Less Aggressive Design
If 2017 showed us anything about EA it’s that their design has certainly taken a turn for being far more aggressive in terms of microtransactions. It seems that fans, at least EA fans, are just starting to get fed up with the design, and the fact of the matter is, in many ways, it hampers the actual design of the games as well. In the case of Battlefront II, like we say in our review, the microtransactions bury what would otherwise be a strong team-based multiplayer shooter.
The backlash to Battlefront II’s microtransactions is, of course, the biggest blowback EA saw in 2017. However, fans were also upset at the microtransactions featured in FIFA 18’s Ultimate Team mode. Need For Speed Payback also featured microtransactions that were swiftly altered shortly after the game’s release, and continue to be worked on.
This aggressive design seeped its way into almost all of EA’s biggest games last year, and it detracted from almost every one as well. Now we know there’s no chance of getting rid of microtransactions, but EA has to find a way to make them less invasive. At the same time, its explanation of Vader in pink just doesn’t work for canon, doesn’t fly with people when you’re talking about a game where Darth Maul can fight Han Solo and Kylo Ren.
Making microtransactions cosmetic in some way has worked for other developers. Just look at the success of games like Overwatch and Team Fortress 2. In the end, microtransactions aren’t going away, but the design philosophy is clearly hurting EA’s image and even sales at this point, so they need to find a different way to do things.