EA slashes Star Wars Battlefront II hero costs in response to backlash

Since Star Wars Battlefront II recently entered its early trial period via EA Access, EA has received quite a bit of backlash over the sheer amount of in-game credits (and, subsequently, time) it takes to unlock some of the most iconic hero characters from the Star Wars universe. One redditor, for example, worked out that it would take around 40 hours to unlock a single hero.

Now, EA has taken to a new blog post to respond to the negative feedback, promising a 75 percent drop in the number of credits required to unlock the game's "top heroes." From EA:

Making games great comes from regular tuning. As one example, today we're making a substantial change based on what we've seen during the Play First trial. There's been a lot of discussion around the amount of in-game credits (and time) it takes to unlock some of our heroes, especially Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Unlocking a hero is a great accomplishment in the game, something we want players to have fun earning. We used data from the beta to help set those levels, but it's clear that more changes were needed.So, we're reducing the amount of credits needed to unlock the top heroes by 75%. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 credits; Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa for 10,000 credits; and Iden at 5,000 credits. Based on what we've seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.

EA goes on to note that it will continue to make changes based on feedback going forward.

The blog post comes after an initial response from EA on reddit, in which EA's community team stated that the process of unlocking heroes was intended "to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes." The comment has since gone on to become the most downvoted comment in reddit history.

