Controversy brews over Battlefront 2's microtransactions

" if millions of voices suddenly cried out in anger."

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is due in less than a week, yet all the anticipation for what first appeared to be an excellent sequel seems to have fizzled out. Recent impressions from the game's beta event have led players to conclude that the state of Battlefront 2's loot boxes is simply unacceptable, resulting in a storm of complaint threads and forum posts over the matter.

It started with a thread over the game's SubReddit, in which one user explained how long it takes to unlock even a single hero in Battlefront 2. The answer, to fans' dismay, is over 40 hours.

Due to the length of each match (around 11 minutes), the average credits earned per match (about 275), and the amount required to obtain access to one of the game's heroes (60,000), /u/TheHotterPotato determined that players will need to invest just over 40 hours of gameplay before unlocking a hero. That's assuming the player either saves every single credit - ignoring all other obtainable unlocks in the process - or purchases in-game money via real world transactions, which is presumably the development team's goal.

While "grinding" to unlock things isn't exactly a foreign concept in video games, the sheer length to which players will have to go to obtain access has prompted significant backlash against Battlefront 2 and its publisher, Electronic Arts (EA). Eventually EA responded in a fairly courteous, if rather disappointing manner:

Our goal involves creating a compelling progression path for all of our players. There's a lot of content at launch with even more coming via live service, and we'll continuously adjust our progression mechanics to give players a sense of accomplishment as they explore all of Battlefront 2.

The full comment goes on to state that the intent of the credits system is "to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes," and that the studio fully plans to make future adjustments to ensure that the players' experiences "are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay."

Another response in a separate thread more or less reiterated the same points - something that the community is just not having. The comment has now amassed well over 350,000 downvotes since its posting, making it the most-downvoted comment in the website's history. Numerous threads from other SubReddits and gaming-related sites have popped up as players express their anger and frustration en masse.

While EA has issued no other public statements regarding the matter, they're definitely feeling the heat. One developer reported significant harassment over Twitter, stating that he'd received numerous personal attacks and even death threats - which, regardless of how you feel over Battlefront 2's loot boxes, is totally unacceptable.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 launches for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Friday, November 17. Feel free to follow Electronic Arts over Twitter @EA for future developments regarding the matter, or check out the game's SubReddit to participate in what is shaping up to be a very lively discussion.