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Petition to Revoke EA's Star Wars Publishing Contract

By FallenXE - 30th November 2017 - 16:00 PM

Recently there has been a petition that has been going about on Change.Org asking for Lucasfilm to revoke Electronic Arts's multi-year publishing and development rights over the Star Wars franchise. As at the time of writing, the petition is sitting on 66,559 signatures on a 75,000 signatures target. The petition was written by a person from the United Kingdom named John Hunt.

Regarding the recent closure of Visceral Games and the cancellation of the third-person action-adventure Star Wars game that was being in development for a couple of years, he stated the following in the petition:

In October 2017 we found out that EA had cancelled this game and that Visceral Games were shutting down. EA told us that the reason the game was cancelled was because 'people didn't want a linear single player experience set in the Star Wars universe, they wanted something else that would allow the player to come back regulalary' - which is just nonsense. Pretty much the whole fanbase were excited for a new single player Star Wars story, however it became quite obvious very quickly why this game was cancelled. They would've struggled at monetizing a single player game, they've tried before and it didn't work because consumers are sick of getting ripped off and having to buy more content after spending $60 on a game.

That seems to be pretty much spot-on, seeing how Electronic Arts is trying to ride the "games as a live service" trend and how they intend to replicate the success of their commercialisation of the FIFA Ultimate Team model to their other games, noting how they made US$ 650 million from it alone.

The petition also goes to berate EA for having released the original Battlefront at $60 with a lot of content locked behind the Season Pass that gamers would have to pay a considerable $50 for. It also goes to talk about how Battlefront II has been built-up around the idea of squeezing as much profit as possible from players and fans, or "Average Revnue Per User" in business parlance.

Again, it will not be a surprise to see future petitions of similar sorts cropping up in the near future if micro-transactions and loot-boxes become more pervasive and venture beyond cosmetic upgrades, as evident in Battlefront II. Gamers are also starting to voice out on how they perceive developers are not delivering their money's worth of a purchased game as they believe content that should be on the disc on purchase are not locked behind Season Passes or DLCs.

Battlefront II has already found sales number to be lesser than its predecessor and it has had difficulty debuting at #1 in some markets. In addition to that, EA's shares plunged by about 8.5% or about US$3 billion in value recently as a result of the Battlefront II issue.

Will this make EA revise its policy towards how it reaps its profits from its games in the future? Or is this only a momentary pause in their micro-transactions and "games as a live service" vision? Do tell us your thoughts below!

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