Electronic Arts (EA) responded to nearly 700,000 raging Star Wars fans and a number of death threats by making it easier for Battlefront II players to play as Darth Vader Tuesday.
When a Battlefront II fan complained on Reddit that he’d spent $80 on a special edition of the video game and still couldn’t play Darth Vader without coughing up more cash or spending 40 hours collecting in-game currency, EA’s community team jumped into action, promptly posting the most unpopular Reddit comment of all time. But the nearly 700,000 down-votes, sprinkled with a few death threats, got their attention, and the unpopular game developer made it far easier for the embittered Star Wars fans to play as the series’ central character.
When players initially boot up the game, only some of its hero characters are available to them. Others, like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Princess Leia, still remain locked. The in-game price tags for Vader and Luke were initially 60,000 credits each, which would require players to invest 80 hours of total play time to unlock.
Responding to vicious online backlash, the company announced Tuesday that it would lower the cost of every hero by 75 percent, allowing fans to unlock Vader or Luke after just 10 hours of in-game play. Other less expensive heroes, like Leia and Chewbacca, were knocked down to a measly 10,000 credits.
However, the option remains for players to simply pay up and unlock the characters instantly.
EA also received heavy criticism for its first iteration of the Battlefront series, with players complaining that content released after the game’s launch was too expensive. EA hoped to assuage those fears with Battlefront II by making post-launch content free, but the company obviously sought to recoup those costs through microtransactions such as hero purchases.
Players can also spend real money to buy better weapons and abilities than other players, causing many fans to blast the game as “pay to win.”
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