EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been undergoing changes to its progression system over the next few months, presumably to change the pay to win nature and utter RNG of its mechanics. That doesn’t you won’t see microtransactions though. In its recent call to investors after the Q3 2018 financial report, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed that microtransactions will returns “in the coming months”.
CEO Andrew Wilson further noted that, “Digital economies have a place, and we will continue to drive and focus on that. The teams are working on how that context will apply to the Battlefront universe, but more on that in the months to come.”
Wilson was happy with fan feedback on the previous system, noting that they “will tell us when we get it right, and when we don’t.” “We never intended to build an experience that could be seen as unfair or lacking clear progression, so we removed the feature that was taking away from what fans were telling us was an otherwise great game. We are fortunate to have such passionate players that will tell us when we get it right, and when we don’t. We’re now working hard on more updates that will meet the needs of our players, and we hope to bring these to the Battlefront 2 community in the months ahead.”
Wilson went on to deny that pressure from Disney, which owns the Star Wars license, resulted in the microtransactions being pulled. “You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the press. We have a tremendous relationship with Disney and built amazing games together. At this point, when we make the decision we have the right model for players and the community, I have no doubt we will be supported by Disney.”
He also believes that these systems, when optional and “done right” can help “enhance the experience” for EA’s games. “Going forward, we believe that live services that include optional digital monetization, when done right, provide a very important element of choice that can extend and enhance the experience in our games. We’re committed to continually working with our players to deliver the right experience in each of our games and live services,” said Wilson.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 was initially rumoured to provide cosmetic-only rewards from its loot boxes but this was changed down the line. DICE has promised fairly significant changes with the system, which could mean that elements affecting gameplay are shifted from loot boxes to in-game achievements. It still remains to be seen if the overall RNG nature of these mechanics can be de-emphasized and how EA’s next monetization system will work.