EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen spoke at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference recently. He explained why they will not be moving away from microtransactions and that they are looking for ways to re-activate the system. The usual cosmetic loot boxes seem to be out of the question as EA doesn't want to "violate the canon of Star Wars".
Another day, another piece of news concerning EA and Star Wars Battlefront II. Remember the simpler times when tired faces were all the rage? Don't you miss them?
Let's get into the latest news. We now know why Battlefront II's loot boxes come packed with powerful weapons and Epic Star Cards instead of the regular cosmetic items we're used to. After talking about FIFA 18 and Madden at the , EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen addressed the Darth Wader in the room by saying: "it didn't take me 80 hours to get you, Drath". Maybe Mr Jorgensen should stop playing the PR copy of the game.
Jorgensen also said that the consumers should start worrying when the company starts making some mistakes along the way and not learn from them. I'll just leave this here.
As for the general feel that the game was pay-to-win, he said this: "The reality is, there's different types of players in games. Some people have more time than money, and some people have more money than time. And you always want to balance those two."
"The great news is: this is one of the best games we have ever built, and we're hearing that from players who are actually playing the game." continued Jorgensen.
"A game is no longer a six-week experience, it's a six-year experience" said Mr Jorgensen, and I can't escape the feeling that he was alluding to his earlier remark about the different types of players in games. It's nice we can still joke about this.
He then grasped at the "games cost less then movies when you really think about it" straw, and as for the turned off microtransactions he said that they are trying to find modes that are best suited for the microtransaction system.
The question why they didn't stick to the cosmetic route has a simple answer: they didn't want to "violate the canon of Star Wars". They instead opted to tarnish the game franchise, but I digress.
Jorgensen continued: "It's an amazing brand that’s been built over many, many years, and so if you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon, right? Darth Vader in white probably doesn't make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don't want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don't think that's right in the canon."
He continued: "So, there might be things that we can do cosmetically, and we’re working with Lucas[film] on that. But coming into it, it wasn’t as easy as if we were building a game around our own IP where it didn’t really matter. It matters in Star Wars, because Star Wars fans want realism. But Star Wars fans may also want to tailor things - a different coloured lightsaber, things like that. So you might see some of that."
You might see different coloured lightsabers after you pay for another loot box in order to get them. This entire thing makes zero sense, but when you step back and look at the issue as a whole, you might end up frustrated beyond reason.
The bottom line is: they will not be giving up on the microtransactions.
How is it canon when you have characters from The Force Awakens battling with Darth Maul from the prequel? And who in their right mind thinks it's ok to charge people for the things they need in order to play the game, but draws the line at how their character looks while doing so?