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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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27. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 14:34 DangerDog
 
Arithon wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:04:
You'd think $3BN being wiped off their shares would teach them SOMETHING, but apparently not..


Do people think EA's stock going down is because their shareholders are trying to punish the company for implementing microtransactions?

They sold off their shares because EA removed the MT system, not because they're white knighting for gamers.

People are really delusional thinking DICE will transition to a MT system based around skins. That wouldn't even pay back the development cost in implementing it this late in the game.

Yes someone found a skin based system in the game code but looking at its implementation you can't tell me people would spend more than a dollar to change the look of their stormtrooper to be the 501st - which only a hardcore star wars fan would even know what that was.

I'm sure a pink vader would sell just to troll everyone in the game, for about a dollar.

 
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26. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 13:59 Kxmode
 
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25. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 13:51 SimplyMonk
 
Creston wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:23:
SimplyMonk wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:15:
I'm not calling Hearthstone P2W here,

Why not? How is Heartstone NOT P2W?

I've played TCGs all my life and although the fact that you can't trade cards in CCGs, like Hearthstone, means I despise it with a burning passion and find its business model deceitful... Just because you can buy every card in the game instantly rather than grinding them doesn't necessarily make it P2W to me as you still need to have some skill to play the game.

As I type this though and think about how much of Hearthstone is just playing out your hand and hoping to draw a perfect curve... I'm more willing to agree with you.
 
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24. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:54 HorrorScope
 
Darks wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 12:12:
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:17:
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that? I'd feel like a dirty whore that no amount of hot showers would ever make clean again. They didn't really understand? Yeah, sure. They pulled it? Yeah after Bob Iger told them to. Lies and damn lies. Why people giving these motherfuckers money is beyond me.

Actually its easy, at some point even liars start believing their own lies.

Doesn't it feel like a club? That they groom people to be like this, they test them. What they are looking for is... "We are going to ask you to do things you will be against deeply, but we need you to ignore them, because if you don't we'll find another who will. And by doing so, you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams." I picture this on how it goes many times.

And as you say, you lie so much, in your mind you bend realities. It is what our president is doing, like a dictator, if they don't like today's narrative, they state a new one and simply believe that. If they have enough power, the followers join along and it indeed becomes that. Scary, no?
 
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23. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:49 HorrorScope
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:17:
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that? I'd feel like a dirty whore that no amount of hot showers would ever make clean again. They didn't really understand? Yeah, sure. They pulled it? Yeah after Bob Iger told them to. Lies and damn lies. Why people giving these motherfuckers money is beyond me.

Well there ya go... you just answered the age old question... "What is so special about a CEO and why are they paid do much?". They can do things common folk just wouldn't do and by doing so generates returns for their investors. They are brutally cold with no conscience. Boom, worth!
 
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22. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:44 theglaze
 
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.
 
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21. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:40 bhcompy
 
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  
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20. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:34 Fion
 
Before you go steepling your fingers EA with the monetary possibilities EA, maybe you should make the game actually playable in Multiplayer.

After all, loot boxes & DLC won't sell for shit if 95% of your players have already uninstalled because of lag, rubberbanding, and worse.
 
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19. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:25 Verno
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:45:
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.

I wish that was still possible but you get stockholm syndrome gamers who need their XP hits and constant rewards to keep playing and actively bitch if they're taken away. The best we can hope for now is just something benign that doesn't affect balance.
 
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18. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:25 Creston
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:17:
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that?

Ajit Pai would be happy to teach you for the low, low price of $10.
 
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17. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:23 Creston
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:15:
I'm not calling Hearthstone P2W here,

Why not? How is Heartstone NOT P2W?
 
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16. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:16 ExGemini
 
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.
 
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15. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 12:12 Darks
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:17:
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that? I'd feel like a dirty whore that no amount of hot showers would ever make clean again. They didn't really understand? Yeah, sure. They pulled it? Yeah after Bob Iger told them to. Lies and damn lies. Why people giving these motherfuckers money is beyond me.

Actually its easy, at some point even liars start believing their own lies.
 
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14. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:45 jdreyer
 
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.
 
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13. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:44 Nucas
 
where video game violence panic failed, this is going to bring in the government meddling and regulation.  
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12. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:36 ExGemini
 
Also:

This time they didn't get away cause they messed with a franchise that go beyond the game bounduaries: Star Wars.

If it was any other game in the EA kill pool nothing of this magnitude would have surfaced, this fast.
 
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11. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:35 ExGemini
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:17:
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that? I'd feel like a dirty whore that no amount of hot showers would ever make clean again. They didn't really understand? Yeah, sure. They pulled it? Yeah after Bob Iger told them to. Lies and damn lies. Why people giving these motherfuckers money is beyond me.

In the end it isn't that difficult to believe.
The people who made the noise, the one that raised all this problem for EA are a mere % of the main market.
Granted this time WE made a big splash, but how much longer will it last?

Give the fuckers 2-3 months and they will be back with their shit.

Problem also lies with the majority of players: I've seen an awful lot of people from all ages fork the 60+ price tag, play for a week or two and then drop the game.
 
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10. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:17 Cutter
 
I just don't understand how you can just lie through your teeth like that? I'd feel like a dirty whore that no amount of hot showers would ever make clean again. They didn't really understand? Yeah, sure. They pulled it? Yeah after Bob Iger told them to. Lies and damn lies. Why people giving these motherfuckers money is beyond me.
 
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9. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:16 Beamer
 
Arithon wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 11:04:
You'd think $3BN being wiped off their shares would teach them SOMETHING, but apparently not..


The $3B wasn't because consumers were angry at Star Wars, it was because they were angry at the business model. The EA valuation was based on the profit they'd be earning from that business model. If consumers reject the business model, they will not earn those profits, and the stock falls. If EA can convince consumers to come back to the business model, it will return.

You guys think investors give a shit how happy consumers are. They don't. They give a shit how much more profit EA will earn than last year, and how much they'll earn in the future. Anyone that saw the drop as some kind of message to EA that they need to not do microtransactions, and that analysts side with gamers, is missing the point.

The point is Wall Street really, really wants them doing many, many microtransactions. And Wall Street is the one that took that $3B from them. So who do you think EA is more concerned about making happy?
 



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8. Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 29, 2017, 11:15 SimplyMonk
 
Verno wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 10:51:
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.

They didn't want cosmetic money. They wanted P2W money like you see in games like Clash of Clans or the old Mafia Facebook game. They didn't want people dropping cash just till they unlocked a collection or got all the skins they wanted. They wanted people dropping cash repeatedly to stay relevant in the metagame.

They basically wanted a Hearthstone MTX model in their shooter game. I'm not calling Hearthstone P2W here, but when you try and take Hearthstone's Pay-2-Compete model and try and apply it to a shooter, unless you do something extremely creative and innovative, it will end up as a flawed P2W system.

Epic's Paragon has been trying to add the CCG model to the MOBA genre as well with some limited success, but kinda runs into the same problem that without a complex and strategic base game it becomes more P2W than Pay-2-Compete.

Curious to see if anyone can really get it done well.
 
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