/ gaming

Micro Wars: A New Hope

I wrote awhile back about EA consuming the development studio Visceral Games, a practice of theirs everyone is quite familiar with and few were surprised by. However, news of Activision’s microtransaction increasing patent reached both EA and the world, somewhat overshadowing the detested publisher. Filled with same rage and ferocity only showcased by Disney villains, EA vowed to regain their position as most hated publisher in all the land.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most despised of them all?

Now, I'd seen some coverage on the insane grind people were experiencing in the new Star Wars: Battlefront II beta but fans remained hopeful that values would be adjusted before the full release. Pre-ordering the game allowed people to jump into the full release three days early, giving troubling news to the community.

A publication by hero Soeren Kamper detailed the math behind the pay wall EA had designed for what would hopefully become their most lucrative cash cow to date. In his detailed description he explained that the title would require either 4,528 hours of gameplay or $2100 USD, in order to unlock all the base game content in this AAA, $80 game. This led to a great deal of unrest, prompting EA to attempt a response, it didn't go well.

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different 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 often as we can.

Actual video of the now infamous Reddit AMA.

Receiving approximately 675,000 downvotes in a 24-hour period, EA is now able to apply to the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Downvoted Comment Ever. Normally this is something EA would have taken in stride, maybe even celebrated, as their company motto is rumored to be, “Bad publicity is still publicity.” Unfortunately for EA, they finally aren't the biggest fish in the pond. No, I'm not talking about the half million redditors that joined in on the armchair protest, that shit is small-time for EA. The real authority in this public relations nightmare is the big D. That's right, Disney motherfucker.

Disney does not want their franchise being dragged through the mud, at all. They certainly don't want to hear the words “gambling for children” (Not like that, calm down Anthony Weiner) anywhere near their brand. All this negative talk and opinion placing a bad taste in the mouths of their target audience and their parents for the up coming billions of dollars they are going to be dump-trucking into a Scrooge McDuck style vault throughout the lifetime of their rights to the Star Wars franchise would be on the line. They have movies, theme parks, merchandise, and every other consumable planned for the next decade, and they will be god-damned if some snot-nosed publisher is going to fuck with those duckets over some small-time micro-transactions nonsense.

Raw footage of Disney discipling EA.

So in their first humanizing move in, I'm pretty sure ever... EA has pulled microtransactions from the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II game, for now. We don't know whether this call will stand or for how long, nor do we know if this is a signal in a change of behavior by the publisher (unlikely). What we do know is this seemingly innocuous event has sparked a great deal of chatter about the event itself as well as microtransactions, prompting high-brow publications such as the Wall Street Journal to cover the story, as well as motivating countries to investigate the legality and implications of loot boxes and microstransactions as a form of legalized gambling catered towards children. What a weird time we live in.