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EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II

Eurogamer.net notes that Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen commented further on the microtransaction controversy in Star Wars Battlefront II during yesterday's Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. This situation has provoked so many negative stories (as recently as yesterday) that it's hard to believe the action game sequel came out under two weeks ago. Though the company suspended microtransactions based on the pay-to-win outrage from many fronts (possibly including IP owner Disney itself), Jorgensen says they are still hoping to add them back into the game. They quote him as saying "We're not giving up on the notion of MTX [microtransactions]," because they are looking at "layering in another economic model to try and make up for some of the economics you lose" by not selling DLC. They offer more of his statements on the controversy:

"We're really watching how people are playing the game. We're trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We're learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future."

How did EA fail to see the loot box problem coming? "We did some testing around the MTX model but not enough to really understand some of the reactions we ultimately got," Jorgensen said. There were bigger concerns at the time such as the beta working with millions of people playing.

"We pulled-off on the MTX because the real issue the consumer had was they felt it was a pay-to-win mechanic," he added. "The reality is: there's different types of players in games. Some people have more money than time, and some people have more time than money, and you want to always balance those two.

"For us it's a great learning experience. We are trying to run the company with an ear to the consumer at all times, not only in the testing phase but when the game is up and running. We're trying to build games that last for years, not for months... If we're not making mistakes along the way and learning from them, that's when you should worry about us. But our view is these are great opportunities for us to continue to tune the game, to adjust things."

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47. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 30, 2017, 13:58 Devinoch
 
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 17:02:
Devinoch wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 14:58:
Sure, and you could charge the $90-100 you would need to be profitable with such a game (considering development costs these days), and no one would buy it, or, conversely, you could make the game cost significantly less and people would bitch about how the graphics aren't up to snuff, and no one would buy it.

At the number of units that EA pushes of the Battlefront games, I doubt that profitability is an issue at a 60-70 dollar price point. If there is an issue with profitability, then it's EA's fault for entering into an ass-reamingly expensive license to create Star Wars games. And if that's the case, that's just bad business being passed onto the consumer.

It has nothing to do with the license and everything to do with the cost of developing a AAA game in the first place. Go look at any AAA game made in the last five years, load up the credits, and take a look at exactly how many people are working on any one project. Then extrapolate that those people probably spent between 18-36 months working on that game, and take a rough ballpark of what the human development cost is for a game.

People underestimate the cost to make a game these days by a long shot.
 
Cliff "Devinoch" Hicks
Host of the Starlight Society Podcast
http://tinyurl.com/starlightsociety/
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46. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 30, 2017, 00:13 Slick
 
theglaze wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:44:
Valve doesn't pump out a new TF2 or CSGO every year

EA wants full game price sales plus DLC plus microstransactions... and they want to sell you the same shit again and again, year after year.

It's called greed, and +4 billion dollars in annual revenue.

*added* without making games, and just taking a skim from everyone else

I fixed it for you.
 
Avatar 57545
 
(Regarding SW:Battlefront II) Frostshite is a horrible piece of shit engine that makes games look artificial as if you were playing on a movie set instead of the actual location. -CJ_Parker
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45. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 23:16 Muscular Beaver
 
So after 6 and a half years theres still not a single game from EA which caused me to install Origin?
What a shocker. I am actually thankful, that they do their best that it stays that way.
 
Avatar 12928
 
Waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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44. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 19:24 Avus
 
Good for EA... I have too many game to play anyway. EA is giving me a GREAT help to filter which game I don't even need to spend time to buy/play. Games like Battlefront II, NFS Payback, Destiny 2, Call of Duty WWII...  
Avatar 58298
 
I am not a Mac user unless under duress. - John Carmack
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43. Re: GeForce Experience 3.0 Released Nov 29, 2017, 18:31 Kxmode
 
Gojo wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 14:59:
Kxmode wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 13:59:
Domestic abuser still wants his wife back

Perfect metaphor!

EA: *beating customer* why won't you love me?! *beating customer* I'm too good to you!
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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42. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 18:30 Kxmode
 
Timmeh wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 18:24:
There should be NO LOOT BOXES IN A GAME YOU PAY 60-129 BUCKS FOR!!!

