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EA Battlefront Release Recap

It’s been a week of changes in regard to EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 with angry players taking to the internet to combat the game’s monetization tactics. For those who haven’t been following, here’s a quick timeline of the events that occurred this week:

  • Hero Prices Were Too High – The inciting incident for the player rage at Battlefront 2 came in the form of estimated math from a Reddit user, who calculated that to unlock Luke as a playable hero reward in multiplayer, they would have to spend 40 hours of constant play in game. This angered players as the 40-hour grind could also be skipped by paying real money for the heroes instead. Players threatened to cancel pre-orders, and downvoted EA’s response comments so much that one of them became the most downvoted Reddit  comment in history.
  • EA Changes Hero Prices – In response to the player outrage, EA immediately adjusted hero prices, taking them down to a quarter of their original cost. While players were pleased at the responsiveness of the team, they were still aggravated by the overall monetization system in the game which many have said feels “pay-to-win”.
  • EA Releases Another Statement – Wednesday morning, leading up to the Friday launch of the game, EA released another statement saying that the monetization system in Battlefront 2 as well as the in-game currency earnings will always be a work in progress.
  • EA Does an AMA – For those who don’t know, an AMA (Ask Me Anything) is a session where in this case the game developers go to Reddit and answer a series of questions from the community. In this case, it did not quell the anger of the player base. In fact, at one point developer responses were getting too far down-voted for users to see them.
  • EA Shuts Off In-Game Monetization for Launch – After a week of difficulty appeasing the game’s fans, EA/DICE made the decision to shut off microtransactions in Battlefront 2 until they have gotten the system to a place where players feel it is fair.

Many are saying that this reaction may serve as a turning point for the games industry. EA’s response has shown the power that gamers can have when they band together in protest, and is also importantly showing that companies listen. While specific strategies have not been outlined on how the system will change in the future, this rollercoaster sets an interesting precedent for games to come.

Disney Shuts Down Marvel Heroes

Wednesday, Disney announced that they would be ending their partnership with Gazillion and as a result that the Marvel Heroes Games, free-to-play skill-based brawlers, would be shut down. This comes on the heels of the game developers missing several planned updates including a seasonal event and promotional heroes tied into the release of Marvel’s latest film, Thor: Ragnarok. While the game received mixed reviews initially, the developers continued to work over the years, bringing more characters and content, leading to a more positive sentiment.

Gamestop Pauses Power Pass Program 

A few weeks ago, Gamestop announced its new Power Pass program which would allow customers to check out one free video game at a time for the price of a $60, 6-month membership. At the end of that six month time period, players would get to choose one used game to keep. The Power Pass program was only online for a few days when Gamestop decided to pause it, due to unforeseen issues with distribution and stock. The likely cause was the immediate popularity of the program. Gamestop has announced that any current members of the program may return their current game, receive a full refund, and still keep one free used game.

Minecon Earth 2017 is This Weekend

This weekend, Minecraft will be hosting Minecraft Earth a streaming event with viewing locations/gatherings spread across the world in an attempt to make it easier for players to attend. The interactive live show will have information about updates coming to the game, interviews with creators, tournaments and more. The stream will be free for anyone who wants to watch it, and for those who want to get out and meet some Minecrafters in person, there’s a full list of viewing locations on the Minecraft website. This year, Minecraft is also letting users vote to determine which of four mobs will be added to the game after the convention.  Finally, Minecraft has also added a few free items to their store related to Minecraft for users to check out.

Notable Releases:

Star Wars Battlefront 2 [All Platforms] – The highly anticipated next entry in the Battlefront series, currently receiving positive reviews from critics, but intensely negative user reviews.

Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon [3DS] – Pokemon gears up for another trip around the Aloha region with new story elements and a few new Pokemon along the way. Initial reviews are very positive.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim [Switch] – Skyrim may have released many years ago now, but it has finally become portable on the Nintendo Switch. Reviews are very positive.