EA ditches microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II

EA is pulling in-game payments from the Star Wars game on the eve of its launch, but they'll be back (and in greater numbers?).

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It's as if EA heard a million voices cry out in terror -- and it's not staying silent.

Electronic Arts has announced it is turning off all in-game purchases on Star Wars Battlefront II, on the eve of the game's worldwide launch, after a massive outcry from fans.

The company confirmed the news in a blog post late on Thursday, admitting that the microtransactions it built into the first person shooter were "overshadowing an otherwise great game."

The game, which is due to launch globally on Friday, was made available to fans early through EA's subscription service, EA Access. But early players soon discovered unlocking top hero characters like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader could take up to 40 hours, unless players paid-to-play.

When the news hit Reddit, the furore grew.

The game's developer EA DICE responded by announcing it would reduce the number of credits needed to unlock the top characters by 75 percent. Now, it's gone further.

In a statement, EA DICE said.

It's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We've heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we've heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right.

But while microtransactions are gone for the launch, they're not gone for good. EA said it will spend time "listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning" once the game is launched, but in-game payments will be back.

"The option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay," the EA blog post continued. "The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we've made changes to the game. We'll share more details as we work through this."

In-game payments are not new. Often used as a way for players to pay for cosmetic elements like new character skins, some players argue they can help developers to keep improving the core game over time. But when payments become a major impediment to gameplay, or a game becomes virtually unplayable without forking out cash, gamers are quick to speak up.

The only question that remains is whether fans will be placated enough when microtransactions return.

EA has been contacted for comment.

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