Star Wars Battlefront 2's 'Pay-To-Win' Complaints Are "Hard To Dodge," Says Dev

What do you think of Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot crates?

113 Comments
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Now Playing: GS News Update: Star Wars Battlefront 2's 'Pay-To-Win' Concerns Are "Hard To Dodge," Says Dev

Star Wars Battlefront II's open beta ended last week after giving players the chance to try out the game's new weapons, maps, and heroes. However, much of the discussion surrounding the game has focused on its microtransactions, loot crates, and Star Cards. Battlefront II will give away things like maps and character DLC for free, but it will use a loot box-style system for unlocking various upgrades, leading to some fans accusing the system of being 'pay-to-win.'

In an interview with GameSpot, EA said people's fears are "understandable," at the same time as calling the accusations "hard to dodge."

Offering his take on people's concerns, Chris Matthews (art director at EA Motive, the team behind Battlefront II's campaign) said: "Right now there have been games that exploit players and there have been games that have done it in better ways."

He continued: "DICE [developer of Battlefront II's multiplayer] has taken great care to make sure that Star Cards and the way they work give you more options in battle. Terms like pay-to-win and stuff like that are hard to dodge, but the guys are doing a really incredible job of trying to balance that system.

"[The response] is not annoying because we love the fans. We're gamers and we're trying to make something that's super-compelling that everybody's going to enjoy, but, you know, it's understandable."

Mitch Dyer, one of the campaign's writers, went on to say DICE is listening to players' feedback. "The beta existed for things like this," he said. "To look at things like, how are people responding to the balance and the maps and how everything flows? What are people enjoying or not enjoying? What's working? What's not working? We'll take all of that from the beta and start pumping it back into the game to improve it because Battlefront II is a game that exists because of feedback from fans. Couch co-op, a single-player campaign... these elements exist because people wanted them, which I think, to DICE's credit, shows that they are listening and they do listen to feedback."

When asked if they can envisage a version of the game where the loot crate system is removed, Matthews was non-commmital, stating, "We're not really in a great position to talk about that" and, "The guys at DICE would give you a great answer."

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Following the conclusion of the open beta last week, DICE published a blog post addressing some of the microtransaction-related concerns: "The complete system was not in the beta and will continue to be tuned over time," it said.

"As a balance goal, we're working towards having the most powerful items in the game only earnable via in-game achievements," the developer explained. Crates are obtained by completing challenges "and other gameplay milestones" or by purchasing them--either with credits earned in-game or real-world money. Inside crates, you'll find Star Cards, emotes, victory poses, and outfits; any duplicate Star Cards you receive are turned into crafting parts that can be put toward other Star Cards of your choosing.

Star Cards impact gameplay and, because of this, have become a major concern for players. But DICE claims there is more to becoming powerful than simply buying a crate and getting a good Star Card. "You have to earn the right to be able to upgrade Star Cards and unlock most weapons," it said. "You can only upgrade or unlock them if you have reached a high enough rank, which is determined by playing the game."

Battlefront II releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 17. Whether we'll see any changes to the proposed crates system between now and then remains to be seen. In other news about the shooter, EA has refused to rule out a Nintendo Switch port of Battlefront II. For more on the upcoming game, check out our impressions of Battlefront II's single-player campaign.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

I don't mind transactions and loot boxes, I rarely use them, but not when they make the game unbalanced.

Avatar image for Karjah
Karjah

Bullshit. No one is forcing you to use loot boxes. Unless you know EA did. At which point just tell us that and dissolve to start over without being under their thumb.

But that would take balls and would be something an actual gamer who believes in the art form would do.

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@Karjah: it depends on what the upgrades do exactly and what are these XTRA options in battle DICE is stating..because if a weapon can be upgraded to give an ADVANTAGE (could be something as simple as 5% faster reload times). Then if you pit a person with the same skill level against someone else with a similar skill level, yet lose every time because of an advantageous upgrade. Then you ALSO need that upgrade to compete. Forcing you to be concerned with the loot crates. Take call of duty for example without the upgrades, the player is most definitely at a massive disadvantage, if you dont use the correct perks. So it depends in what these upgrades do exactly.

Avatar image for stuff238
stuff238

“You can only upgrade or unlock them if you have reached a high enough rank, which is determined by playing the game." -EA

So I can still buy a million loot crates and have all the mega weapons ready when I reach X level vs someone that doesn’t spend a dime at X level?

Cool. That sounds like Pay-To-Win to me.

Avatar image for alaannn
alaannn

im going to wait for a price drop the single player might be good

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

I will NEVER support this type of garbage. Do not buy or support.

Avatar image for b00me
B00ME

Anytime I start hearing the words "cautious", "understandable", and "we're taking great care" from developers my BS alarms go off. Just a bunch of nonsense telling us what we want to hear when really nothing has changed.

Avatar image for infiniin
infiniin

I cancelled my pre-order aswell, oh wait... I never pre-ordered this garbage, thanks to first Battlefront.

Avatar image for nomadie
nomadie

This is why you don't copy the same shit that made For Honor loose 95% of their player base... I mean really look at other games.

Avatar image for beantownsean
BeantownSean

The running theme for a number of years now has been...most AAA titles are not worth purchasing at launch.

- Broken/Buggy at launch with massive Day 1 Downloads (AC:Unity)

- Numerous & Aggressively marketed DLC bundles (Evolve)

- Broken online at launch (Halo: MCC/Driveclub)

- Features missing entirely from game (NMS)

- Microtransactions in full price games (Overwatch, Shawdow of War, SW: BF2)

Where is the incentive to buy any of these at launch...or at all. I can hardly fault the uneducated who just grab these games off the store shelf.

Those of you who frequent gaming sites should know the score...on all points.

Avatar image for nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@beantownsean: I've held off on heaps of games these days till a STEAM sale, because of either broken games or waiting for an ALL IN ONE package to get released.

Avatar image for captnlongdong
CaptnLongDong

Regardless of how good it is I'll get is used. As bad as it sounds, I'd rather give gamestop money than give it to EA, and that is a damn hard decision.

Avatar image for registeredpunk
registeredpunk

Kuinguin, G2A, you know the drill. These greedy companies don't deserve veteran players money, they get billions from 12 years old anyway.

Avatar image for mattcake
mattcake

It's so depressing because the game looks so beautiful and so authentic Star Wars-y that it just hammers home the huge lack of a proper single player Star Wars game like the old Jedi Knights or something similar. I'm sure the "campaign" in BF2 will be utter tripe.

Avatar image for NaturallyEvil
NaturallyEvil

@mattcake: That was hammered home years ago. They are now at the point where they are literally firing developers for trying to make that kind of game.

Avatar image for Subaru1980
Subaru1980

Another good reason for me to focus on single-player titles and pick up Wolfenstein and NOT Star Wars BF.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

Just sounds like the battlepack system in Battlefield only with a few tweaks, I enjoyed the beta and don't see the crates being an issue .. I wont be purchasing any that's for sure !

Avatar image for rikku45
rikku45

Hard to dodge my ass.

Avatar image for xnshd
xNSHD

easy to dodge remove the crates.

Avatar image for khanwashere
KhanWasHere

If I pay $1000, do I win? Will I beat the boss, see the end credits roll and earn an achievement?

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@khanwashere: No .. you'll get beat in MP and cry because money couldn't buy you skill !

Avatar image for skippert
skippert

@ltjohnnyrico: You dont need skill anyway. Your receive the same rewards for achieving less as the rest. Something about giving medals to everyone instead of only the winner. Only two factors remain - how much time are you willing to sacrifice and / or how much money are you willing to pump into the game.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@skippert: I am a pretty skilled MP shooter Gamer to be fair .. its about the only thing in life I can do ! I will put the time in but no extra $'s

Avatar image for PETERAKO
PETERAKO

@khanwashere: with that money you'll make a lot of people rage quit

Avatar image for doctorhino
doctorhino

Bet you anything ultimate team earning stats include the expanded editions and the higher price for those. Cause they only give you ultimate team perks for buying the more expensive editions.

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

"pay to win are hard to dodge"

meaning that the game will be a pay to win model. Good to know, cancelled my pre-order.

If this was a free to play game, then I would understand, but its not.

Moderator
Avatar image for infiniin
infiniin

@freedom01: EA tried to milk with BF4-recent lootboxes, I wonder how much ppl were tricked into buying atleast one.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@freedom01: Probably should read the article and not just the title !

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

@ltjohnnyrico: I read it, I know they said that better cards are locked behind achievements, but it still doesn't change that they are putting a pay-to-win move on it

Moderator
Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@freedom01: Its not pay to win, I will win without paying any extra, got a great squad I always play with who are really skilled !

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

@ltjohnnyrico: Thats great if you have a great squad, but its still pay to win if those Star Cards impact gameplay. You may have a great squad, but that is not the same for everyone. It still gives a greater advantage for those that pay for those loot crates.

Moderator
Avatar image for ort9404
ort9404

@freedom01: good to know you read the whole thing....

Avatar image for freedom01
freedom01

@ort9404: good to know you know I read the whole thing

Moderator
Avatar image for martintule24
martintule24

I'm boycotting this game in the beginning, but will buy it when they have the ultimate edition for $10 because of the campaign. $5 if it was multiplayer only.

Avatar image for ort9404
ort9404

@martintule24: or maybe...just maybe, you could wait for reviews before boycotting.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

@ort9404: Why wait for reviews ... male up your own mind ! .. I played the beta and enjoyed it .. I enjoyed Battlefront .. I will get the Game and no doubt will enjoy it !

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ort9404: Even if it's 10/10 quality EA does not deserve your money for this scamorama. Waiting until it hits the bargain bin is the right choice. Especially because that version will have all the season pass garbage baked into it for the same price.

Avatar image for ort9404
ort9404

@Thanatos2k: well there is no season pass, all DLC are free. And if the game turns out to be 10/10 it's because they manage to balance the system in away that avoids pay to win situations. So why the hell would i complain if that happens.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@ort9404: That's a crock. Game journos refuse to dock points for scummy microtransaction systems. Look at Shadow of War.

Avatar image for Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

"Right now there have been games that exploit players and there have been games that have done it in better ways."

I truly dont even understand the purpose of statements like this. Which category does yours fall under bud, a game that exploits players or a game that exploits players "better?"

What happened to loading up a shooter and not having to worry about loadouts, loot-crates and having unlocked "the most powerful weapons?"

I totally get the backlash and I love the way that EA douche kept passing the buck to DICE. No one's buying that man.