Was This the Biggest Mistake Ever Made With the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise?

When it comes to the list of mistakes involving the Star Wars franchise, most of them revolve around the movies. Popular candidates for the biggest mistake would include Jar-Jar Binks or the entire prequel trilogy.

Some would argue the rot set in as early as the Ewoks with Return of the Jedi in 1983. Still others would argue that JJ Abrams dropped the ball with an underwhelming Episode IX.

Of course, there’s more to Star Wars than just movies, and that includes video games. Some fans would argue that the biggest blunder, in that world at least, involves the game Star Wars Battlefront II. And they’ve got a world’s record to prove it. 

Stormtroopers from Star Wars
Stormtroopers from the movie “Star Wars” | David Becker/Getty Images

What happened with ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II?’

Star Wars Battlefront II is an action shooter video game released in 2017 by Electronic Arts. Singler players act as Iden Versio, involving events leading up to the events of The Force Awakens. In parts of the game, the player can control familiar characters like Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren.

The problem with the game revolved around a loot box, which meant that players had to use considerable amounts of real money to unlock major characters. A Reddit thread asked “Seriously? I paid $80 to have Vader locked?” Electronic Arts responded this way: 

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

“As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

“We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.”

This did not go over well. 

Where does the ‘Battlefront’ controversy stand now?

Techrunch notes that EA’s comment swiftly obtained downvotes in six figures. A separate Reddit post notes that with 683,000 such votes, this was the most downvoted comment in all of Reddit. That’s a record Electronic Arts doesn’t want to hold. 

Initial response to the claim that the loot box was to promote a sense of player accomplishment included several variations of “BS.” 

“That’s rich. Just be honest. The truth is you know very few people are going to sink a full work week into this game and you’re hoping that somebody is desperate enough to buy credits to unlock the character. It has nothing to do with providing a ‘sense of pride and accomplishment,'” one fan groused.

And that was just one response among many. 

What does this mean for the future of Star Wars?

For fans not familiar with the games, it might be hard to understand how this is the “biggest mistake” in the history of the franchise. As with so many things regarding Star Wars, hyperbole runs rampant.

On the other hand, messing up a game so that users had to fork over a lot of money to play certain characters hits people in their wallets. Even a bad movie can only do so much financial damage to a viewer.

As it stands, the future of Star Wars is decidedly mixed, like the reaction to The Rise of Skywalker. If Lucasfilm knows the future of the movies, they haven’t said what it will be yet. However, they’re also celebrating the positive reaction to The Mandalorian overall and to Baby Yoda in particular.

Maybe Electronic Arts can redeem themselves by putting Baby Yoda in a game. Whatever the case, in both games and TV shows, it looks like Star Wars’ best days ahead may be on the small screen rather than the large one.