EA is shooting themselves in the foot by adding microtransactions back into Battlefront II

Microtransactions have always been a controversial part of modern gaming, but the aggressive type found within Star Wars Battlefront II was the straw that finally broke the camel's back. A large amount of potential buyers refused to get the game outright after seeing the microtransaction systems, and almost everyone unanimously pressured EA (Electronic Arts) to remove them entirely.

EA removed the ability to buy loot boxes with money right before the launch of Battlefront II, but damage was already done to the title's reputation. As a result, the game missed expected sales estimates by a large margin. Governments took notice of the controversy, and began to take a look at whether microtransactions should be considered gambling and regulated as such. All of this hurt EA and Battlefront II, and it only made matters worse when EA said the removal of the loot box buying was only temporary.

There was hope when EA said that the microtransactions may not return, and it seemed like they might have learned their lesson. Alas, though, EA recently announced that these systems would be integrated into Battlefront II once more, and it's starting to feel like the people behind this game don't care about the players at all.

Why don't they get it?

The fact that EA is putting these systems back into their game is astonishing. I can't think of one good reason why they would do so. If they did it in order to squeeze more money out of the current fanbase, then EA ironically has misunderstood why their game did so poorly in the first place. Of course, it's possible that they clearly understand why we don't like their microtransactions, and simply have waited for the controversy to die down to try and get away with it.

Read: 3 ways EA could save Star Wars Battlefront II

To me, these are the only two sensible reasons why they're returning to Battlefront II, and the sad reality is that both of them show that there's a large disconnect between EA and what gamers want from their games. Instead of committing time and resources into creating things that the Battlefront II faithful have been asking for since launch, such as the ability to choose the era you want to play in, they instead prioritize this.

Could this end up being okay?

While any type of microtransaction is bad for a full-price title like Battlefront II, they might not end up being too bad if they are limited to cosmetic items only and are no longer tied to the gameplay progression.

A while back, Reddit users data-mined the files of the PC version of Battlefront II and discovered dozens of different skins for all the classes for each faction. These customization items never made it into the full game, but the fact that they exist and look largely polished makes me think that EA will choose to add them into Battlefront II in the form of microtransactions.

Because skins wouldn't affect the gameplay, they would have no impact on the core progression system within the game unlike the first iteration of the system. Though I personally believe EA should just give us all of the skins as a gift due to how poorly the development team has listened to the community post-launch, if we have to have microtransactions, I want these to be the kind. Unfortunately, we don't know yet for sure what kind they'll be. Only time will tell.

Your thoughts

What's your opinion on the return of microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II? Let me know in the comments.