The controversy over hero unlocks and microtransactions mars what otherwise appears to be a solid game. Check out our in-progress review for more of our early thoughts on Star Wars Battlefront II ahead of its November 17 release.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Seems like a reasonable response to me....
  • NO, not really, they also dropped the value of credits by 75%, so everything is the same.
  • Goes to show these companies are nothing without the people who play their games. Imagine worst case that everyone who downvoted the response on Reddit decided not to buy the game. EA would be out about $30 million just on that alone. If you don't like what they're doing, speak up. Make them see their fans are not happy.
  • Well said.
  • Ugh. Great, another case of EA being greedy af is getting swept under the rug. I do hope that this doesn't sway the people who thought about avoiding buying this crap. Boycott EA! And, in case you think I'm a hypocrite by calling the boycott: I haven't bought any of their game ever since the disaster of SimCity. No regrets.
  • I think there will be some people and comany "fans" who will fall for this marketing bs. I think most gamers and the gaming community won't. 
  • I really hope people will boycott to. This is a perfect example of when someone makes fun of others for their boycott, but the system can actually have an impact. Sucks though, I was looking forward to this game, A LOT, but won't buy it.
  • Way too late. They aren't changing that it's pay-to-win, just making the wins cheaper and easier to unlock without money (and with it, in turn). The issue, to me, was not much about the grind. It was that your wallet can give you a competitive advantage. That is unacceptable. EA let NFS Payback become a total disaster of microtransactions as well, and FIFA and Madden have long had this in Ultimate Team. They cannot do a single thing, at this point, that will convince me to pick this game up. The sale is gone, the ship has sailed. Instead, they have to prove, through future releases, that pay-to-win will never be present in their games. I'll even compromise a bit and let them keep their billion-dollar Ultimate Team modes in the sports games. However, what they are doing in Battlefront and Payback is unacceptable, and I assume Titanfall's recent purchase, along with Respawn, means it will seep into that franchise soon. Until pay-to-win is stopped, my purchases from EA are.
  • Is COD WW2 pay to win? Apparently you can pay to unlock stuff in that game but I have no idea how you actually buy anything with real money....I could do with winning on there for once ;)
  • It's funny they don't force you to buy the credits and I already have 20 thousand points with only 3hrs of gameplay so about a days worth I'd have enough to unlock a character. I think that's fair. So if they didn't have loot crates to begin with no one would even whine about how much it costs to unlock the character.
  • Pay to win is bad at any price.  EA is begging the issue.  It isn't how much players are willing to pay to win, it's making poor players unable to win against the rich ones.  $60 for the game and yet more money to have a chance to beat other players?  No way.  I'm retired and on a fixed income.  I'm not buying this piece of extortion.  Not one penny for a better chance to win.  Not one.
  • Just don't buy this game. This is hardly a compromise on their side, everything else in the model still stands.
  • Ban all micrograms and loot box games
  • **** off.
    The response should be firm. They cannot buy us. This game should fail and it should be an example so that they and all these other companies don't screw with us the gaming community. Microtrancastions/loot boxes in a full price game is unacceptable NO MATTER who is doing it. The worse part of it is they are looking like they are doing a facour to us. They are trying to say they are listening to us and want us to look at them as the good guys. And there are people who are actually falling for this marketing and PR stunt. LOL
  • Hope nobody reconsiders buying this crap; a great game ruined by pure ugly EA greed; I feel bad for the devs that worked hard on it to have it trashed by an idiotic publisher;    
  • I will only get this game for the single player campaign and only when it's available on EA Access.
  • I was so stoked to pay this game, but this whole thing put a bad taste in my mouth. I probably won't get it now. What a waste
  • Definitely a step in the right direction EA. There is no point going ape over something without bringing something tangable to the table so the publishers and devs can work toward better solutions. Loot boxes are fine if they are cosmetic enhancements only. If microtransactions are needed for revenue (and personally I don't see these as needed when a game will sell far better in the current environment without boxes and) just make available cosmetic packs that players can purchase separately if they wish. Heroes in this game aren't cosmetic. These could be made available through in game loot drops after achieving a cumulative goal (not credits). eg eradicate 1000 troopers, no deaths in a extra hard multiplayer event, something like that. I really haven't played the game much as yet, but I do intend on getting the game as it is quite spectacular and it is clear that Dice and EA are open to feedback and is interested in seeing SWBF2 perform well for the players.  
  • No not really. They played with the game point system increasing by 75%, so that you are back to the same spot. In a simple form, this is like you have a game, with 2x DLC. Without them, the game finishes in a annoying clif hanger. First one cost 10$, and the other one cost 50$, and both are the same value/length and availible on day 1. People complain, and so the publisher goes "ok ok.. the s econd DLC is now 10$!!!!", all the media reports that, turning the big story obsolte, old news if you want, media moved on... but then they don't tell you that the first DLC is now 50$ instead of 10$.... so you are back to square one where if you want both, you'll spend 60$. So, yea.. no a step in the right diretcion. Personaly, I don't care about the game, and if games does these day DLC or pay to get mode type of things, I just wait a few months. The game drop in price, and usually have these DLC and modes included out of the box. I think people should do the same.
  • I love how the media doesn't even spend 2min looking, and quickly report what EA says. What the media is missing: They slash what you earn from missions and compain by 75%.. meaning you are back to square 1. That is like goverment cutting taxes in one area, and increases the taxes somewhere that affects mostly the same people, the same way in the end, but news paper gets to say "Goverment cuts taxes!!!" Nothing was done, just things where moved arround.
  • "Build that (Pay)Wall" - EA Marketing "Fake News" - EA PR
  • Day late, buck short.
  • Were people complaining that they have to PLAY a video game to unlock things? MY GOD! That's the problem with today "gamers", they don't want to PLAY video games like a real gamer.
  • No. You don't understand. Normally, you would say, play teh game, finish it, and you unlock some mode.
    Here, you play, you get points as yuo play, but they are cap... and the game goes "Oh you want more points... wait 30h.. OR accelerate the wait time to now, for 5$!", you spend 5$, then you play, and then "Oh noes! We block again! LOLz! wait 60h! Oooorrr pay 5$ to unlock!" This is just a hypotetical example of a game, not saying how exactly how this game works. The model presented in teh example, is usualy done by free games on mobile phones (and the amount is usually less or euiqal to 1$, and the time is a bit more realistic than my exageration, of course), but this is justified.. the game is free, the devs needs to make money to have food on the table. Many eventually stop playing and move to some other game, spending in totoal probably 10-15$, a fair price for the game they played and enjoyed. Now, here, you spend 60$ (assuming you get the base version), and then you have this system in place, and then you have micro transaction system where if you want to win, you need to pay. In the end, you'll easilly pay 100-150$ for a game that is really not worth more than 60$, inclduing dev and StarWars licensing cost. So you have die hard StarWars fans, that really really really want to play this game and mode, but you have this extra fee.   Personally, I avoid games with day 1 DLC and just wait for a couple of months. where most of the time, the game price drops and all DLC or the important ones are inlcuded. I expect the same for this game. several months from now, the game will drop to 40$ or something, and Hero mode included 'out of the box'..
  • @Javier Vaca Ortiz you didn't understand.LOL This is a freeplay pay2win model. People are made to grind to get content that should normally be included in a full price game. This is about the whole microtransactions/loot boxes in a full price game.  The problem with today's "gamers" is when people defend these companies and defend anti-gaming policies like microtransactions/ loot boxes.  If you're a real gamer, can you explain to me how this microtransactions/loot boxes is good for gaming?
  • Pre-order cancelled.
  • Lowering the cost while also lowering the ability to generate credits. So basically FU we think your stupid, give us your money and shut up.
  • they shouldn't have lowered the rewards, only the costs.