The month of November was one for controversy, in many different aspects. But the one that got gamers (and other people for that matter) riled up was with the situation around Star Wars Battlefront II. Players noted that certain things in the game weren’t fair, such as the brutal progression system that would take a year to wind through naturally, and most important, the emphasis on getting, and buying, Loot Crates within the game. The situation got so bad that EA shut down its microtransaction system, and hasn’t turned it back on since.
Since that time, EA has made both good and bad moves in regards to their process of doing games. On one hand, Need For Speed Payback got some much-needed changes in its progression and microtransaction system. But, then, UFC 3 was revealed to have a heavy microtransaction system. This left many wondering, did EA learn anything? Well, according to Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen during a NASDAQ meeting (as reported by Gamespot), the answer is yes.
“It’s been a great learning experience for us; we consider ourselves a learning organisation,” he explained.
He went on to note that it’s because of player feedback that thing evolve and get better, and that’s all part of the learning process.
“If we’re not learning, that means we’re failing in some way and we’re constantly trying to watch what people do and how they play and listen to them to decide what’s the best way to build great games.”
While that sounds nice in theory, it doesn’t exactly sound believable. Especially since players noted certain issues for some time before the launch of the game. Case and point, the game had extremely high costs for unlocking Hero characters. When it was revealed on Reddit how high it was, EA took to the site and noted that they wanted players to “truly feel they earned the characters”. Said comment became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, and only AFTER that did they change things.
You have to wonder if the microtransaction backlash wasn’t as big as it got, would they really have shut it down?