On the night before Star Wars Battlefront 2 launched, EA decided to pull in-game microtransactions due to an uproar from fans. The microtransactions would have allowed players to purchase loot boxes that contained Star Cards, the primary form of upgrades for the various characters and classes in the game. It’s a system that would have given players willing to spend money an advantage over those that did not, commonly called “pay-to-win.” At the time, the decision to add them back in the game was up in the air pending what I can only imagine were a lot of frantic meetings, but most people leaned towards the idea that EA would eventually find a way to work microtransactions back in. All future add-on content for Star Wars Battlefront 2 is free, after all, so having no post-launch revenue stream makes persistent support difficult.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal today, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed that Battlefront 2 microtransactions will be returning sometime “in the next few months.” His statement confirms that EA and DICE are actively working on solutions to this problem, the most likely one being that loot boxes will now contain exclusively cosmetic customization options. “We’ll do it when we think it’s ready,” Jorgensen continued. How re-adding Battlefront 2 microtransactions will change the entire progression system of the Battlefront 2 remains to be seen.
EA had originally projected 10 million in sales during the holiday quarter. Jorgensen blames the loot box controversy as a big part of why Battlefront 2 only sold 9 million for that period, missing the projections the company had set out. He indicated that EA didn’t factor any microtransactions for Battlefront 2 into their fiscal Q4 outlook.
Despite a rough launch and the controversy surrounding loot boxes, we came away extremely impressed with how well Star Wars Battlefront 2 lets players live out the Star Wars fantasy. When EA is ready to bring back Battlefront 2 microntransactions, we’ll keep you updated on how they’ll be implemented and what changes will be made to the in-game progression system.
Are you at all surprised that EA is committed to microtransactions returning to Battlefront 2?