Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Industry | By Faith Ward

EA Stock Tumbles Over Star Wars Battlefront 2 Controversy

EA Stock Tumbles Over Star Wars Battlefront 2 Controversy

Just in case you've been hibernating in wampa cave for the past month, Star Wars Battlefront II has been sharply criticized for a system where character progression and weapons could only be acquired from loot boxes, which, originally, could be purchased with real money.

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen says those kinds of offerings probably aren't in the cards for Battlefront 2, though, because of EA and LucasArts' focus on "not violating the canon of Star Wars".

Electronic Art's CFO Blake Jorgensen talked about Battlefront II during the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology conference, stating that they've received positive feedback from those players now playing the game. "No offense to pink, but I don't think that's right in the canon".

EA won't be going out of business anytime soon but we can probably expect to see a change in the way it has been conducting business. "We're not giving up on the notion of MTX", he said.

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The reality is that the company created a game that benefitted players who paid, because who has time to play for the numbers of hours it would have taken to unlock the characters everyone cared about?

"A player's ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing [loot boxes]", it said in a statement. But Star Wars fans might also want to tailor things, a different color lightsaber, things like that. That said, he sees the current controversy over microtransactions as "a learning experience" in an effort to get to a place where people can enjoy playing "if you grind in the game, if you pay in the game, or both".

Now, to be fair to EA, Disney is known to be pretty picky about what people can and can't do with their intellectual properties.

"We have input and they take feedback from us across the whole spectrum". Some people have more time than money and some have more money than time and you want to always balance those two. We're trying to build games that last for years, not for months... "We feel like we've nailed that in the sports games, and we'll continue to try and find the best model that works in the non-sports games". "The day-over-day retention in Battlefront II is nearly better than we've seen in any of our games, and we'll be adding in the next couple of weeks more content than we've ever added in a game before". The feature - which would let players gain access to late-game weapons early on, leading to huge imbalance between paying players and standard players - was originally announced around the time of the game's beta testing phase, and the controversy reached a boiling point shortly before the game's official launch, leading to EA hastily removing the feature from the game.

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