Report: Disney Unhappy With How Long EA Took Action Against Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions, Exclusivity Deal Threatened

Following yesterday’s shocking announcement that EA finally caved in and removed (for now) all microtransaction elements in Star Wars Battlefront II, it seems we now know a bit more on what happened behind the scenes.

According to a source that wishes to remain anonymous, Disney talked with top-level EA executives over the growing backlash (something that was corroborated by The Wall Street Journal who reported that Consumer Products and Interactive Media boss Jimmy Pitaro sent a message to EA about their concerns) regarding Star Wars Battlefront II’s bad press when it comes to loot crates, and how some see it as “gambling.”

Based on the info we received, it states that both parties agreed that the Battlefront II microtransactions model needs to be revamped to stave off further backlash. Also, it mentions how Disney was “unhappy” with how long EA took effective action regarding the situation since it has evolved enough that the backlash could potentially harm the Star Wars IP given The Last Jedi is hitting theaters soon. 

Possibly the biggest thing though, is how Disney apparently gave a less-than-direct threat that EA could lose the Star Wars publishing exclusivity rights if things didn’t improve. The House of Mouse had concerns about the exclusivity deal with EA due to the press backlash, investigations regarding gambling, and the bad press involved.

MP1st has reached out to EA, with a rep for the publisher stating, “we are not commenting on that” as the only statement so far.

Once we know more details, or if EA issues a more formal statement, we’ll update the story.

More Star Wars Battlefront II Reading:

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  • Tommy Raaby

    EA have done this greed for years.In SWTOR gambling boxes even thou 100% cosmetic have been out of control. Have seen people post on swtor forums that they have addiction and why BioWare EA have to have them and those post’s are deleted pretty quick.Battlefront same thing, pure exploitation of players including kids.Loot boxes have RNG random number generation so never know what you get with best items have a tiny % of getting anything, so people buy more with fake currency in hope of getting something.Because they change real money into fake ingame money people don’t really consider how much real money they use.Only difference between SWTOR and Battlefront is in BF is boxes also tied into progression

  • PrimeXero

    I hope that they cut the deal off with EA. The Star Wars franchise and fans deserve so much better than what EA has done (and will continue to do).

  • Nuruhuine .

    The microtransactions are NOT removed in Battlefront II. They are merely temporarily turned off. This is hardly a victory. The only way we have to make these dirty practices stop is to COMPLETELY BOYCOT E.A. DO NOT support a corporation which only goal is to take advantage of your nostalgia and bait you with shiny pixels just to ruin your gaming experience and rob you of your cash. DON’T BUY THEIR GAMES.

  • Gary

    Revoke their license and give it Sony or Insomniac

    • Dylan Bos

      Insomniac Please yes

      • Jerry

        god no this it will be PS4 only, we need less exclusive deals

        • Barry Harden

          Sony’s first party studios produce great games without Pay to win microtransactions.

        • Agreed. Star Wars could do without exclusive deals; I rather any developer/publisher get a crack at developing different Star Wars games like in the Lucasarts days.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    lol get rekt

  • playfuldreamer

    Do not let up or relent, folks. Keep going until Disney pulls the license. It’s our only hope for good Star Wars games.

    • d0x360

      Actually it isn’t. This was Disney all the way. EA just made what was asked of them. Disney is saving face end of story. Throw all the blame on EA so they don’t effect their precious star wars license.

      Geroge Lucas regrets selling to Disney and it’s no wonder why. They are the most greedy corporation on the planet. He should have known better…

      • playfuldreamer

        You have no clue, mate.

        • d0x360

          If you say so…. Mate

          • Norvyn Messiah

            You are absolutely right, mate. Thanks for posting these comments — you’re one of the only people acknowledging this.

    • Desdecardo

      And you know “good” games will come from this? It will land in a different pot with developers who do the same thing as EA just in a different direction. Disney isn’t going to let their ip go to a company that can’t turn rediculous profits. I’m sure Disney is just upset they got caught and are using EA as a scapegoat. Which only Disney can pull off using another corporate giant as a scapegoat.

