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EA re-evaluating microtransaction strategy following Star Wars Battlefront 2 mess

EA re-evaluating microtransaction strategy following Star Wars Battlefront 2 mess

After a heavy few weeks for the publishing giant, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen has provided some oversight as to the Star Wars Battlefront II mess.

Speaking at the Credit Suisse 21st Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference - as reported by GamesIndustry.biz - the exec said that mistakes are expected and that the company might have got microtransactions wrong in the game. The firm had to remove these from the project following a colossal backlash from the fans

"Listening to the consumer when they start playing the game, six months from now, and even six years from now, is very important for us," Jorgensen said.

"And I would say if we're not making some 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 these things.

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

Despite the mess that surrounded the launch of Star Wars Battlefront II, Jorgensen insists that the reception to the game has been positive.

"The great news is this is one of the best games we've ever built," he said.

"And we're hearing that from the players who are actually playing the game and engaging in the game. The retention day over day is better than we've seen in almost any of our games. The depth of the gameplay is incredible. The size of the game is incredible. And we'll be adding in the next couple weeks, more content than we've ever added in a game before."

The whole situation has not put the company off microtransactions, however, with the CFO saying that it is a matter of learning how best to implement them within its video games.

"We're not giving up on the notion of microtransactions," Jorgensen said.

"We're learning and listening to the community in terms of how best to roll that out in the future, and there's more to come as we learn more. But I would say we're certainly not changing our strategy. We think the strategy of deeply engaging games, keeping the community together, and allowing people to play those games with new content coming via events over time is critical to the future of our business. We feel like we've nailed that in the sports games, and we'll continue to try and find the best model that works in the non-sports games."

Jorgensen also responded to comments about loot not being cosmetic only, as not to make it a pay-to-win experience. The exec said that it was due to concerns about the Star Wars canon.

"The one thing we're very focused on and they're extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars," he said.

"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 offence to pink, but I don't think that's right in the canon."

As reported by DualShockers, the exec also made comments about the closure of Visceral Games. Where CEO Andrew Wilson said that it had nothing to do with a move away from single player titles, Jorgensen said that the project was a "much more linear game, that people don't like as much today as they did five years ago or ten years ago," with the company unsure it could recoup its investment. 


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched PCGamesInsider.biz in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.

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