Star Wars Battlefront 2 isn’t the only game this holiday from EA absolutely riddled with microtransactions. Need For Speed Payback’s implementation of them within its single-player campaign is arguably even worse, although the common consensus seems to be that people just don’t care as much about Need For Speed, for better or worse. The reviews reflected the sorry state of affairs, sitting at a very poor 62/100 on Metacritic.
After the furore surrounding Battlefront 2, EA has decided to revisit Need For Speed Payback’s microtransactions in a bid to salvage this other mess.
"We've been using Community feedback, along with our own in-game data and have come up with a number of changes, many of which are in the process of going live," writes EA’s F8RGE on Reddit. "Our aim with these changes is to make the progression, especially around the ownership of cars a much more enjoyable experience."
As it currently stands, players hit a grind wall when attempting to complete races in NFS Payback. Events are gated based on car level, improved by speed cards unlocked from loot crates or through grinding previous races. These speed cards literally improve a cars' racing ability, so if you go into an event with too low a rank you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle against opponents that are simply faster than you. By all accounts, it’s a bit of mess, and Ghost Games has even put in an achievement called “The Strategist” which requires players to “Grind a previously won event for Speed Cards”.
The changes which Ghost Games are implemented includes a boost to the amount of Reputation and Bank earned from completing activities such as events, and finishing outside of first position in races. "Today's changes are just phase one and we have further tweaks coming," the post continues. "Coming shortly will be some changes to the way tune-up shops work, especially around the quality/level of parts they stock."
Across the board changes coming into play for both of EA’s big holiday titles then. The consumer backlash has been very, very real, forcing EA to take an introspective look at how it handles the implementation of MTX into its titles. Actual sales figures for these games could be very revealing. Other publishers are certainly going to be taking a long, hard look at their plans in order to ensure they can avoid a similar controversy.