With the speed at which news comes out in the gaming industry we sometimes miss important or news worthy things. Some of these things we want to talk about in a way that is both easy for you guys and allows us to get all the facts together as some of these stories develop quickly. Sometimes we also just cover topics that we find interesting and want to discuss.
Lootboxes, gambling and Star Wars Battlefront 2
Well Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been let out into the world for those with early access and let’s just say the experiences being reported from players is not what you want to hear when you’re game is supposed to be a big hit. Star Wars is a huge franchise with a huge fan base and this game was expected to be a big hit with gamers this holiday season.
Now you may be wondering where everything went so wrong, or you may already but for those of you that don’t I’ll lay it out here. So the loot box system in Battlefront 2 is the main form of progression in gameplay. So the items, weapons and cosmetics you acquire are entirely random. This creates some weird progression in a $60 title. Then come to find out that the two most iconic heroes in the Star Wars franchise to this point, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are locked to players until they spend enough credits to unlock them. An article it is said to take 4,528 hours of gameplay or about $2100 to unlock all the base content for the game. That seems a bit much considering the cost of entry.
Now where things really get “interesting” because EA actually responded to the outrage of the community with this to say:
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can. – EACommunityTeam
So of course this response was not really what the community and potential buyers were looking for and upset them further. Many community members felt insulted by the response by EA because instead of making changes they stood by their decisions to include loot boxes and did not back down . After this Reddit post there was an Raddit AMA that took place on the 15th of November 2017. In regards to the loot boxes we got this from Dennis Branvall:
“Yes. I don’t feel you can take yourself seriously as a developer on a live game if you’re not willing to completely challenge your own system and consider overhauls. I can’t really commit to the dates just yet, but we’re looking at solutions where players have a clearer, more direct path to getting the stuff you want.”
So again this is not what the community wanted to hear. This vagueness on the responses is quite concerning.The final part of this ongoing saga is that they disabled the ability to purchase the special currency with real world money.
So that is where it currently sits, all progression is based on gameplay.
Wiggin’s thoughts on the subject : Well I guess I’ll start at the end because that’s the most recent turn of events. The General Manager at DICE has said they have turned off in game purchases for the foreseeable future. Now with all that has transpired you would think this is a win for gamers and I think you would be sorely disappointed with my view of the situation. While I think it’s good short term that they have disabled the ability to purchase the in game, they stated they are coming back. I don’t think that when they come back they will be what the majority of the community will be comfortable with. I feel they are removing them for the time being to get people to buy the game and become invested in the game. I wanted to really like this game because I felt like the first game had so much potential and from what I’ve seen this second game could of been a vast improvement over the second game but instead it’s being hammered, rightly so over its poor business model in an attempt to turn it into some Star Wars slot machine. I’m not happy about our video games being turned into slot machines but it seems to be the way things are headed. I hope that we can correct this course because I don’t think the industry will survive the course it’s headed. Speaking of loot boxes EA’s other new game Need for Speed Payback has boxes that look exactly like slot machines.