In the wake of Electronic Arts' clutch decision to temporarily pull microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II on the eve of its release, the impact of that decision and how it came about it still coming to light.
In the hours leading up to that announcement, the chairman of Disney's consumer products and interactive media division personally called EA to express Disney executives' unhappiness about how the outrage "reflected on their marquee property," the Wall Street Journal reports.
A Disney/Lucasfilm spokesman tells the Washington Post that fans always come first when it comes to Star Wars. “That’s why we support EA’s decision to temporarily remove in-game payments to address fan concerns.”
The issue, which remains unsettled with EA last statement saying those same fan-angering microtransactions will be coming back to the game, has reached gathered so much negative attention that the publisher felt obligated to file a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying: "This change is not expected to have a material impact on EA’s fiscal year 2018 financial guidance."
Internationally, the thinly veiled form of gambling has garnered enough negative attention to prompt Belgium’s gaming commission to investigate whether the game constitutes gambling.
EA, for its part, has mostly remained quiet on the topic since the announcement, though it did tell the Washington Post that it isn't gambling.
While the issue seems to have come to a head with Star Wars Battlefront II, that's not the only game released this year, or in the past few, to aggressively seek more revenue by selling bits of an already purchased game back to the people who already purchased it.
In fact, the practice can be traced back at least ten years. That microtransactions have become a significant overt push for so many different publishers this year, is simply the by-product of some developers - like Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto Online - finding extreme success with the monetization mechanic.
Glixel continues to reach out to Electronic Arts to see how it will decide to relaunch micotransactions and how that decision will impact current owners and the content they have access to. To date, EA has not replied to any requests for interview or comment from Glixel.