Battlefront 2 once featured an Overwatch-style mode with cosmetic loot boxes

star wars battlefront 2 microtransactions change

Update, November 17: DICE at one point planned to include a hero shooter-like mode in Battlefront II, supported by cosmetic microtransactions.

Another interesting detail has come to light in the wake of all the controversy surround Battlefront II’s loot boxes. Apparently, there was initially set to be a far more cosmetic set of loot box rewards as part of an Overwatch-style mode, but this was nixed by the Star Wars brandmasters.

Now that you might actually be able to get your hands on some of them, check out our Star Wars Battlefront 2 heroes guide.

Anonymous sources close to Battlefront II tell VentureBeat that DICE had begun work on an Overwatch-like mode, focused on cooperative action with a big emphasis on team composition. It also would’ve shared Overwatch’s business model, featuring loot boxes filled with cosmetic items like hero skins - a far less controversial form of microtransactions than Battlefront II’s stat-affecting rewards.

This mode was dropped in part due to a request from Lucasfilm, who now serve as Disney’s Star Wars overseers. Exactly why the mode was cut is unclear, and we don’t know if these cosmetics would’ve replaced the current Star Card options or existed in addition to them.

Update, November 17: The decision to turn off Star Wars Battlefront II's microtransactions happened after a conversation between EA and Disney's chief executive.

According to sources from VentureBeat, earlier today, a phone conversation took place between EA CEO Andrew Wilson and The Walt Disney Company's chief executive, Bob Iger.

A few hours later, players found that they were unable to buy Battlefront II's premium currency, crystals. EA and DICE have since announced that they're "turning off all in-game purchases."

Original story, November 16: EA have removed microtransaction purchases from Battlefront II. They say they are continuing to tune the progression system, and will restore purchases of the crystal currency to the game at a later date.

"As we approach the worldwide launch," says DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson in an official statement, "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."

Rumors began swirling this evening about EA making a massive change to Star Wars Battlefront II’s progression amid a week of widespread criticism. That criticism involved the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, mainstream attention from outlets such as CNN, and investigations from European governmental organizations.

Ahead of the game’s wide release - players had been in the game early through Origin and EA Access trials, as well as Deluxe Edition released on Tuesday - microtransactions purchase options for Battlefront II disappeared from console storefronts and Origin. It seems this was leading up to a change from EA today.

This comes after one round of changes for Battlefront II, which saw the cost of heroes in-game drastically reduced by 75%. That change cut down on the largest part of players’ time investment, but failed to address the issues at the core of the game’s progression and its reliance on loot boxes.

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QDP2 avatarBraneman avatar*sigh* avatarWhiteCrow avatarSkankwOn avatarMalentor avatar+2
*sigh* Avatar
272
1 Month ago

Guess they finally heard the million voices crying out in terror.

3
Malentor Avatar
32
1 Month ago

"Please buy our game at launch, the only time it really matters, and we totally won't turn the crank back up on the microtransactions once you've passed the date of no refund".

Nah, I'll pass.

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SkankwOn Avatar
118
1 Month ago

You know the worst part for me personally - Trying to explain to my ten-year-old son why I won't buy SWBF2!

EA and Blizzard are now being investigated in Belgium as to why 12-rated games have gambling in them, BBC news are picking up on this shit and still EA insist that loot boxes aren't a form of gambling

1
darkfyra Avatar
4
1 Month ago

Buy KOTOR 1 and 2 on Steam or iPad,will do the same job

1
QDP2 Avatar
886
1 Month ago

Probably the best move they could have made right now. Gonna cost them hard, but a strong show they'll put the gamer first.

Awesome to see they'll vacuum the room, take away the air to put out the fire; and that'll work whilst they're still living off game sales profits. Damage is dealt already with the bad publicity, but this should help a bit.

Question is what comes next. Since they're not selling DLC, the packs need to come back at some point, and fairly hard. My first guess would be a re-release of boxes at cheaper prices, to then over the following months decrease the % drop rates of mid-high tear cards. That would avoid the bad publicity (stats would check and find all is fine) but over time drive up sales again, keeping the game profitable.

