Star Wars Battlefront II has been out for a little over week now, and while the controversy surrounding loot boxes and microtransactions rages on, the CFO of EA, Blake Jorgensen, recently talked at the Credit Suisse 21s Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today and promised that the company was learning from the experience.
According to Jorgensen, the most important thing to the company is “listening to the consumer” for as long as they continue to play the game. “Listening to the consumer when they start playing the game, six months from now, and even six years from now, is very important for us,” Jorgensen said. Of course, that will come with “some mistakes along the way,” but according to Jorgensen, those are “great opportunities” for the studio to continue fixing the game.
In an effort to briefly defend the the act of microtransactions, Jorgensen acknowledged that most consumers felt that the issue was the game implementing a pay-to-win system. However, according to him, the reality was more about finding balance. “The reality is there are different types of players in games. Some people have more time than money, and some people have more money than time. You want to always balance those two.”
When asked why EA didn’t take cues from other games like Overwatch and use their microtransaction model to center on cosmetic items instead of tangible gameplay boosts, Jorgensen cited that the company is working on cosmetic items, but when dealing with an established IP, it isn’t so easy.
“The one thing we’re very focused on and they’re extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars,” Jorgensen said. “…So if you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon. Darth Vader in white probably doesn’t make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don’t think that’s right in the canon.”
There’s still a lot to be discussed when it comes Jorgensen’s talk (most of which can be seen at Gamesindustry.biz), but it seems like the CFO understands the issue that consumers had with the game, and the studio is still learning. Obviously, only time will tell how the company addresses this going forward, but EA seems to be understanding and reacting to the community.