      If this IP goes anywhere they are going to have to guarantee monetization and a certain bar of expected profits.

      Don’t expect a Jedi Knight series or xwing vs tie fighter unless it’s tied into a system that can shovel gold into Disney’s massive gold powered furnace.

      • playfuldreamer

        I don’t think you understand Disney or how they operate.

  • Fiddlestickz1

    You can also still buy the Deluxe Edition for $20 more and get a few epic Star Cards to have an edge. P2W is still in the game, only in the light version atm and you still have an endless grind to unlck upgrades to stay competetive.

    • d0x360

      They only delayed the whole system. Once the movie is out and the press has moved on it will come back. I’d expect to see a.”revamped” system sometime in February. Disney demands profits beyond what normal (classic) games are capable of delivering.

      Look.at Disney infinity. It made huge profits for a game and was making more every year yet Disney killed it a couple months ago because disney has different idea on what profit is. They need a much larger return on investment then a game publisher and they will never get it unless there are loot crates, constant dlc or a subscription service.

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  • Chon Pak

    Break off the exclusivity deal!

  • Scion

    CDPR making a singleplayer Star Wars adventure… that would be the first time I’ve ever pre-ordered a game, hell I’d get the collectors edition!

    • Alex

      That would give me a nerd boner for sure!

    • DoctorM

      It would take them 5+ years, though, but it’s better to wait 5 years for an actual game then getting a piece of shit annually.

      • d0x360

        Most AAA games take 5 years to make especially if they are properly made. The only time it takes less is when 10 studios are making 1 one which tends to rob said game of it’s soul. That’s basically the Ubi soft model although they might be changing that. Ac origins and r6 siege are a good step in the right direction. Let’s see what they do with far cry 5

  • mattp

    The exclusivity deal seems to be a waste when there’s only one title out of a universe of possibilities.

    • Alex

      There’s Respawn’s game being worked on, Jade Raymond’s game, and the Visceral one that seems to be cancelled. Lots of SW games coming up, that EA definitely wants to cash in on.

      • d0x360

        Jade Raymond’s game was tied into Any Hennigs so that will likely be canned too. Don’t want all the bad news at once though.

        Disney cancelled Disney infinity despite it being wildly profitable for a game. Disney has their own idea of profit and it needs to be a huge profit otherwise they kill it.

        Disney likely set what the profit in Battlefront 2 needed to be and EA had no way to get there other than either loot crates or literally charging a monthly MMO like fee to play.

        So we can all blame EA but this is Disney all the way.

  • adam thompson

    please. PLEASE GET EA AWAY FROM STAR WARS THEY ALREADY DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE

    • d0x360

      It won’t matter who has the license. Disney will always demand absurd levels of profit and there’s no way to get there without something like a loot crate system or a subscription based service.

      Good star wars games that you can just buy and play are dead. They died the moment Lucas signed over the rights to Disney.

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  • Alex

    Thing is, underneath all the loot crates, etc., SWBII is a fun game. I’ve spent hours already just playing multiplayer. Imagine if this had your regular progression? I wouldn’t be shocked if it scored 9s or something.

    Hopefully, EA learns from this and doesn’t attempt it again. I hope Battlefield 2018 doesn’t get affected by this at all.

    • Proch

      Oh please, people have been saying this since 2013. This is where it got us.

    • Droidboy

      There shouldn’t be a battlefield 2018 though. Why should you encourage a new game when there is absolutely NO reason for there to be?

      They can fix the system in this game, and add all new content to this game.

      • Buymylootboxanoobis

        BATTLEFIELD, not Battlefront.

    • TheRandomOne

      Look up the Planets VS Zombies story where EA fired the creator because he refused Lootboxes & MT. EA will never learn

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  • d0x360

    Oh please, this is Disney saving face and nothing more. Lay all the blame on EA when they knew damn well what was happening because it’s Disney that wanted it.

    You need to understand Disney isnt happy with profits unless they are massive profits. Something is a failure even if it makes back double what it cost to produce and Disney will cancel projects because of that.

