A petition was launched last week, seeking to request Disney (the parent company of Lucasfilm) to revoke the Star Wars license from Electronic Arts. As is understandable, Star Wars lovers were upset with the way the studio has handled Battlefront 2, especially since the game is related to microtransactions and loot boxes.
At the time of our earlier report about the petition, it was gaining momentum and had nearly 19,000 signatures. However, it has become a big boom now. Just a few days have passed, and the petition has over 85,000 signatures. The numbers are still on the rise.
Although this petition garnered a great deal of fan attention, it is not realistic to expect Disney to suspend Electronics Arts’ license, at least at present. The two companies must have signed a contract that assured EA to be the sole publisher of the Star Wars games (not including Disney) and going against the contract would incur a substantial financial cost. However, in case the agreement is up for renewal, then Disney might reconsider continuing with EA.
If no other development takes place, even then petitions like this and gamer boycotts of Star Wars Battlefront 2 will compel the game publishers to reconsider their strategy of monetizing via games through microtransactions and loot boxes. This has always been a tricky surface when add-ons come into the picture, however, in recent times, the developers and publishers have started making things pushier regarding the loot box content and the pay-to-win options. Let’s take a game like Middle-earth: Shadow of War for example. The game tried to use loot boxes to enhance its single player experience, and it was met with a great deal of suspicion from gamers.
Later Star Wars Battlefront 2 arrived with costly prices for hero characters and loot boxes containing Star Cards with player enhancements. It was not a great deal pay-to-win. However, EA was treading that line by letting the players spend real money to buy the loot boxes. The company swiftly removed the Crystal currency from the game (temporarily) to try and save the reputation for the game’s official unveiling.
Sadly, it was too late, and the damage was done. Sales have been a lot lower for Battlefront 2, and the company’s shares also fell a bit recently. Therefore, this petition might ultimately lead to Disney canceling EA’s Star Wars license. We hope that it has made the publishers realize that an opinionated and upset community can cause a lot of damage to their business.