A trial version of Star Wars Battlefront 2 is out now for EA Access and Origin Access, bringing with it confirmation of exactly what model EA has chosen for its controversial loot crate system.
The game’s currency, Crystals, can be bought in the following volumes: 500 (£3.99), 1,000 (£7.99), 2,100 (£15.99), 4,400 (£31.99) or 120,000 (£79.99).
Once acquired, Crystals can buy you assorted types of loot box – Hero (110), Starfighter (120) and Trooper (200 Crystals). These loot crates themselves can then contain an assortment of cards. Blue-Tier cards offer the best rewards followed by Green Tier and Grey Tier. Boxes can also be bought with credits earned in-game.
Card types are only craftable when you’re reached a specific level and hold a certain number of cards. The highest Purple Tier cards can now only be crafted, after they were removed from the crates by EA following the open beta.
YouTuber XfactorGaming opened $90 worth of crates and received seven Blue Tiers, 48 Green Tiers lots of lots of Grey Tiers.
The conclusion? You can pay for cards from the word go and be at an advantage. At the same time, the upgrades are limited. Once you reach the upgrade ceiling, there’s no going beyond it. And as playing the game does dish out rewards in time, it could be argued that paying players are simply accelerating their development. In other words, they’re paying to save on time.
Nonetheless, this is still all a far cry from the cosmetic upgrades seen in games like Overwatch. It may not be pay-to-win in the most literal sense, but it certainly feels like pay-to-win-much-earlier at the very least.
The cost of developing a triple-A game has risen significantly in the last few years, while the price of video games has remained static for virtually two decades. These additional costs were at one stage recouped via Season Passes, but now that model has passed, microtransactions have become the go to.