    Disney infinity is a great example in the gaming space. It was wildly successful and profitable, any gaming company would have been happy with profits like that but Disney is massive and their bar is absurdly high.

    The only way a game could possibly make the kind of money Disney wants back in it’s investment is by doing exactly what EA did. EA may have gone a step too far with how much things could potentially cost but that isn’t the point.

    The old Lucas owned LucasArts is dead. It died when George signed on the line. Don’t expect another KOTOR or Jedi Knight or rouge squadron series ever again. Not unless it’s got some way for them to turn the game into a high return service/platform like GTA online or an MMO. Disney will forever ruin the chances of a great single player star wars game because even though it would make a nice profit it won’t be ENOUGH profit for them to care.

    Long live Disney, the actual villains of this story.

    • bryce

      I don’t think Disney is the problem here since the new Battlefield and Need for Speed have the same horrible methods. Is Disney money hungry scumbags? Sure. Are they the good guys here? Of course not. But this microtransaction/loot crate progression thing is EA fault alone. They could get the profit you’re saying Disney wants just by selling the game, but they went another direction entirely. Disney will be the “good guys” here only if they remove EA from that exclusivity contract.

      • d0x360

        Yes they do and they suck because of it but the reason they have them is because they work. EA made over 800 million selling the same crap.in FIFA. Disney wanted the same system implemented in Battlefront but with higher potential profits.

        I’m not saying EA is innocent, not by any stretch but Disney is going to demand profit levels per game that are impossible without some kind of system that gets people to constantly pump money into the game above the original purchase price.

        A good year for a company like EA is a bad month for a company like Disney and Disney has all the influence in their contracts.

        • Marcos

          i own a handful of shares from Disney that were gifted to me from a relative and i will agree with you that Disney only cares about profit and if its not on the higher end spectrum of 9 figures they really don’t view the projects as wildly successful. Sit thru 1 shareholder meeting and you’d understand Disney wants large profits to expand their brand they could care less about the consumer.

          • d0x360

            Exactly and like I said and you also mentioned Disney has a different view on profit than most companies. Most companies would be wildly happy with just the money the made off sales of battlefront 2 itself but not Disney. They are used to making billions off some products and will cancel profitable ventures and products if they don’t hit a certain threshold of profit.

            The whole reason they decided to go with EA with an exclusive contract was because EA has shown time and time again with FIFA and other sports games that they can make monetize them to the extreme. EA made over 800 million last quarter fro FIFA alone and that’s the kind of return Disney NEEDS to see.

            People should think about it like this… You likely wouldn’t grab a $1 bill from a puddle of sewage but you would if it was $100. It’s not a perfect analogy but you can see the point.

            So Disney handed down the direction that battlefront 2 would be monetized much like FIFA the problem is EA made the decision to go with a pay 2 win scheme instead of stuff like skins/cosmetics.

            Disney was likely happy with the old plan because they didn’t see the backlash coming. Once they did Disney and EA had a meeting and shut it down but it will be back and it will likely be…cosmetics!

            Cosmetics are a great way for a company to make a ton of extra money without screwing over people who simply want to pay their $60 and have some fun.

            So you can’t fully blame EA for this nor can you fully blame Disney. At least we as gamers managed to enact change in this situation. We usually don’t get that lucky.

            Why people want to foist all the blame on EA is beyond me. Yea I know they aren’t exactly the greatest right now but they have to answer to their shareholders who demand more profit EVERY quarter. There is a limit to how much profit a single game can make and this is still new territory so publishers need to find a balance.

            Disney included.

            • Marcos

              I’m glad to see the gaming community finally push back against a large publisher and it resulting in change, but this will not be the end of it they will push cosmetics to recoup their loss. While most of the community does not understand that EA/Disney have an obligation to their shareholders to make as much money as possible with every asset they have, and will only deviate from the plan if they perceive their stock could take a hit but they will find a way to trick poor souls into giving them their hard earned money over extra pixels.

      • Desdecardo

        It’s more than just EA. It’s a cancer ruining games across the board.

    • GForce

      Oh lord one of those… EA is the full to blame and their devs period.

