Star Wars Battlefront 2 (SWBF2) received severe backlash over the course of the past week for its ridiculous progression system involving loot boxes that provide an advantage to players.
Spending money on loot boxes has been likened to gambling in that the possibility of a reward is dependent on a random system. Many reviews point towards the fact that SWBF2 is a solid game with engaging multiplayer combat and a fun story, yet the microtransactions in the game have led to an industry-wide boycott, as the limit has finally been pushed too far.
In response to the constant criticisms and tearing down of the game, Electronics Arts (EA) initially reduced the cost of the in-game crystals but this was clearly not enough. Because of this, EA has officially announced that microtransactions will be dropped temporarily.
General Manager at DICE, Oskar Gabrielson, is quoted as saying:
“We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. We’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry, we didn’t get this right.”
He goes on to state that EA is turning off all in-game purchases temporarily and all progression will be earned through gameplay instead. Furthermore, in-game purchases will be available later when changes are made to the game.
Though this news is positive, the question being asked within the gaming community is whether the fans truly won? Many fans believe that this is just a ‘trap’ in order to boost sales for a period, and once the player base is strong enough, EA will restart microtransactions as normal and profit once again. The most obvious change that EA could make to the loot box system is to change the rewards to cosmetics only so that there will no longer be an effect on the game and all players would be on a level playing field.
Microtransactions are rampant across the industry, especially in AAA games, but EA has clearly gone overboard in their anti-consumerism and the fans have had enough. This is a first step in the right direction and hopefully, other companies take notice. You can’t get away with this stuff.