Electronic Arts (EA) has been the sole target for backlash erupting from angry fans that were highly anticipating the arrival of Star Wars Battlefront II. However, it has now come to light that there was another party equally involved and responsible for the bungled launch earlier this month.
It was reported last week that Walt Disney Studios had a hand in the decision to temporarily remove all in-game purchases from the sequel. This naturally led many to assume that the parent company was not liking the negativity surrounding its beloved brand. In other words, it was unaware of how Star Wars Battlefront II was being designed to enforce payments from players on top of the retail price.
Lucasfilm, the production studio and minds behind Star Wars, came forward afterwards to silence these speculations by speaking in favor of the publishing-giant. Today, it has been revealed that Lucasfilm was not entirely in the dark about the controversial progression system.
Speaking with GamesBeat in a recent interview, senior director of brand management Douglas Reilly shared that a dedicated “games team” is in constant communication with both the publisher and developer for any video game in the Star Wars universe.
“In general, we’ll have weekly meetings between the production teams and the marketing teams, with either EA in Redwood Shores or the individual teams in Stockholm and Montreal and Vancouver, wherever they have studios,” Reilly said. “We have weekly meetings. Then we regularly go and visit in person, probably once a quarter, to sit with them, play builds of the games, walk through progress and where we’re going in the future. We’re constantly talking, meeting, and engaging with them in a very collaborative way.”
Reilly made it clear that it is heavily involved with Star Wars Battlefront II because Lucasfilm has also been spending time giving feedback on unfinished versions of the game. In that light, it is very unlikely for Lucasfilm to not have known about the loot boxes or how they would result in a severe backlash from players.
“We’ve come together to create something that I think is a very unique, authentic, broad experience that allows you to have a story campaign, play in multiple planets across multiple eras, with a huge set of heroes and other characters,” Reilly added. “I think it’s a testament, actually, to our ability to work together toward that vision, when you see the end product.”
There is still no news on how and when EA is going to bring back microtransactions to Star Wars Battlefront II. There is concern that the publisher might even abandon support for the game. Perhaps we will know more when the new year begins.