> Update: As pointed out by PCGamesN, it appears the refund button is disabled for all pre-orders on EA’s Origin store – not just for Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
> While EA does indeed offer refunds for up to seven days after a pre-ordered game launches, the refund button only appears once the game is out. This means that anybody who wants to cancel their pre-order will have to go through the customer support chat by default.
> Or alternatively, wait for the refund button to show up once Battlefront 2 launches officially on November 17.
EA's statement is not clear, it just says "the refund button only appears once the game is out" but doesn't clarify how long that has been the case. Knowing EA, that probably means "As of two hours ago, the refund button only appears once the game is out."
This is part of a cultural shift. EA appears to be on the wrong side of it, and the traditional "community engagement" tactics they deployed backfired horrendously. Twenty years ago, you could adequately manage a mass consumer community with ads and some targeted engagement. As people's resistance to transparent inauthenticity grows (and it has been growing steadily for at least fifty years), it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage people one doesn't actually care about. Mass credulity is decreasing (slowly, steadily, imperfectly).
As with all cultural shifts, there are contradictions and complexities. Yes, some kids in the "downvote brigade" will buy the game anyway, and there will be whales who spend too much money on the game. The problem for EA is that they won't be as numerous, and as time and culture march on they will eventually all but vanish.
I don't think anyone in advertising or PR thinks their job is getting easier. And honestly, it should be difficult to sell people stupid baubles for large amounts of money. I think the rise of mass media exposed some holes in our collective cultural defenses that we've been patching up over two or three generations. This kind of backlash will become increasingly more frequent as large entertainment companies attempt and fail to adapt to the changing times. At the end of the day, some middle-aged cadre of smart, possibly even savvy and well-meaning PR people will try to adapt EA's (or whomever's) community engagement tactics, and they will find a new and creative (even laudable) ways to fail.
In fact, it's quite possible EA is not at all surprised by this backlash and was simply 'optimizing'. This time they went a bit too far perhaps, so next time they'll be a bit nicer until all this is forgotten.
I mean, we're talking about EA here. I don't recall a time where they weren't hated by most of Reddit, and I don't get the impression it's been much of a problem for them.
I think at this point it's important to differentiate: Loot-Crate systems with resellable content (CS:Go etc) are gambling. Loot-Crate systems without resellable content function by the same mechanism but are different legally.
On the other hand pay-to-win or pay-to-skip are very different from gambling and work by completely different mechanisms. Being ahead of everyone else allows whales to either feel superior or to help fellow players, making the whales feel useful and depended upon. All of these feelings can be hard to get in the offline world, so instead whales pay to get them online.
I'm not condoning predatory microtransaction systems at all, but I think it's important to differentiate them instead of treating them all as if they were gambling
I agree that it's perhaps an oversight that dopamine release is not considered a prize under the existing 3-part test for gambling - chance, prizes, risk of loss.
The only reason the ESRB (admittedly not a regulatory body) does not consider loot crates gambling is because there is no chance of getting nothing from a loot box. Of course, you are almost guaranteed to get items which, in practice, have no value to you.
Let's also not ignore the fact that the micro-transaction model exploits the same exact psychological responses used by gambling houses to get you to spend more money. Combine that with the fact that these games are rated teen and I think you have a problem, regardless of whether or not you call it 'gambling'.
If that's the case, how is going to the movies not gambling? I can't predict how much I'm going to enjoy a given movie before I go.
Absolutely boycott publishers you feel are harming the industry. It takes time but it does work. Besides, there's so many wonderful games you're not missing anything and you're helping to make the industry better.
"EA eventually announced it will lower the character unlocking difficulty by 75 percent. But it seems this didn’t curb the outrage."
From what I was reading last night they also reduced the currency rewarded by playing the main campaign. Thus making the cost reduction negligible. Looks like it was just a misdirection tactic by EA.
The wider causal gaming community probably don't know or care.
Point 2 is absolutely correct, making the answer to your original question “highly unlikely”.
I am so happy I stopped playing video games before in-app purchases became a trend. Destroyed productivity was bad, but the stories about people flushing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain terrify me. That could have been me.
They made the game HARD. That's good, that's what people asked for. Then they made the game EASY if you want to pay extra to make it easy. I think that's a fair trade, but that's clearly a minority opinion.
I agree with what you're saying, but there's a small amendment to that: with Overwatch, you can buy loot boxes for extra character skins or sprays. But the impact on the game is minimal. Loot boxes start at $1 each (with volume discounts available), but you also get one for free every time you level up, which happens every 5 games or so, in addition to a loot box for every three arcade-mode games you win (up to three boxes per week).
In my mind, this is the right way to do it: the content is good enough to be engaging and worth paying a small amount of money for if you really want a certain skin, but you can also decide never to pay one cent after you initially buy the game and still feel like you're getting the full experience.
 There are a couple of cases where certain emotes can make it easy to hide in an unexpected location, affecting gameplay, but they're rare enough that the videos get shared widely, and once they're no longer secret, they don't impact the competitive meta-game measurably. In other words, it's self-correcting: there's no systematic way that buying loot boxes to get all the skins/emotes/sprays/etc. allows you to consistently improve your competitive advantage over other players.
 Depends on whether or not you win, how well you personally play in each round, whether you're in a group, etc.
I haven't seen anything but praise for CDPR for the Witcher games. The game was amazing, with free DLCs that are as big as some smaller games, and they had 2 expansions that people had to pay for. Everyone was happy.
Yeah that was my point! No one complained because everyone saw it as fair.
This made me look around a bit and I came across this excellent piece explaining how the economy of the game is fucked up: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/11/can-ea-fix-whats-brok.... Maybe they should go the Valve way and hire an actual economist to design their economy?
Hope that makes sense
I read someone here saying that most people will only play this game's multiplayer for 2O hours and then move on, and I suspect they are correct. And it will be exacerbated by the pay-to-win model
Which is genius, really, since then the non-pre-order people are at an immediate disadvantage and thus perfectly primed for play2win microtransactions.
I suppose I expect more from someone who has been here for almost 9 years.