EA vs Gamers
EA is a very well known company amongst the gaming community. For years EA has been the joke of many gaming fans as they are known for being one of the worst publishers out there. The company actually has some of the biggest titles in the industry and controls the sports game that is put out every year. With the exception NBA 2K being owned by Sega. So, just what has EA done this time to make the gaming community angry and who is in the right with it? For what it’s worth though EA is probably in the wrong.
So, this all started when the deluxe edition of the anticipated Star Wars Battlefront 2 was coming out. Basically, EA decided it was a good idea to make the unlockable heroes with unrealistically high goals. If you wanted to skip around that though…you know..you could slide them some cash. Gamers were especially pissed when they found out Darth Vader was one of the characters locked in the game. If you don’t see the big deal yet unlocking a popular hero would take you about 40 hours of gameplay each. This is of course where EA states that buying credits to unlock them is to help the player.
Ok, now let’s talk about playing games.The most time I’ve ever put into a single game is around 150 - 160 hours. This is when I was a full-time college student and had a lot more free time. Also, on top of being a college student, it was around holiday break this happened. That means I had about a month off of school to literally sit around and play games. It’s also worth mentioning that I don’t have a big family to go see or anything during these times. Basically, it was the perfect recipe for being a shut-in.
So, what were these games I hit so many hours on? Skyrim, Oblivion, and Witcher 3. Yep, all huge open world RPG’s with intense story and tons of things to do. These games were designed from the ground up to be playable for tons of hours. A lot of them even involved me making a new character to try a different route. These games and the timing I played them in where perfect for racking up insane amounts of hours. As an adult though I’m lucky to get 20 hours of free time a week. It’s even harder taking that free time to game instead of doing things on my be an adult list or spend social time with friends.
Even for kids in high school, this is pretty tough. Unless they literally decided to do nothing but play Battlefront when they are home. Let’s be real though everyone’s sunk some hours into games like this with their friends in school. But, as you’ve probably noticed your friends probably switch up games pretty frequently. The most amount of time I’ve seen a group play a game is about 2 months. The most a session ever lasted during this two months was maybe five hours tops. As fun as games are it’s almost impossible to sit there and do the same thing over and over again for hours on end. With Star Wars this is even harder because multiplayer matches wear on your nerves pretty fast.
No One’s Got Time For That
So, basically even the most hardcore of gamers aren’t going to waste the time to unlock these characters. That means if they truly want to use them while the games still hot and their friends are playing they are almost forced to buy them. I don’t know what type of magical playability Ea thinks this game has, but it’s not a World of Warcraft or even close. The game is good, but I doubt anyone’s going to choose it over Far Cry 5 when it launches in early February. Nothing sucks worse than being the last man playing a game. When it comes to multiplayer games like this your friends really do make the experience worth it.
Also, why would I give EA a bunch of my money when I can go to GameStop and get another game. Overwatch is still a hot online title with lots of heroes. They are also all free from the start and they are still adding more. If I wanted a good campaign there’s the new Assasins Creed. If I had to have something Sci-fi themed Prey is amazing and has taken a huge price drop. The best part is I can trade them in and at least get something back. If I buy a virtual item and stop playing the game then I basically have money floating until the server shuts down and it goes poof.
It Extended To The Sim’s
This kind of hit under the radar, but I bought the Sims 4 for my Playstation. In my head, I thought it’d be a pretty cool game to play when waiting for my friends to hop on. I even paid the extra $10 to get the deluxe edition because the content in it sounded pretty nice. When I got home I found a sticker on it and pulled it off to reveal DLC I could have bought at checkout for 49.99. As someone who bought the deluxe version of the game, I was pretty irritated. These regularly go on sale on PC for like $40 all together with the game included. I understand paying a premium price to have it especially made for my console. The fact they are already bugging you for money right out of the purchase is annoying though.
They don’t even let you forget it to just play your game either. As soon as you pop in the disc the game loads a screen that reminds you that you don’t have all the latest DLC installed! There’s literally no subtle nature to EA asking for more money with this. I’m all for DLC and expansions, but don’t constantly remind me I don’t have them. It’s the Sims 4 let’s all be honest we are going to make people we know and play matchmaker. If they were going to do this they could have at least put out a discounted gold version of the game like everyone else.
If that’s not bad enough the game is optimized greatly for the consoles. It is a pretty lazy copy and paste job by them. I feel like they just rushed this out to make extra profits for the year. Generally, I am against anything EA puts out in the first place, but this combined with the DLC reminder just makes me want to take my game back for whatever they will give me for it. As a consumer I am pretty sad at the amount of quality that seems to be put in these games. It’s less about making a great experience and more about me paying them to make my experience great. That’s not how games should work.
EA Takes Back
I will say that if EA would have just sat back quietly things would probably be going over better for them right now. EA instead decided to try to reason with consumers on Reddit by assuring them that the system was to add more challenge and reward to the game. This, of course, went over just about as well as you would expect it to. Now EA is the owner of the most downvoted Reddit post in history which brings even more attention to the issues with the game then what had already existed in the niche community. Basically, them trying to validate themselves is what really ruined their chances with the fans.
They have now of course decided to temporarily pull the microtransactions from Battlefront. They want to make the hero’s more accessible to the fans. I’m not quite sure I like where this is going still, but the community certainly made waves by standing up to them in the past few days. Hopefully, all in-game content will become reasonably unlockable soon as no one has the time or money to waste on their original goals. I can’t say I trust this to go over well and with both versions of the game now released I really hope they will be doing something soon to overhaul the system.
Lastly, I really hope EA thinks over things for their next release. Not only have their stocks dropped from this stunt, but they have lost the trust of the gamers who pay their bills. When you turn the community against you there is never anything good that can come out of it. On top of that many people even straight up canceled their pre-orders for the game and spent their money elsewhere. While I don’t want to see the Battlefront franchise go under unless EA has a pretty good apology up their sleeve the game’s reputation is just going to continue to hurt itself. Let’s all hope for some free DLC to re-sweeten the deal.