SCREW YOU EA

Correction: There should be no loot boxes for core gameplay mechanics in a game you pay 60-129 bucks for. Key difference.
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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41. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 18:27 SimplyMonk
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 18:14:
Darks wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:12:
Actually its easy, at some point even liars start believing their own lies.

That reminds me of that old saying, 'It's not a lie...if you believe it.'

Is that an old saying? I'm pretty sure it was from Seinfeld and although that show is pretty old now, that is still bullshit.

But how does the old saying go? "Most old sayings are bullshit."
 
Avatar 55902
 
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40. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 18:24 Timmeh
 
There should be NO LOOT BOXES IN A GAME YOU PAY 60-129 BUCKS FOR!!!

SCREW YOU EA
 
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39. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 18:14 Cutter
 
Darks wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:12:
Actually its easy, at some point even liars start believing their own lies.

That reminds me of that old saying, 'It's not a lie...if you believe it.'
 
Avatar 25394
 
You've got to be cruel to be kind...in the right measure.
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38. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 18:08 MajorD
 

What an clueless F'ing AssPipe!!!

 
Avatar 55780
 
Still counting...
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37. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 17:02 Flatline
 
Devinoch wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 14:58:
Sure, and you could charge the $90-100 you would need to be profitable with such a game (considering development costs these days), and no one would buy it, or, conversely, you could make the game cost significantly less and people would bitch about how the graphics aren't up to snuff, and no one would buy it.

At the number of units that EA pushes of the Battlefront games, I doubt that profitability is an issue at a 60-70 dollar price point. If there is an issue with profitability, then it's EA's fault for entering into an ass-reamingly expensive license to create Star Wars games. And if that's the case, that's just bad business being passed onto the consumer.
 
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36. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 16:57 Rhett
 
I guess they just don't get it... If they were listening, there wouldn't be microtransaction gouging in the first place.

Doesn't matter though, because as I understand, the game still has major lag/rubberbanding issues since beta, the campaign is a short piece of garbage that makes no sense, and the saber combat looks and feels so damn tacky.
 
Avatar 55108
 
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35. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 15:58 Flatline
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 14:59:
So are all multiplayer games like this now? Where the longer you play, the stronger your characters are?

The only multiplayer game I played religiously was TF2 and most of the items were just side grades, and you could get regular items by trading super easy, so there was no notion of one player having an inherent advantage over you.

I guess I don't get it. Why would I want to ever play a game where other players literally do more damage than I do?

Back when Call of Duty went Modern Warfare, everyone was jazzed about the progression system but honestly it turned me off. I had to grind 20 hours in shit public match-ups before I could play the game mode I wanted. I even had to grind to find gear that would suit my play style. At least then they front loaded some of the upgrades so you were effective from level 1 but this has been the growing way of things for some time now.
 
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34. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:59 AngelicPenguin
 
So are all multiplayer games like this now? Where the longer you play, the stronger your characters are?

The only multiplayer game I played religiously was TF2 and most of the items were just side grades, and you could get regular items by trading super easy, so there was no notion of one player having an inherent advantage over you.

I guess I don't get it. Why would I want to ever play a game where other players literally do more damage than I do?
 
Avatar 55985
 
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33. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:59 Devinoch
 
theglaze wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:44:
bhcompy wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:40:
Sell hats, gun skins, and a chance at a sweet looking knife that doesn't physically alter your abilities in game, not ingame skills. Makes Valve more money than God

Valve doesn't pump out a new TF2 or CSGO every year

EA wants full game price sales plus DLC plus microstransactions... and they want to sell you the same shit again and again, year after year.

It's called greed, and +4 billion dollars in annual revenue.

Valve also doesn't make 95% of its revenue on its own games anymore. The Valve business model has been "Steam" for a long, long time now.
 
Cliff "Devinoch" Hicks
Host of the Starlight Society Podcast
http://tinyurl.com/starlightsociety/
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32. Re: GeForce Experience 3.0 Released Nov 29, 2017, 14:59 Gojo
 
Kxmode wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 13:59:
Domestic abuser still wants his wife back

Perfect metaphor!
 