      • d0x360

        You have no idea what you’re talking about but that’s perfectly fine. I really don’t give a damn who or what you think.

        Buh bye

        • Adam Wolf

          YOU’RE the one that’s making this claim. If you’re going to say things like this, back it up with facts. Show your sources.

          • d0x360

            It’s called common sense in regards to big business, go do your own research. Start with trends then move onto what Disney considers failure and success then move onto Disney and their history in the gaming Industry going back about 6 years. You need access to the Lexis Nexis or shareholder reports so either buy a share of EA and Disney stock and request investor information or pay up for the already compiled data on LexisNexis which is where big business gets it’s research data.

            Not everything is free, if you want actual accurate information that’s been verified then you need to pay for it. What you find on gaming news sites isn’t going to help you. It’s speculation by people who know about as much as you. Insulting me isn’t going to get you anywhere. Oh he’s one of those….ooooh you got me.

            Lazy.

            • spectravar

              “…go do your own research.”

              Nope, that’s not how it works. You make the claim, YOU provide the sources.

              I don’t give much more than a damn about the topic at hand and am only reading to kill time, but this shit about making a specific claim and refusing to back it up by putting the onus on the reader? Fuck that.

            • d0x360

              Sorry bud but I’m not giving you my credentials to LexisNexis. If you want to keep believing the nonsense you believe then by all means but I’ve provided you the source for all the information you apparently need. 3 sources actually.

              That’s all the time for your trolling I have. Go be cheap and lazy on someone else’s time.

            • spectravar

              If you think asking for sources is trolling, then you’re on the same page as “Fake News.”

              For the record, I already believe you. It’s the “do your own research” when someone asks for support for your argument that’s bullshit (and it very much IS bullshit).

      • Clics

        Do you really believe that Disney isn’t capable of that ?

        When I hear those claims it doesn’t shock me, Disney are money hungry bastards, everybody with a bit of common sense is aware of that.

        Now from that, it’s not hard to imagine them directing the blame towards EA because they were only operating in the shadows: if there’s no witnesses, there’s no crime, right ?

        I’m not saying it’s what happened, but if in the end we found out that it was, I’m just gonna say “Yup, makes sense”.

      • Desdecardo

        You obviously don’t know Disney.

    • MostlyPerfect

      Disney is evil. They make great wholesome product. But their board of executives is just as money obsessed and amoral as any other corporate board. Don’t put anything past them. If it’s legal and they think they can slip it past consumers they’ll do it. They’re not the heroes. Nothing and no one that thinks of nothing but profit can ever be the hero of anything. They’re just mad dogs barely held in place by the laws they haven’t lobbied the government to change yet.

      • d0x360

        Yea it’s weird to think that the company who put out Little Mermaid and The Incredibles is also a semi evil corporation that makes more money per hour than some countries yearly GDP. Wowza

        If they wanted to they could likely become like the Vatican, turn Disney Land or world… whatever one is best lol and turn it into a small nation with its own standing army that’s as advanced as any Western Nation

        One thing we can all thank Disney for is causing the Chinese people (not the government) to love Americans more than they already do. They don’t get to see many movies per year let alone foreign films in mainland China but Disney… Disney gets most of the limited slots and that’s why the Chinese film market is so important. If only 15 movies come out a year and only 7 are foreign made then the people will flock in droves to see them. That’s why I always find it funny when people think we will go to war with China.

        Bit off topic I know but just thinking of the scope of that Company…how many other companies it owns or essentially controls because it’s a buyer of the majority of their production… staggering really.

        To think for 1 second that this debacle was all EA is just crazy. Hopefully in the future as far as gaming is concerned Disney tempers their expectations for profit a bit otherwise we won’t get single player star wars games like we used to…but with better quality lol

        • rationalman

          Why is Disney evil? Wanting to make lots of money doesn’t inherently make anyone evil.

          • d0x360

            True it doesn’t automatically make them evil but generally speaking money is power and we all know the saying in regards to that.

            Disney or someone from Disney would happily stomp a mudhole in your head if it meant they could earn a nice profit from it.

