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Lucasfilm reacts to Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate controversy

"Star Wars has always been about the fans."

Lucasfilm has weighed in with its reaction to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate controversy.

In a statement issued to The Washington Post, a Lucasfilm spokesperson said the production company supported EA's decision to withdraw (for now) the ability to spend money in-game.

"Star Wars has always been about the fans," Lucasfilm stated, "and whether it's Battlefront or any other Star Wars experience, they come first.

"That's why we support EA's decision to temporarily remove in-game payments to address fan concerns."

But was it EA's decision? Last week, Venturebeat reported of a late night call from Disney to EA - supposedly from Disney CEO Bob Iger to EA boss Andrew Wilson - in the hours before microtransactions were pulled.

The Washington Post has more on that, too - placing the call as coming from Disney exec Jimmy Pitaro, albeit on behalf of the Disney top brass.

"On Thursday, Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of Disney's consumer products and interactive media division, made a call to EA hours before the decision was made to pull in-game purchases.

"The Wall Street Journal reported that the call was to express Disney executives' unhappiness at how the outrage 'reflected on their marquee property'."

Star Wars is, of course, gearing up for the launch of its next big blockbuster episode. The Last Jedi opens in UK cinemas on 14th December, and Battlefront 2 has been designed as part of that big marketing push. The game has a big free update due to hit alongside the film, as well as featuring characters and locales from the story so far.

Anything to jeopardise Disney's launch of the potentially billion dollar-making film would surely set execs on edge.

If you've been living in a cave on Tatooine for the past few weeks, you'll have missed the big brouhaha surrounding Battlefront 2's in-game loot crates, which have sparked accusations of the game being pay-to-win. Battlefront 2's hero unlocks and progression systems have also been criticised. It all came to a head in the early hours of last Friday morning, when EA dramatically pulled the plug on Battlefront 2 microtransactions just as the game went on sale.

This morning, we learned the number of Battlefront 2 boxed copies sold at launch was down 60 per cent on 2015's Battlefront 1. Some of this difference (optimistically, perhaps as much as 30 per cent) will be made up by the move to digital downloads - but there's simply no way Battlefront 2 will have come close to matching its predecessor's sales, despite being a far bigger package.

Last week, Bertie let the Force guide his thoughts on how EA can still fix Battlefront 2.

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Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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