The heat hasn’t dwindled down yet for the controversy about microtransactions and how they are exploited by the publishers and developers. A very big example of that is EA and DICE’s recently launched Star Wars Battlefront II. Players can buy their way to become the strongest in the massive scale Star Wars shooter experience. However, this feature is currently disabled temporarily in response to the community’s outrage.
Just a day before Star Wars Battlefront II’s launch, Disney phoned EA to drop its microtransactions and citing that they were not happy with the bad press the game is getting. Well established press outlets like CNN and The Wall Street Journal published stories about the whole issue surrounding microtransactions.
However, it seems that it’s not just the publisher and studio that made the decision of including microtransactions. In a recent interview with GamesBeat, Lucasfilm Games Team Vice President, Douglas Reilly, said that they work together with the publisher and studio to understand how the system works, and how it can also affect experiences of the consumers. This confirms their involvement with the decision of including microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II.
“We have input and they take feedback from us across the whole spectrum. We work together very much to understand how those systems work and what they’re trying to achieve, how they touch the brand, and how they affect the consumer experience. I think the challenge, and it’s one that everybody’s facing in this industry—running live services requires tuning and tweaking, and sometimes you don’t get things right the first try, once you put it in the hands of hundreds or thousands or millions of players. You continue to learn how they interact with the things you’ve made, and you run into things you have to adjust along the way. That’s the unfortunate reality of making games with a live service component.“[/alert]
Reilly also added that they only want to make sure people are having a great Star Wars experience with their games. However, providing advantages to players by buying loot crates is not entirely a great experience. He continued that they if it affects the quality of experience, they will have their own point of view in how they implement those features.
“I can’t think of anything that would be a continuity concern, as much as it is—we just want to make sure people are having a great Star Wars experience, at the end of the day. To the extent that those systems affect the quality of the experience, we’re always going to have a point of view about how they get implemented.“[/alert]
Looking at Reilly’s LinkedIn profile, it shows he worked at LucasArts as the Director of Business Affairs from March 2006 to August 2012. This confirms his experience working in the video-game industry for six years.
If Lucasfilm objected to having microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II in the first place, this fiasco wouldn’t have happened.
Star Wars Battlefront II is already out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Read our full review here.