Just as many people enjoy a nice cold Goose Island pale ale but hate the beer megacorp AB InBev which owns it, so too is the rage palpable against Electronic Arts, which owns many a beloved franchise but is far less than the sum of its parts.
Today, that dislike is slightly more quantifiable thanks to a comment on Reddit from the account “EACommunityTeam”, which sought to defend the company’s decision to shield popular characters from being immediately available to users who purchase Battlefront II, which has its worldwide release later this week. The comment was made about 24 hours ago and has become the most downvoted comment in the history of Reddit by a margin far-and-wide.
At the time of writing, the posting had a total score (upvotes minus downvotes) of over -394,000. For perspective, the second-most downvoted post had a score of -24,333. In 2015, Reddit detailed that they were receiving about 2 million comments per day on average, and given how awful so many of them are, this is undoubtedly a major feat.
This post is almost certainly getting downvoted en masse with a little help from bots as well given the sustained rate of rage, regardless the post has been gaining a lot of attention with thousands of responses mostly lambasting EA for messing with the gaming industry.
Gaming is something Redditors are undoubtedly passionate about, the r/gaming subreddit has over 17 million subscribers and is the 9th most-popular group on the site overall.
The impending threat of mobile caused video game creators to adapt and shape how they thought about the future of gaming; for EA and many of the other parent companies which lorded over studios possessing beloved franchises, this adaptation was far from subtle. While entities like Nintendo have survived and thrived in the face of these existential threats by continuing to craft epic, complete storylines while tacitly embracing DLC to occasionally add to glorious experiences like Breath of the Wild, EA has gone the more overt route.
This particular referenced instance highlights how gamers are upset that EA has adopted freemium pay structures into games that are, in fact, full-priced. Not being able to play as central Star Wars characters in a game solely focused on playing as central Star Wars characters unless you unlock them after dozens of hours of gameplay or through paying a fee is not a great way to foster loyalty and admiration.
Update: EA responds.