EA has stopped selling Star Wars Battlefront 2's premium currency, Crystals, ahead of the game's launch. They aren't gone forever, but won't come back until the progression system has been tweaked.
"We hear you loud and clear, so we're turning off all in-game purchases," reads a message from DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson. "We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning."
Today, we turned off in-game purchases for #StarWarsBattlefrontII. The game is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Read the full update: https://t.co/asGASaYXVp pic.twitter.com/vQSOmsWRgkNovember 17, 2017
Prior to today, Crystals could be purchased with real money and spent opening crates which contain Star Cards: abilities and enhancements that can be equipped separately by the many classes, vehicles, and characters. The crates can now only be purchased with Credits, which are earned by playing, or unlocked as rewards for completing challenges.
I wonder if Battlefront 2's troubles can be solved without removing the premium currency altogether. One of my issues with the progression system is the absolute glut of Star Cards, many of which are boring stat boosts—not new abilities, but simple health increases, for example. That doesn't make for an interesting progression system with or without paid-for loot boxes, but any major simplification would make it pointless for Crystals to come back.
Still, it's surprising that EA has chosen to cut off a source of revenue just before launch, when the most people will be playing Battlefront 2. That's quite a concession, so they're clearly being hit hard by the criticism. I hope it leads to a redesign of the progression system that focuses more on interesting trade-offs (do I want this ability, or that ability) as opposed to stat boosts, and perhaps (wishfully) allows Crystals to be spent on cosmetic items only.
You can read our review-in-progress for my (now slightly outdated) early thoughts, and we'll have a final review posted soon.