Electronic Arts was hammered for their rebuttal to gamers’ complaints about the ludicrous advancement requirements and microtransactions in the upcoming Star Wars multiplayer shooter.
EA appears to be looking to reclaim the public image that won them Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” title two years in a row. Their official response on Reddit to consumer outcry against the abysmal unlock rates and loot crates in Star Wars Battlefront II managed to become the most downvoted comment in Reddit history within mere hours:
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.
This almost hilariously manufactured response to a community outraged by exploitative mechanics will now be immortalized in gaming history. A “sense of pride and accomplishment” has already become sarcastic gamer shorthand for creating systems that deliberately exploit their players.
The crux of the issue was an incredulous post by a beta participant, entitled, “Seriously? I paid 80$ to have Vader locked?” The commenter called the decision “a joke” and said that he would “be contacting EA support for a refund… I can’t even playing f—ing Darth Vader?!?!? Disgusting. This age of ‘micro-transactions’ has gone WAY too far. Leave it to EA though to stretch the boundaries.”
Responses have been many, and, let’s say, vociferous. There were nearly 3,000 of them by the time the thread was locked by moderators for “harassing and spamming,” saving the mammoth publisher any further lashings by their own community.
As of the time of this writing, EA’s response has more than -350,000 net downvotes. Players are decrying a system tailored to force consumers to purchase unlockable content for the game, by placing it outside the practical reach of most people who will purchase it.
The original Battlefront reboot was a beautiful and immersive title that lacked the depth to survive past launch in a genre loaded down with deeper titles. Still, it held the promise of a fan-favorite franchise that had the ability to come back as strong as ever — should it have been handled with care.
For those wondering whether EA could possibly outdo the Mass Effect: Andromeda catastrophe with a series that, if anything, has a place in history even closer to the heart of their core consumer… Well, here we are.
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