The statement of “EA turning a corner” seems to be met with heavy criticism after the company and publisher announced the $50 USD season pass for Battlefront. The catch? Nobody knows what the heck is in it.
EA has been acclaimed in the past for their truly fantastic Command & Conquer franchise such as Red Alert and Red Alert 2. While they have moved from the ordinary RTS into more heavy-weaponry, third-person team-play action games in the form of Dice’s beloved Battlefield franchise, they have been milking every possible cent every step of the way.
They have come under fire before, especially with bugs, glitches and the worst launch in history for Battlefield 4 released back in 2013. Not to mention the separate “editions” with the base game, some skins or weapons and the dreaded season pass costing more than Rocket League. And the rocket-powered battle car epic is one of the best games of the year.
What have they done now? Well, considering everybody is heaping praise on Battlefront’s beta apart from spawn issues, EA decided to lead the war-pack by releasing a $50 season pass which should include, not will, four other plants, a few maps, a few guns, and so on and so forth. If that's not what's going to happen, then EA will surprise us, eventually. But as of yet nobody expects anything more, but rather everything less.
Firstly, the concerns are a sure-fire way to point to EA for doing the same policy again and again, charging over $120 for a game that has no community servers and emotes that nobody cares about. Runescape has tons of emotes and that is a free browser multiplayer game. They sure as hell don't charge this much even with membership.
It is really EA’s way of looking at their games as “products” and their fans as “consumers” that will most likely eat up anything that serves interest. Battlefield: Hardline was a Battlefield re-skin of the franchise with the name slapped on to it when it should have been a separate game. But as long as there's a name players love, they will fork out that money to play it. Star Wars and Battlefront are no different.
I have heard and seen numerous comments, videos and posts about doing an embargo for Battlefront. And while I technically am inclined to agree to do so, it's also in the best interest for the players who still care about these prices a chance for them to understand why it hurts rather than why to avoid. Many pre-ordered the deluxe edition of Battlefront only to be greeted by the season pass soon after, regrettably so.
I'm not saying that the players should take the bait, but rather understand that while it is in their best interest to be more aware about what their dealing with. How many times have we warned people about games and telling them not to purchase but they still do it anyway? Call of Duty changed their formula with Advanced Warfare to mixed reviews and people seemed to have bit the bullet on that one, regardless of the mix-up in their themes.
The consumers have to decide with their wallets in this case. Instead of protesting loudly, this is a different case entirely from what we've seen earlier with Payday 2's ridiculous micro-transactions. If the players want to spend more on a game that they feel is "safe", then by all means. Don't touch the rod while it's hot though.
There is no real technical way of convincing people to not purchase a game because the stigma in current gameplay videos is looks and sound. If the boxes are ticked for the players awaiting eagerly, they're just a few clicks away from spending top dollar on a game that should not even be worth that amount.
Maybe people will wise up to the act, and when it comes time for EA's "products", they will look at themselves and hang their heads in shame. But one can only hope that is the case.
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Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.