Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm has revitalized the Star Wars franchise, and EA has been taking advantage of that with a new round of Star Wars games. Star Wars Battlefront launched just as Star Wars fever was peaking for the release of Episode VII, and now Battlefront II is set to drop in a few days. However, testers of the game allege EA has taken the microtransactions too far. Yes, even for EA. Apparently, those who don’t want to spend extra money in the game will have to grind for about 40 hours just to unlock a single hero character. Yikes.
For the unfamiliar, Star Wars Battlefront II (and its predecessor) is an online shooter set in the Star Wars universe. The second game has a single-player campaign, but the multiplayer experience is what most people are interested in. After all, a good multiplayer game can keep you entertained for years. Changes to the way hero characters are unlocked have gamers pretty upset, though.
In the last Battlefront game, you could play as hero characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker simply by finding the hero tokens on the battlefield. In Battlefront II, EA has made heroes unlockable parts of the game, which is not inherently bad. If done correctly, it could give players something to work toward in multiplayer. That’s not why EA did it, though. Heroes are purchased with points, and you can get more points by paying money. Don’t want to spend money, Reddit users have calculated that it’ll take about 40 hours to unlock each hero.
This calculation is based on the average number of points earned in a match (275), the average match length (11 minutes), and the cost of hero unlocks (60,000). That’s a full work week of playing the game just to unlock a single hero. That assumes you don’t spend any of those points on other upgrades or loot crates, which are also implemented in this game.
EA is currently in damage control mode, but fans are having none of it. The “EACommunityTeam” on Reddit popped up to explain the rationale for this system. They claim this setup was all about creating a “compelling progression path” and to “provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment.” Note, they did not dispute the math that it would take 40 hours to unlock a single character unless you pay up. The comment is currently sitting at about -8,500 karma on Reddit.
This system might make sense in a free-to-play game, but Battlefront II is far from free. Battlefront II costs between $ 60 and $ 80, depending on the version you choose. The game officially launches on November 17th, and it’ll probably sell like hotcakes. Hey, it’s Star Wars.