The big news last week was that EA, facing customer backlash, decided to make the fateful decision to temporarily remove microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2. And while people celebrated the victory, there were plenty of voices in the crowd that advocated caution: after all, EA made it clear that the microtransactions would return, and thus, it would be better to make an example of the game by refusing to buy it at all and force EA to take the loss.
How successful that effort was has been debatable: physical sales are down 60 percent compared to the first game, but it still got second in the top 10 games sold that week, and it was #1 in terms of actual revenue in the UK. So on that front, I suppose the fans weren’t as victorious.
But that might not be the only ‘victory’ being stolen from the fans. According to Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz (Via Game Informer), EA’s decision to remove microtransactions from the game had far less to do with fan outrage and more with anger from the folks at Disney. It seems that not long before EA made the decision to remove the microtransactions, Disney sent them a letter which stated the company had taken issue with the fact that their cherished Star Wars IP was in the middle of a controversy, particularly since it involved gambling. And for however nice it was to think that it was fan outcry that ultimately caused EA to back down, the rage of a thousand angry fans doesn’t even begin to compare to the power Disney wields with a single raised eyebrow.
...And that’s not all. In a recently leaked statement to EA’s investors, it was revealed EA believes that "This change is not expected to have a material impact on EA’s fiscal year 2018 financial guidance." So basically, they’re telling their investors that the anger from the fans meant nothing to them.
So there you have it. Our “victory” over EA has been soured. I guess next time we’ll have to scream even louder, or, you know, not buy the damn game we’re all so mad about.
There’s a novel idea, right?