It’s becoming a tale as old as the modern era of gaming. You plop down the $60 for a full-price, triple-A title, only to be inundated with microtransactions to “unlock” items/characters/levels that are in the game. We thought we were moving past this with EA’s upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II, but it turns out that key playable characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are going to take at least 40 hours of dedicated playtime to unlock, if you don’t drop cash.
When upset fans on Reddit brought this up, someone from EA’s Community Team reached out to respond:
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” the response from EA read.
“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.”
Yes, but the gameplay, just for two characters (not the customization options), will take hours and hours. No one wants to dedicate their life to a game just to have the title abandoned by the dev in a year or two anyway. For all of the goodwill EA received for staying away from the overpriced and community-busting season pass DLC model, now it’s looking like they’ll make way more cash by simply putting some key characters/features behind a paywall. Just look at this:
Granted, playing the game for 40 hours is going to happen, but if you have to spend 40 hours without spending any of your earned credits just to unlock a few characters in the multiplayer mode that should be there when you buy the game, then the grind is real. That’s not fun, that’s work. Imagine if Street Fighter II was released in the ’90s, and you had to play for 40 hours to unlock Guile. A user on Reddit broke it down further:
- Average Galactic Assault Match Length: 11:09
- Average Credits per Match: 275
- Average Credits per Minute of Gameplay: 25.04
- Gameplay Minutes Required to Earn a Trooper Crate (4000): 159.73
- Gameplay Minutes Required to Unlock One Hero: 2,395.97
Naturally, people are upset. It’s really putting a damper on what should be a major celebration for gamers and Star Wars fans.
Now, to be fair, the game is currently in EA Access, meaning certain gamers who pay for EA’s monthly gaming service can play days early. Perhaps EA is just making sure they can’t get an edge on the incoming players by jacking up loot box prices? Maybe?