Update November 17, 2017: We've updated this article with official confirmation from EA.
Battlefront II's systems are inextricably tied to an annoying credits system, which rewards players for participation across the game's various modes. Multiplayer drip feeds small amounts of credits to players, while completing various challenges (often for activities you might not want to participate in) can boost the accrual. Credits can be spend on loot crates or hero characters like Darth Vader, forcing players to choose where they want to progress. Of course, you can circumvent all of this by giving EA piles of cash, using its premium currency "Crystals."
Or at least, that used to be the case.
Star Wars Battlefront II was subject to a huge backlash over these systems, earning itself the most downvoted comment in reddit history, and sparking a huge wave of negative coverage in even large mainstream news outlets, including the BBC.
EA has caved to the immeasurable negativity surrounding its "pay to earn" systems, scrubbing premium currency from the game ahead of its full global launch on November 17, 2017.
Issuing a statement on the Battlefront II website, DICE had this to say:
Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We've also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You've seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks. But as we approach the worldwide launch, it's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the 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.
We hear you loud and clear, so we're turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we've made changes to the game. We'll share more details as we work through this.
We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II 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 progress.
As of writing, the Crystal premium currency can be purchased directly from Xbox Live, but it no longer appears in Battlefront II's main menu, and I've seen reports that they have been removed from Sony's PlayStation Network already.
If it wasn't for these horrible progression systems, Battlefront II could have been candidate for game of the year 2017 in my view for its amazing visuals, tight gunplay, and authentic Star Wars experiences. Sadly, they threw it all away in an aggressive, anti-gamer pursuit of micropayment bucks. Will EA learn its lesson? Probably not, but at least for the time being, Battlefront II might become a far fairer game. Hopefully the next incarnation of crystals errs on the side of cosmetics, rather than providing an advantage over other players.
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