EA CFO Blake Jorgensen discussed Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s approach to microtransactions, saying that players “probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink” and underestimating just how much we want exactly that.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today, Jorgensen addressed the elephant in the loot box by talking about Battlefront 2‘s microtransactions, and how EA DICE didn’t want to “violate the canon” of Star Wars by filling it with cosmetics.
“The one thing we’re very focused on and they’re extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars,” Jorgensen said (via GamesIndustry.biz). “It’s an amazing brand that’s been built over many, many years. So if you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon. Darth Vader in white probably doesn’t make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don’t think that’s right in the canon.”
While I am both a staunch Star Wars fan and very much a proponent of a hot pink Darth Vader, EA convincing LucasArts to give them free rein over altering the look of Star Wars would inevitably be a difficult task, though certainly not an excuse for the regrettable state Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been left in as a result of its pernicious microtransactions. There are certainly cosmetic options out there outside of turning Vader’s helmet pink, from different designs for Imperial and Rebel soldiers through to alternative costumes for its heroes and villains, but EA instead opted to allow players to make themselves stronger by way of investing in loot boxes.
Jorgensen noted that EA are “not giving up on the notion of [microtransactions],” but that he’s working on “changing our strategy” to make EA’s other games feature microtransactions more in line with their sports titles, such as FIFA’s Ultimate Team and its purchasable player packs. “The reality is there are different types of players in games,” he said. “Some people have more time than money, and some people have more money than time. You want to always balance those two.”
While this sounds like EA is still in the the market of allowing players to purchase microtransactions that will allow them to get the jump on other players, it seems highly unlikely that the publisher won’t have learned from the mistakes made with Star Wars Battlefront 2, considering the headache it caused them. With that being said, I’m personally throwing my hat into the ring and saying that I really wouldn’t mind a pink Darth Vader marching his way into Battlefront 2, especially if he helped replace the awful Star Card progression system currently afflicting the game.