We need to talk about EA and the Star Wars Battlefront 2 micro-transactions controversy…

This is a Guest Post by Oldmanmilly

For those who are familiar of what has occurred in last 24 hours here is a summary: late on the 12th November 2017 a reddit user called ‘MBMMaverick’ posted a comment complaining of not being able to play as Darth Vader on the games launch and micro-transactions. Whilst it is normal for an consumer to air their frustrations, what has made this comment rather interesting is EA’s official response or rather other reddit users response to EA’s official response. At present it received a whopping -10165 and counting down votes, in comparison to MBMMaverick’s initial comment which received 4.8k. So it appears that the user has managed to tap into the public consciousness regarding EA’s stance on micro-transactions, with other users making a comparison between EA’s response and being over-charged for other products in real life.

 

In its official statement EA said the following:

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking heroes. As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay. We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets. Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as soon often as we can. 

Breaking EA’s statement basically what they are saying is that in order to make a franchise or product sustainable and profitable they analysed the feedback data from the Open Beta which would result incentives for players to spend more. Whilst I do not question how they may value user feedback, let’s be honest, it is used primarily to adapt the business model around this game. Thus, the key term in all of this is ‘business model.’

The following is merely opinion, aimed to promote debate within the gaming community and one that is bound to incur criticism. Whilst I can see from both viewpoints, I side with EA on this matter for the following reasons:

Gaming or rather video game publishing is a business. A big business. Despite the passion and the size of the gaming community we are all essentially consumers who are purchasing products that interest us. Of course, consumer rights and expectations are of the norm, as a business, EA needs to find a means in which to sustain profitability in order to maintain their company and continue providing further products for us to consume. Frankly, this is not an old topic and does not just apply to the SWBF franchise. The micro-transactions model has been increasingly appearing in the majority of big franchises and triple AAA titles. It appears that a long time ago publishers have identify the most obvious factor about gamers: we are willing to shell in not only our time but finances as well into our hobbies. A year ago I had the same discussion with a friend whose response was that whilst this business practice is understandable, it is questionable if publishers such as EA are investing it back into the talented staff that went into creating the game. In response to this, I do not have an answer right now but what I argue is that it is hypocritical of users and gamers such as MBMMaverick’s to complain because it comes across with an air of self entitlement and fails to actually effectively address the ongoing issue of micro-transactions. Or rather the best solution:

If you are not happy with something, simply do not buy it.

That’s it. If consumers do not buy a game then a developer will be forced to change its business practice because it is unable to sustain the franchise and loose profit. Yet, this appears to be ignored as gamers blindly continue to buy such games and invest their hard earned cash into a game. As I said earlier, mico-transactions is not a new thing and it is surprising why people have not stopped to think of this solution, rather than complain but continue to shell out into the game. From a business standpoint: if there is a demand then lets continue to supply it. To use an analogy: you cannot complain that your gaining weight whilst eating chocolate cake and not going down the gym.

So what is the moral of all of this? If you truly disagree with something, do not invest in it or come to terms with the fact that by continuing to play a game, you are encouraging the practice of micro-transactions to continue.

What are your thoughts? Let us know by commenting below or following Kitsuga via twitter: @kitsuga_gaming and posting a reply.

 

  • josephhobbs Reply
    Nov 13, 2017 @ 14:31 pm

    milly has a point dont buy games that have practices you dont agree with,

  • obzyer Reply
    Nov 13, 2017 @ 15:27 pm

    very good article and explained the points very well

  • Drey Reply
    Nov 14, 2017 @ 11:56 am

    Right you have to vote with your money

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