Did Disney push for EA’s Battlefront microtransaction decision?


In the immediate wake of last week's surprise announcement that EA and developer DICE were temporarily removing microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II, VentureBeat reported that no less than Disney CEO Bob Iger called EA CEO Andrew Wilson to discuss the roiling controversy over the in-game purchases. Subsequent reporting from The Wall Street Journal now suggests Disney did put pressure on the game publisher to fix things, though not necessarily at the CEO level.

According to an unnamed "person familiar with the matter" who spoke to the Journal, Disney executives were "upset at how online outrage over the costs of gaining access to popular characters such as Luke Skywalker reflected on their marquee property." While Iger was concerned about this perception, it was Disney Head of Consumer Products and Interactive Media Jimmy Pitaro who sent EA a message expressing those concerns, according to the report.

EA acquired the lucrative exclusive rights to publish Star Wars-based games in 2013, a year after Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion.

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