Missed target could fuel return of Battlefront II microtransactions

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Star Wars: Battlefront II missed the sales targets publisher EA set for it, which could mean an early return for the game’s controversial, currently disabled microtransactions system.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said that the company expected to sell 10million copies of Star Wars: Battlefront II, but only managed to shift 9 million. He attributed that to the loot box controversy which dogged the game before its launch, and led EA to disable the opportunity for players to buy loot boxes with real money.

However, paying to play may soon return to Star Wars: Battlefront II. Jorgensen confirmed that the reintroduction of the game’s microtransaction system is imminent: “We’ll do it when we think it’s ready.” When pressed for a time-frame for that, he indicated it would take place: “In the next few months”.

EA and developer DICE have said that they will unveil the game’s revamped progression system in March – a facet of the game that still attracts criticism for requiring too much grinding in comparison with DICE’s 2015 game Star Wars: Battlefront (which sold 13 million units in the same time period Battlefront II sold 9 million).

If DICE doesn’t get that rebuild of the progression system right – and especially if the ability to splash real-world cash on loot boxes is reintroduced to the game at the same time – we can expect another round of controversy to tarnish a game which was even under a cloud when it launched.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.