Criticism of ‘Battlefront 2’ is Completely Unwarranted: The challenges of marketing a capitalist product to Marxist losers

Like everything else in politics the level of hate we see today and the way that people react to a little pressure can be blamed on progressive public educations which have pretty much ruined the minds of several generations.  We can see it everywhere, in our entertainment culture, our jobs, and our politics especially; we now have an entire younger generation of Millennials who have such high expectations about everything and not a clue on how to get a happy result.  The entertainment press that is largely made up of these new types of people has control of entire industries through their editorial boards and their footprints in the sand are obvious.  As I said recently in my review of the new Justice League movie, if that film had been released in a different time, it would be considered a miracle of film making.  But today it is ridiculed for not being everything that a collective hive mind could dream of—so it is picked apart by a hostile press hoping to cannibalize the filmmakers like zombies from the latest Walking Dead episode.  I mean when did anybody consider a $93 million dollar opening weekend a problem—ahead of a four-day Thanksgiving weekend where most kids are off school and can go to the theater with their parents?  I mean Justice League is going to be more than profitable for the Warner Bros. studio that distributed it—yet somehow that’s not enough—the expectations by today’s youth is that everything should always increase and if it doesn’t then there are problems.  And that was never more clear than in the recently release of Battlefront 2 and the massive controversy about loot crates which are used to increase the performance and effectiveness of the in-game characters and vehicles used in the massive online Star Wars first person shooter just released a week ago.  The article below will set the stage for just how ridiculous the situation truly is.

Even though I am normally concerned with much more serious things, I often write a lot about Star Wars and video games because both are a tremendous part of our modern culture.  Without addressing those markets and their influence on modern people, we can’t really claim to be speaking with any relevance to the concerns of our times. In that lens of thought, I find this Battlefront 2 situation very fascinating and direct evidence to the state of our world today, and where it’s going.  But before I can say any more, I have to provide my foundation thoughts on what Battlefront 2 does and is.  As an older person I have watched the industry go from little pixellated dots on the screen of an Atari 2600 to this latest photo realistic offering from Electronic Arts putting players as directly as possible into the role of their favorite Star Wars characters and situations.  I was after all up at midnight the day the new game was released to play it as close to first as possible.  The game came out November 17th yet I had pre-ordered it so was given entry to the experience at midnight November 14th. The moment I started playing it, especially the Starfighter Assault modes which put players in very ambitious dogfights with other live players set in Star Wars environments on a truly epic scale, I was in love with it.  If this game came out with just Starfighter Assault as the offering I would have been amazed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, So why all this consternation about loot crates?

Let’s make one thing clear; the purpose of the Battlefront 2 game is to make money.  It makes money by offering a good product to a public that wants what they are selling.  It really isn’t complicated, and without the incentive to make a lot of money, there really is no reason to make such a beautiful game.  I have no doubt that the loot crate idea was hatched based on the Electronic Arts mobile app game called Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.  It’s a free game, but to really get to the good stuff you either have to play the game a lot, or pay a lot of money-getting the right in-game currency to unlock the things players really want. Like to get the proper number of shards to unlock the members of Phoenix Squadron so that you can fly the Ghost in squadron combat you can pay $99 dollars for a bundle package hoping to get what you need.  In a lot of ways it was like the days of the old Topps movie cards that we could get as kids hoping to get that very special card to collect.  In the case of the Galaxy of Heroes game, a player could literally spend several thousand dollars getting their ranking up to an elite level.  I’ve done pretty well not spending a dime, but I’ve done the work—which is another option.  Based on their internal studies at EA they know that on a game like Battlefront 2 which is much more epic and detailed than a game on a phone app, players will be willing also to spend many thousands of dollars for an elite status that gives them an advantage over other players.  That was unquestionably the original plan with the loot crates in Battlefront 2—and I personally think they are fun.  I’ve only been playing the game a week so far and I find myself wanting to earn enough credits to unlock new cards within the game so that I can boost up my performance when playing against other players.  It’s very much a capitalist system and everyone comes out well in the exchange.

The problem comes from the fact that many people in the world today have been trained to be little socialists and they don’t want to compete against people willing to work harder at something than they are, and they certainly don’t want to compete against people who are willing to “pay to win” as they call it.  There are of course people out there in the world where Battlefront 2 is their calling in life, that’s all they have going on—they don’t have a family to worry about, they may have a cushy job that pays them a lot of money—and they don’t want to waste time on girlfriends and going out into the world to play golf, shoot guns, or even spend a couple thousand dollars on an NFL game, so they spend their money on video games.  If they can drop a few thousand dollars on the Battlefront 2 game to be considered elite at something in their life, they’ll do it and that is a good offering that any video game company could propose in a product.  But the players of these games have this entitled belief that the game somehow belongs to everyone—that Star Wars as a mythological institution is now part of the collective hive mind—and it’s not.  All players are not born equal in the game world, and all people are not equal in real life.  What players are criticizing EA over, and ultimately Disney as a parent company, is that they want to get to what they want in the game faster and without having to spend a lot of money—because the base game can cost up to $80 dollars.

