Rumors started to circulate tonight as all listings for Star Wars Battlefront II Crystals (the microtransaction currency used by the game) were removed from digital storefronts, including PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Origin and Amazon.
This happened just in time for the game’s official worldwide launch, which happens today or tomorrow, depending if you’re in Europe or North America.
The game’s progression system, partly based on loot boxes, was received very negatively from part of the gaming community, and this possibly caused the publisher to reconsider its stance.
Update: Electronic Arts released an official statement, and as some may have expected, the removal of microtransactions is temporary and will return at a later time after the changes that were recently promised by the development team will go online.
“Thank you to everyone in our community for being the passionate fans that you are.
Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.
But as we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.
We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.
We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our progress.”
At the moment there is no official announcement from Electronic Arts, but it appears that an announcement will be coming soon. We reached out to the publisher asking for a clarification, and we will update this post as soon as we either receive one, or Electronic Arts sends in some news.
The temporary nature of the move should not surprise anyone, as recurring revenue is a central part of Electronic Arts’ (and basically every other big name publisher in the industry) strategy for the future and the biggest factor behind their positive financial results as of late.
If you want to learn more about Star Wars Battlefront II, you can check out the information provided in the latest AMA on Reddit, and the recent comments from Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen.
You can also watch the first thirty minutes of the single-player campaign. Star Wars Battlefront II is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.