Games publisher EA has suspended in-game purchases in its latest Star Wars title Battlefront II, following criticism from players.
Gamers had complained that unlocking popular characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader took too long unless they paid for in-game credits.
EA said in-game purchases would be halted because it did not want the controversy to “overshadow” the game.
But it said the ability to buy credits would return.
In Battlefront II, players earn crystals by completing campaigns. The crystals can be spent to unlock new items and characters in the game.
Players and reviewers were disappointed that earning crystals through gameplay took several hours, and that there was a cap on the number of crystals that could be earned in Arcade Mode each day.
The game was “diseased by an insidious microtransaction model that creates an uneven battlefield,” wrote Andrew Reiner in a review for Game Informer..
Others argued that it was unfair to encourage microtransactions in a game that typically cost between £49.99 and £69.99 in the UK, or $60 in the US.
EA initially responded by reducing the number of crystals required to unlock in-game upgrades by 75% – but it also reduced the amount earned by playing campaigns.
It has now temporarily halted microtransactions. “Sorry we didn’t get this right,” it said in a statement.
“The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.”
The announcement was met with scepticism on Reddit, where players had raised complaints about the game.
“According to their statement, EA is disabling in-game purchases only temporarily. In other words, they’re waiting for the Reddit hive mind to get mad about something else and three weeks later they’ll put it back to how it was,” suggested one gamer.