In a move controversial to many players, EA DICE has restructured the pricing scheme for free-to-play Battlefield Heroes
, making some in-game items less expensive -- but harder to earn through gameplay.
The net effect of the restructuring is that free players will have a harder time gaining items without conducting microtransactions, according to Ars Technica
, which reports that many of the game's players are outraged by the change.
The report cited a forum post by one player
who estimated he would now have to play 50 games, or 4 hours' worth -- daily -- in order to maintain a single super-weapon. The general impression from these vocal forum users is that the transition means that instead of feeling as if purchases are an option for bonus enhancements, they now feel as if it is mandatory to spend money just to maintain the level of play to which they have become accustomed.
The transition announcement comes at the same time EA CEO John Riccitiello has begun speaking publicly and to media outlets including Gamasutra
about the publisher's shift in focus toward digital business models, and EA's aim to have online revenue constitute a larger portion of its mix.