Stars Wars Battlefront 2 sales are way down — is pay-to-win backlash to blame?

Week one sales of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 are down 61% compared to the first game in the series, according to reports on Monday.

UK retailers, speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, say sales of the boxed edition are ‘significantly lower than anticipated’.

The news comes following a damaging controversy over the in-game microtransactions/loot creates model, which EA has temporarily pulled following an online outcry from fans.

Gamers were outraged over the system, which gave an advantage to players willing to spend real money on in-game purchases that could unlock more powerful characters.

Right now, gamers can only progress within Battlefront 2 through gameplay rather than microtransactions, but the restoration of a tweaked model is expected imminently.

The controversy reportedly attracted the attention of Star Wars custodian Disney, with reports suggesting CEO Bob Iger was “alarmed” by the online backlash.

Meanwhile, an earlier defence of the system from EA now holds the unwanted distinction of being the most downvoted post in the history of Reddit.

Is the controversy to blame?

How much the controversy affected sales remains to be seen.

Being the sequel to a game that disappointed in many ways probably has plenty to do with it, while more people are buying digital than they were two years ago when the original was released.

The new game has also struggled to gain critical acclaim, but in some cases that’s more due to the controversy than the quality of the gameplay.

In his 6/10 review, our own Brett Phipps wrote: “Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a great game spoiled by a terrible business model. DICE and EA are going to be under a huge amount of pressure not just to tweak, but completely overhaul the metagame or face an even bigger fan backlash than they have already.”

The hype for the original Battlefront game was also much greater, given it coincided with the release of the first Star Wars film in over a decade.

In the UK charts, Battlefront 2 sat at number two, below Call of Duty WWII and could only tie with FIFA 18, which has been available for weeks.

Are you upset enough by the loot crate controversy to boycott Battlefront 2? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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