Electronic Arts force choked on their own words with their next big hit, Star Wars: Battlefront 2. The game-maker recently drew an enormous amount of flak from gamers worldwide when they responded to a player’s criticism of their beta on a Battlefront subreddit.
A Great Disturbance in the Force
It all started when a representative from EA replied to a player who claimed it would take approximately 40 hours of gameplay to unlock some of Battlefront 2’s most beloved characters. The mathematical estimate would have been enough to upset any player. However, it was what EA said that really stoked the flames into a wildfire.
EA’s response in the thread stated that the 40-hour multiplayer gameplay time was instituted “to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.” Reactions to the comment were swift. Redditors immediately jumped all over it—commenting and downvoting as if their life depended on it. In a way, it did. 40 hours of gameplay just to unlock one of many favorite characters is equivalent to an average work week. And just to make it clear, the time is actual game playing time. Sitting in the menus or waiting for a match to begin don’t count toward it.
EA’s Empire Forces a Rebellion
So fast and furious was the response to EA’s thoughtlessness, that the comment quickly became the most downvoted in Reddit history—at 678,000 downvotes as of the writing of this article! To put things into perspective, the second most downvoted Reddit contribution came in at about 24,000—and that one actually requested downvotes! Not to mention, the Battlefront downvotes tally came within less than 48 hours.
What added to gamers’ ire is the knowledge that anyone could bypass the tedious time required to unlock these characters by paying to access them. This came on the heels of another point of contention: purchasable loot crates which can give a player a major advantage over others. The idea of some rich jerk or screechy kid with mom’s credit card number being able to buy their achievements really hit a nerve with those who have no choice but to work their way up. Add to that the perpetual problem of trying to catch a cheater who hacks the game and you have a very unhappy community.
Fightin’ Words from the Battlefront
As news of the Battlefront debacle spread, more and more Redditors added their two-cents:
- Brandacle said, “This is a cop-out answer. There is no pride if different players can pay money to unlock Luke/Vader in seconds, and I have to grind 40 hours. If you can’t figure out how to incorporate a sense of accomplishment without enraging the community, then I have no idea how the relevant developers got their jobs.”
- Yuanrang wrote, “locking iconic characters behind credit walls that will take dozens of hours to get one is just insane, especially when I am willing to bet you have tons of heroes planned which will be behind similar paywalls?”
- Trioxide4 said, “I have just achieved a sense of pride and accomplishment from cancelling my preorder.”
- Jacksclevername added ever so eloquently: “Hey, just to chime in real quick: fuck you guys.”
Gamers Force Choke EA into Submission on the Battlefront
On 11/14, EA made the big announcement that they would be drastically reducing the cost of unlocking the characters. The company said that gamers will be charged up to 75% less. Characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader dropped from 60,000 credits to 15,000. Others like Princess Leia and Chewbacca will now run for 10,000.
The game officially launches on 11/17/17 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.