On the other side of this depressing coin, all games development companies will have taken note of this. EAs grand attempt to replace DLC charges with micro-transactions didn't work, so DLCs and Expansion passes are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

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Braneman Avatar
70
1 Month ago

They aren't putting the gamer first. If they were putting the gamer first they wouldn't have to try and put out this dumpster fire in the first place.

8
WhiteCrow Avatar
438
1 Month ago

Exactly. They're quite literally putting the Gamer last in this scenario. They've been pushing it more and more each year, discovering just how much they can get away with. Well now they know, and I hope they pay dearly for it.

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QDP2 Avatar
886
1 Month ago

I'm not trying to defend the decision to put statistical buffs behind micro-transactions. They made BF2 the literal definition of pay-to-win (the main reason I haven't considered buying the game).

The decision to drop loot box sales (and income) to repair the community backlash though? I'll give credit where it's due. This was the best scenario possible for gamers at the moment. This is the end of my complements for EA though, and the beginning of my skepticism.

If you read my original comment you'll notice I still think they'll put themselves first in the long run, but they won't be as blatant as they were on release.

The entire idea of loot boxes over DLC is a good way for them to earn more money. More people will start to invest if the first barrier is lower (1, 5, I assume 10 loot boxes are still cheaper than an average DLC these days). The lower the price and the greater the reward, the more likely people return and pay more. Addicted investors will keep buying the loot boxes till they have everything (far more income than DLCs) whilst those that previously didn't want to invest £40+ on Expansion Passes will now be tricked into spending more slowly through £2-£10 packages.

Statistically speaking its a flat-out win for EA. It would have been a win for customers too, if only they hadn't imbalanced the game to give payers a literal advantage. Give them skins, or let them unlock kit faster. But don't allow their rockets to shoot further, to come off cool-down faster, or deal more damage. By giving abilities 'levels' to progress through forces people who dont want to invest to either specify into 1 roll or to be at a disadvantage to others. The ideal way to remove satisfying competition from the game.

We can hope customer complaints continue to the point that they re-balance to remove the stronger P2W aspects, but odds are against it. Either they find a way to earn their money, or costs will be cut with DLCs being shortened/rushed out the doors.

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Braneman Avatar
70
1 Month ago

Somebody calculated that to get everything you would have to spend thousands of hours or 2100$. How is that a better deal than 50$ for last year's season pass?

1
RavenHawk Avatar
177
1 Month ago

It's a PR stunt to put out the fires. It's meant to make them look like the good guys.

"Microtransactions are easily startled. But they'll soon be back. And in greater numbers." - Obi-Loot KenoBox.

Best thing for gamers to do is to remember EA's original intent, hold firm, and not buy this game. And if you must buy it, wait until a sale and/or this quarter of EA's fiscal year is over.

EDIT: This isn't a dig at you. I agree with a lot of what you have said. Lootboxes could have been a great alternative source of income in exchange for free maps and other game content. They just went about it in the worst possible way. And a lot of gamers will see this announcement and think "hey, they listened to us! I can now buy this game". Forgive and forget. And then get angry because the same thing will happen with more games down the line because EA got away with it here.

Personally, I don't think the players were even considered when they made the move to temporarily disable crystal purchases. It was more of a last resort to extinguish the flames of this massive PR disaster and it was a happy accident for players that they were affected by it.

1
*sigh* Avatar
272
1 Month ago

Although valve are the instigators of the whole loot crate thing. TF2 is a test bed.

They gave up when the community grumbled about having a 4 piece set for one class, that gave a 20% reduction against one another class.

If you want to pay for cosmetics fine, I want a lime green storm trooper, with some red stripey face mask thing.

Bonus game play values. nope.

Dress your storm trooper up as much as you like. Lime green, hot pink.

Its a giant shell game, except if you lose, you get a shilling.

1