Another day, another major publishing company is once again trying to gouge money from a fan base it doesn’t care about in a greedy attempt to maximize profits that they don’t need. Otherwise known as, BEING AN ASSHOLE.
It’s just the same old story, every single time, and I’m getting tired of it.
It doesn’t matter which publisher it is either. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, blah, blah, blah. They all just want to squeeze out these half-assed games, that they promise will be life-changing, and it’s all just a ploy to find new ways to screw us, the gamer.
I’m used to shelling out for DLCs and some additional content with AAA game releases at this point. They’ve finally brain washed me into “Aw, &^*$ it” mode, which is the exact place they want us all to be. These big publishers, like EA, just want us to be to the point where we don’t care about paying the extra money anymore. They want us to just willingly, even if begrudgingly, hand over more of our hard earned cash for “extras” (that they intentionally leave out) because they know we’re suckers.
The issues with Battlefront 2 go above and beyond the norm, though. The difference between the usual publisher scam and this one with EA is the heavy handedness of it all. They thought they could get away with the most egregious microtransanction power move made by any company to date and in a way they will. While every other company is getting bitched at for their pay to win model of loot boxes in single player games, i.e. WB Games (Shadow of War) and Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed: Origins), or their pay to win matchmaking patents (yea, I’m looking at you Activision), EA just decided to say screw this baby steps, ease them into it bullshit, let’s go all out.
So they went all out with Battlefront 2.
They finally decided to go the route I’ve been trying to warn people about for years and adopt the “free 2 play” (F2P) method of a “Freemium” microtransaction model. The two main hiccups? The game isn’t fucking free and it’s mostly a competitive multiplayer game.
Let’s start with the “not free” complaint first. EA decided they wanted to make us all pay the full retail price of $60+ for a game that has as much content at launch as F2P titles like Path of Exile or Neverwinter? I’m calling MAJOR BULLSHIT on this one, thankfully so is everyone else. But hey, we can all just dive into the game and unlock everything naturally right? Well, yes, but how much time do you have? Probably not the 40 hours it was going to take to unlock just ONE HERO.
Then, today, they have the audacity to go on Reddit and try to tell their fan base to “calm down” and explain it away as something that was meant to be for the good of the gamers.
What pride is there in grinding for one hero while constantly getting mauled by the suckers who actually spent the money to buy the characters. There’s not pride there, only frustration. How can they honestly look us in our metaphorical eyes and try to tell us that these decisions were made with us in mind and not the greedy pursuit of even bigger pocketbooks.
But who are we to question EA’s motives? We’re all just a bunch of petulant, arm-chair developers after all, right EA Community Manager Mat Everett?
What reason do we have to complain about yet another overtly greedy decision of one of the greediest game publishers out there? Why should we be angry that they would release a game at full price and hide all of the best content behind extremely difficult to achieve progression levels and easy to pay for microtransactions? We should all be kneeling at the feet of EA for allowing us the opportunity to better ourselves as gamers, and people in general, by achieving such great levels of pride and accomplishment.
Sarcasm? Me? No, never. I swear there’s no salt or sarcasm here. NOTHING TO SEE FOLKS.
So what does EA do in response to getting the MOST DOWNVOTED Reddit comment of ALL-TIME? Well, in their benevolence they decided to reduce the cost of heroes by 75%… wait, what happened to all of that pride and accomplishment talk EA?
But here’s the problem, the cost of heroes vs. progression rates was only a smaller portion to a much bigger issue. Which finally brings me to issue number two, using a pay to win model that substantially affects multiplayer gameplay performance.
If you think about it, EA has been doing this for quite a while in the Fifa and Madden franchises in the form of the Ultimate Team game mode. You acquire card packs, those packs give you better players, and you use those players to compete against other people. Here’s the deal though, that’s only one of multiple different multiplayer game modes in each of those games. The people who play in those choose to do so, knowing that they could be at a major disadvantage against others who were willing to pay for better cards.
In Battlefront 2 there is no escaping those who would rather pay for crates than earn them through a natural progression. If you don’t like being underpowered compared to people with no “sense of pride” and bigger wallets, then you can either pay to keep up or don’t pay and shut up.
I get that they removed the higher rarity star cards from the loot crates, but it isn’t stopping people from using the leftovers to craft epic and legendary cards. If nothing else, it gives players a major edge immediately from the get go and the only way to really compete is by also buying crystals to acquire more crates.
Personally, I’m fine with most of the single player pay to win loot crates. I won’t buy any because I love the idea of beating a game on my own without any extra boosts. But I’m not going to knock people who throw a little extra money at the game because they like feeling overpowered, or just don’t have enough time to devote to a game and they want a fun experience. I can sympathize with that, even if I myself won’t do it. It’s their personal choice.
However, if the game itself is set up to affect my playing experience to try to manipualte me into shelling out extra dough, where other players are stronger and have an edge on me not because of skill, but because they paid for it, I’m not on board. It’s a bullshit way to squeeze every penny out of the people that support this company and they don’t give a shit at the end of the day.
All of these publishers, EA, Activision, Ubisoft, etc, don’t give a shit about us. They don’t really care about our gaming experience. They don’t really care about making a game for the gamer, they only care about making a hit game that will bring them as much money in as many ways as humanly possible. (*cough* Destiny 2)
This era of video gaming that we’re in is such a sham. This greed and manipulation will come to head at some point and I can’t wait. It does a disservice to developers and to the gaming community as a whole. There are some truly great developers out there and they get such a bad rap because of decisions that are ultimately made by the publishers. It’s why I have such a hard time boycotting games, because I know in the end I’m not really hurting EA or their evil counterparts, I’m hurting the developers making the games. How many games could have been better, but the “Devs” were bullied into changing them, removing content, etc. How many good developers are hamstrung by greed and leash pulling?
Can you imagine Destiny if Activision had allowed it to release with the original vision?
It makes me sick to think about all of the games coming out in the near future that I should be excited about, but all I can wonder is “how are they gonna try to screw us this time?” Anthem, Farcry 5, and Red Dead Redemption 2 are all titles I would have been over the moon excited for five to six years ago, but today… meh.
I have that little faith in these publishing companies now. They take great games and turn them into absolute crap.
It is worth mentioning that EA and Dice do intend on making all future DLCs for Battlefront 2 completely free. so maybe the microtransactions are a way to offset the loss of potential revenue from the DLCs. But to me, the ability to have people coming back over and over again to buy crystals is worth putting out a few half-hearted DLCs for free to the masses. A little good press to go with sheisty business practices always seems to pay off in the end.
Until we decide to stop buying their crap, publishers are just going to keep feeding it to us. The sad thing is, we’ll just keep on eating it and it’s only going to get worse from here.