=-Gojo-=
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31. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:58 Devinoch
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:45:
Verno wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 10:51:
"We pulled-off on the MTX because the real issue the consumer had was they felt it was a pay-to-win mechanic," he added. "The reality is: there's different types of players in games. Some people have more money than time, and some people have more time than money, and you want to always balance those two.

Hahaha what the fuck? No you don't have to balance them. In a game that is primarily a MP experience the asshole who just wants to destroy balance through purchases should NOT be allowed to do that. Fuck that shit. You want to "balance" them by giving that idiot some cosmetics to throw his money at so that he feels better about himself while not pissing off everyone else who bought the game.

Or they could, you know, not have a fucking progression system at all. Then everyone has access to all weapons and abilities regardless of time played. The only reason to have a progression system at all is to entice the player to spend more money.

It's a gameplay mechanic designed to extract cash.

Sure, and you could charge the $90-100 you would need to be profitable with such a game (considering development costs these days), and no one would buy it, or, conversely, you could make the game cost significantly less and people would bitch about how the graphics aren't up to snuff, and no one would buy it.

I know it's in-fashion to bitch about EA or games trying to be profitable, but this isn't something people do exclusively for fun. Companies do have to be profitable to survive. All companies.

I'm not a capitalist by any stretch of the imagination, but until there's a solution to cost/profit for games that works on scale (i.e. something that makes AAA games make sense again), you're going to constantly see companies trying to find ways to squeeze more money out of consumers in order to stay afloat.
 
Cliff "Devinoch" Hicks
Host of the Starlight Society Podcast
http://tinyurl.com/starlightsociety/
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30. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:51 DangerDog
 
ExGemini wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:16:
Nucas wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:44:
where video game violence panic failed, this is going to bring in the government meddling and regulation.

I wouldn't hold my breath for that, but it would be nice to have the government do something.

Yes, more government is the answer!

You're much better off trying to get people to vote with their wallet, but good luck with that. For every person who thinks they're championing the cause by not purchasing a mictoransaction laden game there are at least five more that are willing to take the plunge.
 
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29. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:49 Kxmode
 
"We're really watching how people are playing the game. We're trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We're learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future."

Hey, EA! The metrics and analytics you're looking at are tainted. You're looking at a game designed from the beginning with MTX. You might want to consult another company, like ArenaNet or Blizzard, to see how they handle successful MTX. As someone who purchases items in games here's a nickel's worth of free advice.

1. Don't gate core gameplay mechanics behind a paywall.
2. Always make in-game purchases purely cosmetic and vanity.
3. A $60 game changes customer expectations. In other words, don't think what works for a free mobile app will work for a full-priced game.
4. ASK your customers what they really want, and then find a way to make that work for your business model; not the other way around.

This comment was edited on Nov 29, 2017, 15:03.
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 4: CHORUS: And now, dear viewers, shall our play go to \ A Planet stark and drear for our next scene. \ Imagine sand and rocks within thy view. \ Prepare thy souls - we fly to Tatooine!
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28. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:35 NewMaxx
 
Verno wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 10:51:
Hahaha what the fuck? No you don't have to balance them.

Came here to post that, glad to see the very first comment addresses it...

The entire concept of "balance" is really based on a modern social paradigm. I mean, sure, games historically are defined by rules that maintain a level playing field, but when you add in money and time that is thrown out the window (unsurprisingly, you also see this with gambling). At first we had games that were designed fairly and then had MTX tacked on; now with games like this we effectively have them designed around MTX. The fact they don't see these two points - which ultimately leads them to creating an unbalanced game that only gets "balanced" through time or money - illustrates that they are building the game around the market. Hey, that makes sense, a company is profit-driven, but the problem is they completely removed the customer from their calculations ("some of the reactions we ultimately got") as if that was an unimportant component. If you're going to design a game objectively, you still have to account for the human element; you can't treat players like cash-giving automatons.
 
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