progression system presented in the beta was provisional. Even then, EA stated that it would be subject to changes. Indeed, the final version released has limited the possibilities of using a card beyond the soldier’s or the player’s level.
This means that the possibility of using cards depends on both the level of the soldier and the level of the player. The soldier must be level 10 in order to use all three cards. Besides, cards can’t be improved by using scrap unless the level of the soldier and the level of the player allow it. For this reason, the only way of getting better cards or improving the ones you already have is actually playing.
I must say my personal experience in the multiplayer mode has been completely satisfactory and I have never experienced any kind of inequity caused by the card system. You can easily obtain some good cards by playing a few hours during the weekend. For instance I have chosen cards that help you heal faster and others that provide a different kind of hand-grenade. This allows for the game to be much more diverse and the multiplayer more entertaining.
In addition, not only can players get credits for each match they play, but they can also earn credits, weapons, improvements and special loot crates by completing the challenges available. Besides, players get credits when they finish the campaign.
Heroes and Villains
The card system wasn’t the only feature of the game that stirred up controversy. Many players were draw back by the fact that some heroes and villains have to be unlocked using credits.
When the game begins most characters are unlocked. However, the most iconic characters of the saga, Darth Vader y Luke Skywalker, are blocked. 15.000 credits are needed in order to unlock each of them. I think this is actually a great idea, call me nostalgic, but it looks like going back to games were you had to play in order to unlock the whole content of the game. I must admit that the initial number of credits required to unlock these characters was too high but once it was lowered for the release of the game, you could get enough credits to unlock one of them by playing for a few hours.
The tendency nowadays is to get the full game form the beginning, finish the game in a few days and move to the next one. However, I prefer games that offer different objectives and unlockable content. I find it motivating and makes me want to play longer. For his reason, I don’t’ find anything wrong about this system.
Micropayments and Loot Crates
The biggest controversy was undoubtedly unleashed by micropayments. I would never defend the implementation of micropayments in videogames. However, the use micropayments is a common practice within the gaming industry and I don’t understand why only some videogames are criticised for using them. In answer to the criticism received, EA decided to cancel all micropayments, at least temporarily, and it looks like they will stay cancelled.
I am not defending, in any case, microtransactions or loot crates, but why is Star Wars Battlefront II facing such fierce criticism when so many other games include a micropayment system and nobody seems to care?
The only answer I can find is that criticising Electronic Arts has become some kind of trend. We all know that the Internet loves to follow trends and “haters” don’t want to be left behind. There are many games where micropayments can help you improve your equipment, such as Destiny 2 or Call of Duty WWII among many other that haven’t been criticised half as much by the gaming community.
I don’t agree with micropayments either in Star Wars: Battlefront II or in any other videogame. Why criticise only one?
What’s really important, in my opinion, is the quality of Star Wars: Battlefront II. You may check our analysis on the game or you can read a brief summery below:
“Star Wars: Battlefront II is a dream came true. It has a great amount of really good content. Even though the campaign is short, it is well-structured and it introduces us to one of the best characters of the saga. In addition, the multiplayer mode will keep us playing for months and the audio-visuals are maybe the best ones of its generation.”
It is certainly a great game, much better than the first game. There is no doubt than the past edition was kind of poor regarding content and it was complemented by expansions and dlcs that had to be paid. The game was criticised over two features: the lack of campaign and the payment expansions that divided the gaming community.
Electronic Arts listened to its fans and has improved with the second volume of the saga. The campaign is entertaining and the story is considered canon of Star Wars. Besides, they have compromised to provide all expansions for free. In fact, an update has already been announced following the release of the next movie of the saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It seems that constructive criticism has been taken into account to really make a great game for the fans.
We must also take into account that developing videogames is quite expensive and that companies exist on economic profit. A recent study affirms that microtransactions generate higher benefits than the sales of games themselves. It is logic for companies to include micropayments if it means substantial economic benefits.
All in all, the trend of criticising the game on social networks does not follow any arguments or reasons. Trending topics on twitter will certainly give more RT. Everybody wants to take advantage of the trend, people who have played the game, people who haven’t and even people who doesn’t really care about it.
The hatred campaign has been so huge that it has leaded Star Wars: Battlefront II to have one of the lowest qualifications in Metacritic.
This unfair and globalised hatting trend can be really damaging. It is a great game that has meant a lot of work for many people. The progression system may not be its best feature but it was adjusted and improved right in time for the release of the game.
In my opinion, there is no doubt that the trend of criticising Star Wars: Battlefront II is completely unfair.