A deactivated cosmetics system has been found hidden away in the PC version of Star Wars Battlefront 2.
A Redditor has found a currently inaccessible ‘change appearance’ option that allows various characters to rotate between as assortment of skins. The discovery itself would be of limited interest were it not for comments recently made by EA CFO Blake Jorgensen in defence of the game’s unpopular microtransaction system.
Polygon reports that Jorgensen, when asked why Battlefront 2 did not limit its loot boxes to cosmetic items (as is the practise with titles such as Overwatch and Rocket League), said that licensing concerns made it difficult.
“The one thing we're very focused on and they are extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars,” Jorgensen said at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. “It's an amazing brand that’s been built over many, many years, and so if you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon, right?
“Darth Vader in white probably doesn't make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don't want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don't think that's right in the canon.
“So, there might be things that we can do cosmetically, and we’re working with Lucas[film] on that. But coming into it, it wasn’t as easy as if we were building a game around our own IP where it didn’t really matter. It matters in Star Wars, because Star Wars fans want realism. But Star Wars fans may also want to tailor things — a different colored lightsaber, things like that. So you might see some of that.”
The canon argument is a little tough to swallow when you consider that the game freely toys with canon all the time – it’s entirely possible to see Darth Maul of the prequels squaring up against Rey from the sequels, for instance. Plus, 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront already offered cosmetic options.
And it’s not as if Star Wars games have been afraid to play with the license in the past: