EA have been renowned throughout the gaming industry for their astonishing history of games released over their 34 years of creating and publishing games.
You will have come across them from their highly-demanded, gaming series such as FIFA, Battlefield, and The Sims.
More recently, they have raised many questions regarding their pricing strategies of their products.
One thing you learn very quickly is that you can rarely buy a full game from EA; all their games come with a variety of expensive microtransactions and DLCs.
And by now, you’ll have heard about all the kerfuffle about EA and Star Wars Battlefront II – it’s pretty hard to ignore the angry cries of millions of Battlefront fans.
But what truly is the source of the problem?
Players have had enough of paying extortionate prices.
This is certainly not a new problem for us gaming fanatics.
Gaming companies have been finding new ways to make your games cost a fortune and today, these add ons come in all shapes and sizes.
And EA have reached a peak in testing how far it can charge its fans.
For Battlefront II, in order to unlock all the game has to offer, you’d have to pay $2,100 on top of the $59.99 you paid for the game.
That’s almost 3 months rent in London: one of the most expensive places to live in the world!
Alternatively, you can play for 4,528 hours in order to unlock everything. That’s about 27 weeks of gameplay.
Of course, it is ridiculous to be asking this of fans and it comes as no surprise that EA received a lot of backlash because of this.
Reddit Took Over the Internet.
Reddit was one of the main social media platforms to bring this problem to light.
One redditor, u/MMBMaverick complained how they had paid $80 for the game but still didn’t have Darth Vader unlocked.
The redditor said “This is a joke. I’ll be contacting EA support for a refund… I can’t even playing f***ing Darth Vader?!?!? Disgusting. This age of “micro-transactions” has gone WAY too far. Leave it to EA though to stretch the boundaries.”
And EA’s response has made history:
Not only did Reddit humiliate EA with the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, they were also the ones to force EA to reconsider their money making scheme.
In response, EA removed microtransactions just before the release of the game. However, EA later announced they would bring them back in the future – I don’t think they quite understood the issue.
Reddit also raised the valuable point that the purchase of loot boxes in video games is gambling.
Belgian Gaming Commission started an investigation on whether Battlefront 2 is violating gambling laws:
Mixing gambling and gaming, especially at a young age, is dangerous for the mental health of the child.
Koen Geens, Belgian Minister of Justice.
As well as this, Chris Lee, a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives, called Star Wars: Battlefront II “an online casino designed to trap little kids” and wants to ban these microtransactions in Hawaii.
Due to all of this hoo-ha, Star Wars Battlefront 2 was one of the only games to remain fully stocked after the black friday sales:
Call of Duty: WWII has sold 4 times as many copies in the US than Battlefront 2. While COD does have microtransactions, they certainly don’t cost an arm and a leg and aren’t necessary to enjoy the full game.
EA lost $3 billion in stock value between the launch of Battlefront II and the end of November.
This is not the first time EA has received Criticism
EA has released many games that require paying a lot more money in order to enjoy the full game.
Sims 4 is a classic example of this.
Basically, to allow your sim to do anything interesting, you’ll have to pay for another expansion pack.
If you want a pet, there’s the Cats and Dogs expansion pack. If you want a good job, there’s the Get to Work expansion pack and so on. Each add on can be costing a similar price to a whole game!
I’m surprised this didn’t create a bigger uproar amongst fans.
Another EA title to receive a negative response for microtransactions is Dead Space 3.
This was another game where players are charged to obtain additional resources though the weapon crafting system.
Players were confused as to why they had to pay more money to unlock items even though they had already spent $60 on the full game!
EA has also been called out for bad practices.
The Consumerist gave EA the title of “Worst Company in America” for 2012 and 2013 – the only company to have the title for two consecutive years. They were also given the Golden Poo trophy.
There is a long list of reasons as to why they won this award including the microtransactions in Dead Space 3, Poor customer service, and EA’s tendency to absorb smaller companies and then ruin their game.
Not only do they treat fans poorly, they have been sued by their own workers!
In 2004, workers commented: “The current mandatory hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.—seven days a week—with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behavior (at 6:30 PM).”
Fortunately, they won their lawsuit and were compensated for all the over time they had worked.
Star Wars Battlefront II Looks Absolutely Phenomenal
It truly is a shame that all of this has happened and EA has made it impossible to play this game because Star Wars Battlefront II looks brilliant.
The graphics are revolutionary offering one of the most immersive experiences; any Star Wars nerd could lose hours in this game.
You can explore popular locations with heros and villains from all eras through the use of many intergalactic vehicles.
There are also a number of game modes to truly make you feel like a part of the films.
And unlike many games that follow movies, the campaign allows you to follow the path of an imperial soldier working for the Empire to try and restore order to the galaxy.
Rather than being forced with the side of the “good guys”, you can also experience stories from the “bad guys” too!
Should You Buy the Game?
Not purchasing the game will finally be giving EA the kick up the butt that they’ve needed for a while. Finally they’ll start to rethink the way they charge their fans.
This is a shame however for the developers as it is obvious that they have put a lot of effort into their game to make an innovative, unique experience for gamers.
My verdict? Wait a while until EA has realised its errors and then find a cheap “Game of the year” copy to enjoy the talent of DICE.