EA is scrapping a controversial money-making feature in new 'Star Wars' game after backlash

Key Points
  • EA has temporarily scrapped a controversial money-making feature in its "Star Wars Battlefront II" game
  • Fans are outraged that EA was charging players to pay for key characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader
  • EA apologized to fans in a blog post
Gamers play the video game 'Star Wars Battlefront II' developed by DICE, Criterion Games and Motive Studios and published by Electronics Arts on Sony PlayStation game consoles PS4 Pro during the 'Paris Games Week' on October 31, 2017 in Paris, France.
Chesnot | Getty Images

EA has temporarily scrapped a controversial money-making feature in its "Star Wars Battlefront II" video game which was released on Friday, following backlash from fans online.

The controversy centered around in-game purchases that allow players to save time by spending real money to make key characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader available to play with. Traditional games require players to play for a certain number of hours or do specific tasks in order to "unlock" rewards and characters.

Many fans were outraged that the game, which already costs $60 to purchase, was trying to introduce a "pay-to-win" culture, where those who were spending more would advance further.

On Tuesday, EA said it was reducing the cost to unlock key characters by 75 percent.

And on Friday, the firm said that it was turning off all in-game purchases, but only for a temporary period.

"We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay," EA said in a statement.

Wall Street is getting worried social media outrage over EA's 'Star Wars' game may hurt sales

"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."

EA admitted that "there are still challenges in the design" of the game and said it had noted concerns that in-game purchases could give players unfair advantages. It said that this is "overshadowing an otherwise great game."

"This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right," EA said.

A Reddit thread calling attention to the costs garnered nearly 3,000 comments before the thread was locked — one from an official EA company account that became the most downvoted Reddit comment in history, according to Venture Beat.

The controversy around the "Star Wars" game has also worried some analysts on Wall Street.

- Additional reported by CNBC's Sara Salinas.