EA backs down on micro-transactions, temporarily.

After public outrage, publisher EA has announced complete (temporary) removal of micro-transaction in the highly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront II.

Bryan Cano

Just hours before its official launch, EA announced the removal of micro-transactions in Star Wars Battle Front II. Oskar Gabrielson, GM of Battlefront Studio Dice, apologized to players while acknowledging concerns that the game's virtual economy would lead to "pay to play" environment.

The "Pay to Play" concept is highly criticised in the gaming world, as it allows other players the ability to "buy" progress in the game. Critics suggest this creates an unfair advantage for players who opt to not engage in microtransactions and progress through traditional grinding.

EA originally defended its position on micro-transactions, stating it provides "players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes." The statement was made on Reddit, receiving over 675,000, rumored to be the most down-voted comment in Reddit's history. EA changed their stance shortly after and announced a 75% price drop on the micro-transactions to buy. However, outrage continued forcing EA to completely eliminate micro-transactions, momentarily.

It's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. Weve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And weve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game.

EA hopes the recent decision will create a balance between players who rely on gameplay progression, and players who want to experience accelerated gameplay through micro-transactions. The appearance of in-game micro-transactions has become much more common over the years, even making appearances in iOS and Android Gaming Apps. However, developers such as EA will need to figure out the best way to accommodate fair gameplay for players if they want to avoid future controversy that could hurt the publishers, their developers, and investors.