It all started back around the holiday season of 2015, the same year that Disney brought the Star Wars franchise back to the big screen with all blasters firing with the release of The Force Awakens. EA had been granted the license to publish games based in our favorite galaxy far, far away after the former developer, Lucasarts, had been dissolved. The hype for both the movie, and EA’s revival of the Star Wars: Battlefront video game franchise was at an all-time high for me.
When said revival was released on consoles and PC’s there were two things that upset many fans, including myself: Number one: The game had NO campaign (also known as “story mode”). Zero narrative to play through. Number two: Many multiplayer games have required a purchase of a season pass in order to play online. OK, fine. However, a season pass never costs nearly as much as the game itself…. until EA saw bright green dollar signs among the stars and decided to charge $50 for the season pass. The game itself had a price tag of of $60. Naturally, I said “Hell naw”.
So on can assume that EA learned their lesson, right? They toned down this whole “microtransaction” business model, right?
Just a mere two years later we have the release of the sequel — Battlefront II, which coincided with the release of another Star Wars movie: The Last Jedi. SW:BF II required no season pass, and actually had a pretty solid story mode, which has a First Order officer as the main protagonist. Buuuuuut, despite the promise of being able to use nearly every major Star Wars Universe character. loot boxes, for the chance to unlock one of those characters, were instituted. If you didn’t go the “loot box” route, you practically had to play thousands of hours for the chance to play as maybe… Chewbacca? As of now, EA has *tried* to atone for this with certain changes made to the multiplayer option of the game, but the damage has long since been done.
To end this rant on a hopeful note, I would like to think that other video game publishers would actually learn from EA’s recent situation, but, only time will tell… and maybe your wallets.