Now to me, it’s a bargain.  I paid $80 dollars for a steak in a restaurant recently, so I have no problem paying that money for such a fun experience, and Battlefront 2 is FUN!  I find it a mild miracle still that I can play such an epic game with players from all over the world any time of day in my living room.  If I were a lazy person and wanted to get an advantage over other players by dropping a lot of money into the game to get more of these “loot crates” I’d have no problem with that option.  I mean a box of ammunition for my .500 magnum costs $65 dollars for just twenty shots. And I go through a box or so every couple of weeks because I like to go shooting at lunch to blow off the stress of my often very hectic days.  There are plenty of people like me that EA is trying to make some money off of so it’s their job to create something in their products to be appealing to me—and getting an advantage over other people is the name of the game.  That’s life.

That’s where the communism and socialism creeps into the discussion.  Star Wars is such a big cultural phenomenon around the world these days that is truly is a global reach for Disney.  They literally have to listen to everyone to market their products to them. And of course around the world especially in Europe, India, Australia, and many other places, people don’t have much money to spend on these kinds of entertainment options.  And young people in America have been so coddled for so long that they don’t think they should even have to work at anything to be able to play a game like Battlefront 2 without being dominated by players who pretty much spend their life on the game, or have purchased in-game bonuses to have an advantage.

As a general rule I don’t look to get an advantage in games by outspending other people.  I consider it a lazy approach—even in life.  I always do the work because if you can beat somebody using inferior equipment at a disadvantage, then you are really doing something—and when I’m in my leisure time having fun, always in the back of my mind is my desire to make myself better.  I don’t do anything to just waste time.  Even playing a phone app like Galaxy of Heroes for me is a way to work my mind strategically toward objectives that are pleasurable.  I may be doing business with VIPs spending money on $80 dollar steaks, but I have no problem taking a break from what I’m doing for a few minutes to run a quick battle on my phone just for the pleasure of winning something, then getting back to work. During the first week that Battlefront 2 was released I put over 60 hours into just the Starfighter Assault mode and I’ve become pretty good at it.  I am actually killing between 8 to 20 other pilots per round—which I expect to double soon—and I’ve earned some nice loot crate specialties that have really increased the performance of my starfighters.  It’s a lot of fun and I find myself often playing the game at 3 AM in the morning.  I stayed up all night two nights in a row last week playing the game because I think its fun.  It’s not as fun as winning in real life is, but I find that by winning in simulated environments that it conditions your mind to winning in real life—where things really count.  So I still love video games whether they are on my PS4 in my living room, or on a mobile app on my iPhone.  I find that games keep you on the balls of your feet staying mentally sharp when you need it most.

But way too many people these days want to just show up and have people give them things.  They want to be equal to everyone else and they want to treat Battlefront 2 as just another game of the week.  There are so many games out there that I can’t possibly play them all.  I’d love to, but I have to pick because I’m a busy guy.  The way Battlefront 2 is designed it seeks to consume as much of your time as possible, and it plans to still be a relevant game two years from now. Ultimately its purpose for the parent company Disney is to keep Star Wars fresh on the minds of their customer base until the next movies come out.  So the companies putting out this massive Battlefront 2 game, production companies like Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm, DICE and many others are always updating the content—and that all takes money.  Games, especially video games these days, are about more than just playing them, they are actual lifestyles—and that’s how they should be.  I find actually any criticism of the game by these cry baby Millennials to be unwarranted.

I personally love Battlefront 2 and I will be playing it often.  Of course my name on the game is Overmanwarrior so if you want to fight me, come and find me there.  If anybody had told me as a kid that I’d have access to something like it on a giant wall sized television with 4K definition and a Bose surround sound system to engulf my senses—I wouldn’t have believed them.  The game is a series of small miracles all culminating into quite an experience.  I think it’s beyond criticism for such a trend setting market that is still figuring out what it is.  The role these video games play in our cultural exchange is nothing short of an explosion of intellect and something Karl Marx never could have imagined.  We are literally in a whole new world—so the criticisms of Marxists, socialists and communists have no place in the discussion at all.  My advice to the makers of these games at EA, Lucasfilm, and Disney is not to listen.  Do your thing and let the chips fall where they may.  You’ll be a lot more profitable in the end, and everyone will be a lot better off.

Rich Hoffman
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