Electronic Arts pulled the plug on microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2 shortly before its release, but the reprieve was only temporary: DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson said that "the ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date," after EA had made the system a little more palatable for players. Now, however, it appears that they might actually be gone for good.
"We turned the MTX off as an opportunity to work on the progression system inside the game. We're continuing to do that. I think there's an update this week and again next week," CFO Blake Jorgensen said earier this week at the Nasdaq Investor Conference (via Glixel).
"Over time we'll address how we will want to bring the MTX either into the game or not and what form we will decide to bring it into."
The controversy over loot boxes in videogames has grown remarkably quickly. In the three weeks since EA disabled the ability to purchase them in Battlefront 2, we've seen rating agencies and government officials from multiple countries weigh in on the matter, and generally speaking, not in their favor. In the US, a politician recently announced that he's crafting new legislation that would impose an outright ban on the sale of games with "gambling mechanisms" to anyone under the age of 21. How much of an impact that groundswell might have had on the apparent shift in position—if any—is impossible to say, but government regulation is obviously something that the game industry would rather didn't happen.
EA recently took "initial steps" to accelerate Battlefront 2 character progression without requiring microtransaction purchases, so the idea of permanently eliminating them from the game isn't beyond consideration. I've reached out to EA for more information and will update if I receive a reply.