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New 'Star Wars' Game Faces Furious Backlash--Quickly Changes Course To Apologize

EA (Electronic Arts) is set to launch Star Wars Battlefront 2, the newest addition to the Star Wars video game universe, on Friday, November 17. Ahead of the big day, however, EA's trial versions of the game have already inspired rage among fans. Apparently, several fan-favorite heroes (such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker) are locked away behind paywalls that require credits to access. While it's possible to amass the necessary credits by achieving in-game goals, most players estimate this could take months or even years to achieve. EA wants its players to buy credits with real-world cash so they can play as cool characters like Darth Vader (a staple of earlier versions of the game).

Gamers are not taking it well.

When a trial player complained on Reddit about this , EA issued this response:

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes. As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay. We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets. Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.

That has become the single most unpopular comment in Reddit history. It currently has 679,000 downvotes, absolutely dwarfing the previous downvote record of 24,000.

On Twitter, the jokes abound:

Many gamers are boycotting the game to protest "loot-boxing" and micro-transactions, two ways companies try to suck more money out of their players.

After the online backlash, EA seemed to make a good move by agreeing to lower the credits needed to access certain important heroes:

EA did not mention they also cut in-game rewards by a corresponding amount:

EA defended their cuts to rewards:

And that didn't go well, either...

Well, at least the gaming company can take solace in the fact that it's made history.

This situation has many gamers reminiscing about the good old days when you could buy a game (for a pretty hefty sum) and just play it without having to pay any more money. 

Maybe, if EA gets the message, those days could become real again.

H/T: Twitter, The Verge, Reddit