Star Wars Battlefront II is available for $59.99.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • They want to die and be resurrected by Microsoft's acquisition.
  • Just like Nokia? ;-)
  • Nokia did there part made great phone 930/830 1520/925 735 :)
  • and 928
  • Nokia was in the red when MS bought them. So really they got a pretty good deal. Don't get me wrong I miss and love WP, but Nokia was not a great acquisition.
  • Except Nokia never died. The only thing that died was Windows Phone. So...do you want to kill Microsoft, is that it? ;P
  • Exactly. I remember the good ole days where we used to vehemently try to inform readers and writers that Microsoft did not, regardless of the misinformed articles, buy Nokia. Nokia has been and is safe and sound with a bright future, unlike Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile. Hopefully EA will learn a thing or two because they have seen a thing or two.
  • Microtrasaction is an idioc term. Let pretend it's not real money. Do these items cost tenths, hundreds, thousandths of a cent?
  • Millions
  • MS just buy the Star Wars license for games.
  • I'd like to see them restrict heroes to the correct eras; there is such attention to detail in every other facet of the game that it was just inexcusably lazy to opt for so few heros and make them all available in every era. I'm all for cosmetic micro transactions, as long as they're relatively conservative and don't detract from the atmosphere; i.e. Stormtroopers running around without helmets, clones having mismatching unit markings, etc.
  • Agreed
  • I'm terrified of what they are going to do with the next Titanfall game. In Titanfall 2, only cosmetic items were paid DLC. Everything else, including brand new multi-player modes like Frontier Defense, maps, mechanics (melee "executions", 3rd weapon slot, etc), and other stuff was all included for free once you bought the game. I'm genuinely afraid that the next sequel will be "Your titan will be ready in 60 seconds, or 30 seconds if you purchase 100 galactic credits". That would utterly decimate the very soul of a brilliant game. For this round, EA is speaking loud and clear on this one. Shareholders are more important than low-level consumers. Hard. Pass.
  • As I said, I bought the game after they removed them to show support, and if they put them back I will stop playing and sell my copy, simple. I am already not playing regularly anyway, the game gets kind of boring after level 20 or so. I thought after I hit 25 it would get better, but there is still no incentive other than the achievements. It's a shame because this could have been a great game.
  • It's either the paid DLC model (like COD, Battlefield) or microtransactions (Halo 5, Titanfall 2), if you want downloadable content. What's not to understand?
  • Here's an idea: since you're charging 70€ for a game, how about...I don't know...SELLING THE COMPLETE GAME? What's not to understand? Yeah, and don't you for a minute think all these DLC's and micro-craps are done after the game is released. They're not. They're all developed alongside the game and then locked behind paywalls. 
  • That wasn't the case with halo which gave us free dlc (thanks microtransactions) for two full years after the base game came out
  • That is absolutely NOT always the case. Dataminers have proven that some titles (Destiny) lock the content just behind a paywall, but they absolutely don't do it all the time. You're not a software developer, so don't talk about software development when you don't understand it. Furthermore, DLC is no different than the expansion packs that came out more than 20 years ago. The game IS complete (not speaking of buggy crap that companies like Ubisoft release). If you want the extras that come after the release, why should you get it for free? Why should developers not get paid for their work?
  • Games like ghost recon use to come out with 20 maps, not 10. And then release dlc which were map packs. Then when the new GR came out you could use those old maps in the new Game!!! That's how it should be! Guitar hero was kinda the same..buy a song and all those could be used in the new game!!! COD should be the same way...all the maps in black ops should be available to play in 2 & 3..FOR FREE or maybe $5 migrate fee.
  • Bought the game, on sale, enjoyed the campaign, like jumping into the arcade once in awhile, but find the multiplayer repetitive, and boring. Would actually pay for DLC that continued the story but won't pay a penny for cosmetics or character development. Plenty of other games out there to explore and enjoy.
  • I did the same thing.. I liked the campaigns and play arcade but I never really enjoyed online battle royal type games such as this. Would have love the Viseral game they shut down. Witcher 3 like but Star Wars OMG! Too bad greed out weighs great games..
  • Almost $20, my buy area.... Come on...
  • After they release the ability to buy the currency to buy crates again, eBay may have lower prices than that for you.
  • I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but avoided BF II out of principle. I was already burned buying BF I, only to find it was a shadow of the former excellent BF series. I will actively avoid any AAA title that tried to extort more money from me after an intial high purchase price. I filled the gaming gap by spending £4.99 on Mad Max through Steam and spent a month in an excellent enviornment that stayed true to it's source material and didn't have me running around for childish rewards simply to keep up with the Jones's.
  • What I miss most about BF1 was the 30 seconds before each match and everyone spamming their emotes. You can't do this anymore and it makes emotes feel... Useless.
  • Some people just don't want to learn.
  • When it comes to micropurchases, I'm perfectly okay with them if they are for things that increase enjoyment of the playing experience but are NOT necessary to, or have a meaningful impact on, the success of winning.  Loot crates or whatever mechanism should never have been introduced if they are needed to win (or at least play better).  But here's the thing: customers ultimately decide if this goes on.  If you continue to buy and play the game (or, worse, continue buying loot crates, etc.) then you are voting your support for it to continue.  The ONLY way companies will respond to customer dissatisfaction is if they LOSE REVENUE over something.  So, boycott the game.  If they see virtually no sales (up front or micro) they'll have no choice but to modify the game.
  • Microtransactions aren’t going away. Activision-Blizzard made over half their revenue(4Billion) on that. You vote with your wallet. Your wallet has stated you want this. On a personal level, I think ima limit myself to $20 for AAA and unde $10 for indies. I have 15 Steam games and have finished like 1 or 2. No point in hoarding games I play casually. 
  • Say what you want but I guarantee you MS loves the idea of microtransactions and would live to have as many products or services as possible that incorporate them. This has the new anti-consumer MS written all over it.
  • Yes, every company loves (and should love) this idea. Why not get more revenue on a game after the initial purchase? This can even help get some lost revenue back from people buying the game used. The problem isn't the purchases themselves thats the issue. It's the implementation that is the part that needs some kind of standard so it doesn't screw the consumer. People are generally fine with extra purchases so long as it doesn't give others an unfair advantage, especially in a multiplayer game.
  • You had to do this with Titanfall, pay-to-win it's game where you need to win at any price
  • Really this is turning a mole hill into a mountain. Have been playing since it came out & have not felt the need to buy "crystals", nor do I feel the game is harmed by having micro transactions. Game progression is not stalled if you choose not to buy. Take a look at other games w/ in game purchases (nba2k18) and this uproar is laughable . The real problem is cheaters.
  • I would say that the microtransactions really wouldn't add any flavour to the game. Not opposed but it won't make it better. Having the "loot Crate" as an item you trade for or buy doesn't actually work anyway. Having loot crates laid throughout a map to compete for, that would have been a better idea. Go for the crate/or go for the objective, adds the added competative layer. Having these locations change each time to say 1 of 3 or 4 spots will make it harder to horde. When you finish a round you get to see what pops in a crate. Seeing as you are on a battlefield, finding a crate would make sense.
  • I will stop playing when the microtransactions return.