            Greed also corrupts so double whammy and like I’ve mentioned before Disney only went with EA because EA has shown that year after year they can monetize games and make massive profits. FIFA alone makes more money per fiscal quarter than you could probably spend in your entire life even if you had a love for exotic and hypercars and lived in a giant mansion.

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  • Teh gOAT

    According to anonymous sources at Dice, they wanted cosmetic loot boxes like the OVERWATCH model.
    It was Lucasarts (DISNEY) who wanted the PAY TO WIN advantages.
    They can’t pretend that Disney are the innocent party when it was they who demanded more money

    • bush

      disney shut down lucastarts you idiot

      • Desdecardo

        I didn’t know George Lucas was a baker. And I thought Disney’s purchase only affected the Star Wars IP and not his tarts business.

        • bush

          >i have no idea how to argue on his idea but when i saw his typo i was like heh tough luck pal

  • Tetsuo

    EA/Disney grooming children to become gamblers and exploiting those with addiction through loot box based progression in Battlefront 2. Absolutely disgusting!
    EA/Disney need to be held accountable and governments need to URGENTLY investigate this. #disneygambling

  • Berb

    Seeing EA being bitch-slapped by Disney is so vindicating to me. I hope they lose the star wars license. They deserve to burn for all the developers they’ve killed over the years.

  • Barry Harden

    Disney shouldn’t have given EA the license in the first place. It was only a few years ago EA was voted the worst company in the world. This is as much as Disney’s fault as is EA’s.

  • Mithan

    Good. Hope those bastards lose it. They have done NOTHING with an awesome franchise.

    Where are games based on something like the original Tie Fighter or X-Wing games, which were awesome? There are probably millions of people who would love to play something like this.

    How about good First Person Shooters like the Dark Forces series?
    Knights of the Old Republic type games?

    We can get Wolfenstein 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Destiny 2 in the last 2 weeks, all but the later were excellent games, (Destiny 2 just being ok IMO), but we can’t get a decent game out of Electronic Arts. They will tell us some crap about how “single player games don’t sell” and they certainly have no problem designing a game to kill us with micro-transactions.

    DICE made Battlefield 2 to be almost perfect. Why were they not allowed to do that with Battlefront?

    Disney needs to pull the license and EA needs to fire the idiots they have in upper management.

    • Desdecardo

      Wolfenstein II was awesome. What are you smoking? Take your trolling elsewhere.

      • Mithan

        Reread what I said noob. I called wolf and excellent game.

      • rationalman

        No, it wasn’t. The character constantly talking about “killing nazis” got obnoxious and childish very quickly.

  • Pinkie-Dawn

    By the time EA’s exclusivity deal gets revoked, I wonder which company is next for Disney to give the license (it can’t be Ubisoft either because they’re going to be bought off by Vivendi).

    • HeNs

      Disney could make their own … maybe by using the Lucas Arts (under Lucas Films) that they’ve bought?

      • Pinkie-Dawn

        They shut down Lucas Art the moment Disney bought Lucas Films).

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  • RedKnightOH

    Best thing to do… skip this game and save your money.

  • rationalman

    Its truly tragic that EA has exclusivity rights to Star Wars. The IP has no much potential for great games in the hands of great studios.

  • Shawn Smith

    Why are you including a $40 dollar game that has cosmetic only loot boxs in your list, lootboxs that you get literally all the time by just playing the game.

    • Jose

      That’s right. Overwatch provides many ways to get quick lootboxes fast.

  • Adrian Vanitoso

    Oh my God. Almost there. ALMOST …AAAAAAAAAAGH…. Woo. Who needs porn when you can read about EA’s imminent demise? All these stories, Im chaffing over here.

  • Richard Smith

    COME ON DO IT YES!

    But next time don’t give the rights as an “exclusive”. Disney should be more open about it.
    Petroglyph is willing to make an Empire at War 2 since years.

  • S O U R C E ?

  • Berb

    HA HA HA HA!
    Suck it, EA, you greedy pieces of shit!

  • Steve McKnelly

    Time for y’all to join the 21st Century and go HTTPS.

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