A dominating force recently in the video game industry is the process of microtransactions. Whereas players of video games could previously play said video game for a set number of hours in order to unlock more amounts of content such as an unlockable character, the fairly new process of microtransactions involve players using real money to purchase various content. Described as a business model where users can purchase virtual goods via micropayments, the process of microtransactions have received both adoration and extreme hatred.

 

Particularly on the side of hatred, microtransactions have sometimes derogatorily been called “freemium” or “pay-to-win” content, meaning that players who’ll voluntarily spend more actual currency on the games have a much more significant advantage as opposed to those who’ve played the game the longest. Originally, the process of “freemium” content stayed only on mobile games such as Candy Crush and any dedicated video game fan would’ve never anticipated the controversial process being moved to mainstream video games.

 

(Tech Power Up)

Yet, just as anyone who knows a capitalistic society would’ve guessed, microtransactions have made their way into Xbox, PlayStation 4 and occasionally PC games as well. Of all the released and soon to be released video games, the remake of Star Wars: Battlefront II has received horribly negative reception due to it’s rampant usage of microtransactions, partially due to the notorious company who’s producing the game.

 

In their defense, Electronic Arts has made a number of notable, well-received games of many different genres. Of the many titles, the space-opera Mass Effect series and the massively popular life-simulation series The Sims. However, EA has been notorious for it’s negative PR reception and it’s over-usage of microtransactions. A recent example of their occasional inability to connect with their consumers was their somewhat robotic response on the Star Wars: Battlefront Reddit page, where they justified their usage of microtransactions by saying that they’re “looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis”. It’s no surprise that this response was the most downvoted message in Reddit history, with 674,000 downvotes as of today.

 

The unlockable content for Star Wars: Battlefront II themselves do sound both appealing and interesting, with several popular characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker being playable. However, one would need to play for a combined total of “4,528 hours of gameplay or spending $2,100 to unlock all of the game’s content.” With this preposterous amount of time and/or money needing to be spent in order to access all of this content, gamers were not happy whatsoever.

 

And with the extreme emphasis on microtransactions and using actual currency to purchase random in-game content known as “loot boxes” that may or may not be beneficial, certain government authorities are wanting to regulate the loot boxes in an effort to not appeal gambling to children. Among the many organizations, the Belgian gambling commision have recently declared that loot boxes are indeed a form of gambling and are looking to have them removed from future video games.

 

Overall, the future of Star Wars: Battlefront II seems rocky and could lead to future controversies given its heavy reliance on microtransactions and potential usage of gambling. And although the general manager of the video game company DICE has announced the cessation of in-game purchases, the damage may have already been done.

 

Oh well, I’ll always remember and have fond memories of the original Star Wars: Battlefront games.

 

Are you a Star Wars: Battlefront fan? If so, Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff because I always love talking about old video games.