Disney Speedstorm Fans Unhappy With Monetization Changes

Disney Speedstorm Fans Unhappy With Monetization Changes

Image: Disney

While you might not expect a Disney-themed kart racing game to be the subject of much controversy, Disney Speedstorm has implemented some changes to its progression that have upset fans so much that some are considering legal action. Developer Gameloft has framed these changes as helpful for people looking to earn in-game rewards more quickly, but that’s eclipsed by the team putting content that was once earnable through playing the game behind a real-money paywall.

The hoopla started when Gameloft posted an update on the official Disney Speedstorm website regarding changes to the game’s Golden Pass. This is essentially the game’s paid battle pass containing racers, upgrades, cosmetics, and earnable in-game currency called Tokens. Up until now, the pass itself has been purchasable with Tokens, so players could conceivably access these unlocks without spending real money.

Starting with the game’s Wreck-It Ralph-themed seventh season on April 17, however, the premium Golden Pass will only be obtainable through a direct purchase of $9.99, or $19.99 with a tier skip. Each season will also have two Golden Passes moving forward, meaning you have to pay twice to get everything you can unlock each season. As Gameloft frames it, the trade-off is that people will be able to progress through the Golden Pass with half as much required XP, making it easier to unlock racers and items than before. But while not everyone loves to grind, nobody likes paying for something they used to get for free.

A free tier of unlockable rewards will still exist, but not every reward (including playable racers) is available without paying up. Disney Speedstorm has only been out for about a year, counting its early access launch in April 2023, but that’s long enough for fans to have grown accustomed to the time and money investment they need to experience everything the game offers. Throwing a regular charge into something that could once be acquired for free has gone as well as you’d expect. Right now, the Speedstorm subreddit is full of jokes about “wrecking” the game (see, it’s a Wreck-It Ralph reference), players saying they’re done with the game after this move, and even calls for Gameloft to name who was responsible for the change (which Speedstorm’s community manager shut down on the game’s Discord). The Speedstorm Steam page has also been hit with a wave of negative user reviews.

On top of all this, some players are discussing a possible class action lawsuit given the language used to describe the in-game currency on support and store pages, which specifically notes that Tokens can be used to buy the Golden Pass.

We’ve reached out to Gameloft for comment on the situation and will update the story if we hear back.

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