Samir Sattar

The Battle Against Microtransactions

Video games have without a doubt dominated the technological market since before the new millennia.

In a space of more than 20 years, the gaming industry has evolved to become one of the world’s main economic competitors.

From the joystick-wielding Atari of yesterday, to the virtual reality-compatible PlayStation of today, electronic entertainment has become a necessity in most developed countries.

With these ever-changing consoles come game titles that have become iconic for the story, graphics and gameplay provided by a variety of corporate developers.

One of the biggest gaming corporations out there right now is Electronic Arts (EA), who have found modern-day success in the annual FIFA franchise as well as brought to life the expansion of many movie franchises including Star Wars.

November seemed to be quite an exciting month for Star Wars fans as EA released the long awaited game sequel Battlefront II.

After getting feedback from the 2015 reboot of Battlefront, EA were set to make major improvements in the sequel including a single player campaign.

However, being the centre of controversy that EA are, many fans were outraged once the Star Wars title released as the game had been riddled with loot crates for micro-transactions – a tactic EA has used continuously for many years to maximise profits.

What micro-transactions do in a game allows players to buy packs/crates with real money for the chance of getting a rare special item, player or ability.

A prime example of EA using micro-transactions to the fullest is through its FIFA Ultimate Team mode every year.

Children as young as 12 rinse their parents’ wallets all for the small chance of bagging a high rated football player on the game.

It is through this business venture that EA have managed to generate over $800m on Ultimate Team alone, with a projected billion mark by the end of 2017.

In response to the developers money-grabbing attempt, many gamers on the Black Friday weekend decided to hold a boycott against both FIFA 18 and Battlefront II in an attempt to get EA’s attention and make changes.

The unified protest of gamers worked as EA decided to remove micro-transactions from their latest Star Wars title (temporarily) and fix a few bugs with FIFA.

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