Star Wars Battlefront 2 Has a Microtransaction Problem

Microtransactions are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean we must be happy about it.

Star Wars Battlefront 2, from what I have played of the Beta, isn’t a bad game. It has its upsides and there is fun to be had in it. That said, if microtransactions work the same way on release that they do in the Beta, then the game has a serious issue.

The sad truth is, the microtransaction in gaming is here to stay. An unfortunate offshoot of DLC culture, I made my peace with what I deemed was acceptable a long time ago. Cosmetics only, they should never offer one player an advantage over another, and single player content should never be gated away behind them. The industry has broken all those rules a long time ago, and microtransactions are becoming more and more prominent in all kinds of games. Even single player games will now expect you to pony up more cash for things that should just be unlockable by playing the game.

The reason I have such an issue with the microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2 is because of how much impact they have on multiplayer. Abilities and upgrades for classes that give you an advantage over other players can all be purchased in the game. Yes, you can earn in game currency to unlock crates, but the fact that you can just lay down money for them is the worry. Why play and grind to unlock things when I can buy the game, install it, pay cash and then just be more powerful that everyone who doesn’t do that?

A special currency for upgrading cards is also found in the crates, so by spending cash I get access to that currency far more often than people who don’t. This once again gives me a leg up on other players who are unwilling or unable to spend the extra money. And it also begs the question, why should you have to?

Microtransactions and Grind

DICE games have, for a long time now, included systems of unlocking weapons, gear, and benefits by playing the game. It has been a contentious issue for some members of the community, and it feels like an extremely poor move to monetise a desire to not have to deal with such systems and restrictions. There is also an unfortunate connection between how many cards you have impacting how many cards you can use, so once again people who are willing to pay gain yet another advantage over those who are not.

What it boils down to a is a random progression system that locks away player options, abilities, and power that can be navigated around by paying cash. This is the very essence of the concept of pay to win. What largely appears to be happening here is a bait and switch by publisher EA. A big deal was made about Battlefront 2 having no Season Pass, and that DLC maps and characters would be free. Instead they have simply placed an actual pay to win system within the game. The reasoning behind free maps and characters was to stop splintering the community, but Battlefront 2’s microtransactions system clearly divides the community between the haves and the have-nots.

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Either be willing to pay more for access to things that should be yours already, or prepare to grind in game against players who are. Frankly, if this is the future direction of gaming, and if the people who actually hand over the money to play these games are willing to accept blatant pay-to-win practices in their, already pay to play, products then it’s not a future I am happy with, or comfortable with.

AngryJoe actually has a nice Angry Rant about the subject, you can watch the video below if you are interested.

Battlefront 2’s mechanic by which players can not only pay to skip the grind, but also to gain an advantage over other players needs to be met with anger by gamers. This is not a good direction for multiplayer gaming, and if you sit on your hands now, you will regret it later.
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Star Wars: Battlefront II
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