PC Gamer reports on further dishonesty coming from Electronic Arts, as datamining has now revealed that Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has an unused cosmetic customization feature within the game’s files, a revelation that comes just days after the company’s CEO said that no such feature currently exists within the game.
In an interview given on November 28, EA CEO Blake Jorgensen specifically stated that Battlefront 2, at least at this point in time, did not have any form of cosmetic customization. As this was a feature in EA’s first Battlefront game in 2014, many fans had been justifiably confused and upset at its absence in the new installment.
Jorgensen gave the reasoning behind this change, saying that the company did not want to “violate canon”, citing an absurd example of a pink Darth Vader as justification. Though many were quick to point out the illogical reasoning behind this answer, given that the first game had this feature and that the Battlefront games themselves are essentially a “violation of canon” simply by existing, many were shocked to find out just a day later that this feature had been in the game’s files the entire time.
In a YouTube video posted by Redditor uninspired_zebra, the user showcases a cosmetic customization menu with numerous options contained within the PC version of the game. And, rather than simply wait to release the feature in the full game, EA’s statements on the matter seem to suggest that this form of customization was never meant to see the light of day at some point in the future.
Caught in what can only be described as a deliberate lie, this newest bit of controversy comes right on the heels of Battlefront 2’s massive loot box scandal, leading countries like Belgium to call for a ban on loot boxes in all games released in Europe and the stock value of multiple video game publishers to plummet, EA’s in particular losing the company over $3 billion in value.
The company had first taken flack upon the Battlefront 2’s beta release, with players finding the absurd costs necessary to play competitively with other players using the randomize loot boxes matched only by the time investment it would take to do so without spending extra money (approximately 40 hours to unlock characters like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker). With things only getting worse from there – and quickly – EA and the rest of the games industry has seen massive backlash over what many describe as simulated gambling aimed at children (in the form of the loot box) and dishonesty on the part of the company.
With this newest revelation managing to anger all but the most ardent of EA’s fans, it remains to be seen whether the company can find a way out of this latest PR nightmare.