EA makes ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ heroes easier to earn amid backlash

But only favorites from the original trilogy.

Video game studios sometimes tinker with their games until release day, but Electronic Arts is making another last-minute change to soothe legions of irate fans. After the high price to unlock heroes in the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II caused fans to revolt, EA relented. The publisher told fans in a blog post that, effective immediately, a handful of iconic characters including Luke and Darth Vader would be far easier to earn.

EA cut down the cost of 'top heroes' by 75 percent. Luke and Vader are 15,000 credits (the in-game currency), while Palpatine, Chewbacca and Leia are 10,000, while the game's solo campaign protagonist Iden Versio will cost 5,000.

Fans had criticized how well-known heroes available by default in the first Star Wars: Battlefront needed to be unlocked in the sequel, and how difficult it was to earn enough credits to do so. In Battlefront II, in-game currency is earned by time spent in multiplayer matches; Over the weekend, fans calculated that it would take 40 hours to get 60,000 credits -- the price to unlock a top hero. Which means, even with the discount, that it'll take fans 10 hours of in-game time to unlock Luke or Vader.

Yesterday, a Redditor shared their outrage that franchise favorite Darth Vader was locked. A reply by an EA Community Team employee who said the cost was intended to "provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes" was heavily ridiculed and became one of the most downvoted posts in Reddit history. Unfortunately, overzealous fans have taken it way too far and harassed the game's developers -- even sending death threats, which, and I can't believe I have to write this, is never okay.

It's the second time EA has tweaked the game's reward mechanics following backlash. After the open beta last month, players and critics were outraged that anyone could get a noticeable advantage in multiplayer by buying randomized loot crates. Subsequently, EA publicly responded to the feedback and reserved the most powerful of upgrades for merit-only unlocking.

In its blog post, EA noted that this instant discount is "a big change, and it's one we can make quickly." It will go live today ahead of the game's launch on November 17th, but players who pre-ordered Battlefront II for early access should see the discount when they boot the game up tomorrow. While heroes Finn and Captain Phasma will join the game next month before The Last Jedi hits theaters in Battlefront II's first DLC, it's unclear how credits-expensive -- and ergo attainable -- they'll be.