Over the weekend, outrage sparked on Reddit over Star Wars Battlefront II, the latest game of the franchise to be released by Electronic Arts (EA). Users found out that characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker need to be unlocked, and EA’s PR team was so underwhelming that it became the most hated comment on Reddit.
EA has long been considered one of the worst companies in the video game industry, and that sentiment has only heightened in recent times. Their titles tend to be priced above the standard and push gameplay mechanics like microtransactions, loot crates, and unnecessary fragmentation of complete games.
The conflict has garnered enough attention to make headlines in web portals and print publications on Monday, and it seems like the gaming community is planning a full-blown boycott of the game and the company in light of these events.
EA's response to their content locking in /r/StarWarsBattlefront is now the most downvoted comment in reddit history. pic.twitter.com/uYpOV8ngVq
— PC MASTER RACE (@OfficialPCMR) November 13, 2017
What’s happening with EA and Battlefront II?
EA is set to release Star Wars Battlefront II this Friday, November 17. For some time now, the game has been available in beta, but only recently some players gained access to what the company calls a Play First Trial.
During this early access event, players got to experience what the completed title would actually be like upon launch. As it turns out, the game required people to unlock iconic Star Wars characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker with in-game currency that would take up to 40 hours to obtain.
Furthermore, Battlefront II is yet another title that uses loot crates as a gameplay mechanic to obtain items and upgrades, thus making it much harder to actually progress and obtain the desired characters since players would also spend game money on what are basically lottery boxes.
On Sunday, a Reddit user by the name of u/MBMMaverick published a post in which he lashed at EA for having Darth Vader locked from the start after paying $80 to play the game early. “The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” was EA’s official response.
EA responds and Reddit prepares to go to war
As of this writing, EA’s comment on that thread has almost 500,000 downvotes, making it the most negatively rated post or comment on Reddit of all time. To put that in perspective, the second most downvoted comment has only 24,000 downvotes.
The developers have heard loud and clear, albeit a bit late, but they have published an official blog post announcing that the credit limit to unlock Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa would decrease by 75%. Other characters will also be playable much earlier thanks to the lowered bar.
Furthermore, EA announced they will be holding an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Wednesday with the community on their official subreddit. The decision might be mostly a PR move, but it might also have to do with the alleged death threats one of their developers said he received on Twitter.
There might be good intentions behind the public forum, but users are tired enough to call for an official boycott of the company on Reddit, with one post reaching the top of the front page on Monday with over 100k upvotes.
Some suggested the most effective way to make EA listen is to involve the parent company of the Star Wars franchise, Disney. The game, after all, is aimed at children and some of the mechanics it implements to make players spend more money to gain the advantage over others could be considered gambling.