You’ve won. Star Wars: Battlefront II developer DICE has revealed it will reduce the time it takes to unlock hero characters by 75 percent. This comes after players calculated it would take somewhere between 40 and 80 hours of playtime or $80 to unlock the top-tier characters like Darth Vader in the shooter’s online multiplayer. EA tried to respond to that thread on the Star Wars Battlefront subforum on Reddit, but in a collective outcry, fans turned EA’s statement into the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit.
But it wasn’t just downvotes and fair criticism. One EA developer, whose tweets are now protected, said that they had received multiple death threats over the way microtransactions work in Battlefront II. Other angry players didn’t make direct threats, but they made justifications for those who did.
Despite this madness, however, EA says it is listening to the feedback, and that it understands that fans don’t think the game works as it was.
“So, we’re reducing the amount of credits needed to unlock the top heroes by 75 percent,” DICE executive producer John Wasilczyk wrote in a blog post. “Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 credits; Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa for 10,000 credits; and Iden at 5,000 credits. Based on what we’ve seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.”
The reference to the achievement comes from EA’s original Reddit response. The publisher tried to justify the high in-game price of unlocking certain characters by claiming it was an achievement.
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocked different heroes,” reads the EA statement.
Players took issue with that sentiment, however, because Battlefront II does not reward in-game currency based on your skill or accomplishments. Instead, you get credits to spend based solely on how long you play the multiplayer. If you get 30 kills and I get 3 during a match, we are both going to end with the same number of credits.
That’s definitely something worth criticizing. I don’t like it. I’d much rather EA and DICE find creative ways to reward players with relatively similar number of credits for playing in different ways. At the same time, death threats and even an absurd number of Reddit downvotes seem like an overreaction of an absurd magnitude.
Our Star Wars: Battlefront II review-in-progress will go up today. Dean Takahashi is still playing it right now at his home, but he’ll share his thoughts so far. You can, of course, also play it yourself if you subscribe to the EA Access or Origin Access programs on Xbox One and PC, respectively.