Electronic Arts has partially backpedaled on Hero prices in Star Wars: Battlefront II. Reacting to strong negative criticism from gamers with early access to the game, EA has announced drastic changes to the in-game pricing of multiplayer hero characters. According to the post from DICE’s John Wasilczyk, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 in-game credits (down from 60,000 credits) while Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia will now cost 10,000 credits (originally 40,000 credits) and finally Iden Versio, the main character from the game’s single player campaign, will only cost 5,000 credits instead of 20,000. It’s a welcome change for gamers that did not relish the idea of playing for 40 hours to unlock one new Hero.
But there’s a wrinkle. Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner reports that his post-campaign reward was reduced following the changes. Before the latest update, he earned 20,000 credits for completing the campaign, but after the update, his credit prize was reduced to 5,000. EA says the credit payout was reduced because the intent of the prize was that players should use it to purchase their first hero – Iden Versio. Since her price was reduced from 20,000 to 5,000, the reward was diminished to match. It makes sense on that level, but the fact that players get a credit reward and are prompted to purchase a hero instead of just being given one as an unlock illustrates the way a business model can take over a game experience. The goal here isn’t to reward a player’s accomplishment. It’s to get them to try the in-game store system and participate in the loot box economy. The first hit is always free!