Star Wars Battlefront II's loot box controversy
#1
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In recent days, Star Wars: Battlefront II has been getting a lot of flak for including microtransactions despite the fact that the game itself already costs $69.90 to begin with. Ars Technica has an article detailing the in-game economy, loot boxes, and various unlockable things. In summary, you either spend many hours grinding for currencies, items, characters, cards or you can pay to unlock them. This is something that's commonly seen in free-to-play mobile games but is slowly creeping up on full-price games as well which is very alarming.

When a reddit user asked why Darth Vader is locked behind a paywall despite already paying $80 for the game, EA's response (currently the most downvoted reddit post of all time with -676k points) was nothing short of baffling. Here's the most (in)famous line

Quote:The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

Most of the posts in the Battlefront subreddit are about this controversy. The developers' AMA (Ask Me Anything) session a few days ago got so many downvotes that the moderator had to sticky a list of their responses to user questions.

In response to the massive backlash, EA reduced the amount of credit to unlock heroes by 75%, but EA also reduced credits awarded to players upon completion of campaign by 75% as well so the move doesn't look as good as it first appears. The latest development is that EA is temporarily halting in-game purchases as they make some changes to the game.

In related news, the Belgian Gaming Commission and Dutch Gambling Authority are investigating whether loot box system in games qualify as gambling. If they are considered to be gambling, there could be fines, licensing fees, and/or restrictions to the sales of the games.



Polygon has a series of articles chronicling the controversy if you're interested in learning more.
#2
Sadly this practice is becoming common in many of the new games and, to be honest EA is no exception to this. While I understand that they have to make some revenue out of the game, i cannot justify them for adding such powerfull items behind a paywall.


Anyway, those loot boxes are already considered as gambling in China if I remember correctly.
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#3
If they want to milk players like that they should make the game free and then earn from those loot boxes and paywalls. Even so they shouldn't force players to pay for important characters like Vadar. I hope this will get enough attention so more people would think again before buying. They stirred a honest nest by Limiting Dailty credits you can earn. That was an one massive stupid move to fix the original problem IMO.
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#4
(2017-11-21, 3:04:22 am)Gries Wrote:  Anyway, those loot boxes are already considered as gambling in China if I remember correctly.

I don't think they're labeled as gambling but China did pass a law requiring developers to display the probabilities of getting items in loot boxes. I read this news about Chinese version of Overwatch bundling loot box with purchase of in-game currencies to bypass that law but I'm not sure if it's actually implemented or not.

(2017-11-21, 12:07:28 pm)dudex Wrote:  If they want to milk players like that they should make the game free and then earn from those loot boxes and paywalls.

I don't know. Even if they made it to a free-to-play game, it doesn't change the fact for games where real world currency gets you gameplay advantages/progression, outcome of PvP battles will be mostly determined by who pays the most instead of who is the most skilled. Also, there's the issue that games with microtransactions or loot boxes in mind are deliberately designed to be much more grindy and frustrating compared to games that are not (in order to "encourage" the players to spend).
#5
I think this is the direction all of these stream base games are taking. Its their best way to keep earning money This method make games lot profitable than those use to be. I don't have a problem with that. More profits will make then make better games (hopefully) to attract more people. But they should have a far chance for other members to catch up with "paid" gamers. Sadly this is a good example show that's not what happens.
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#6
No wonder its the most down-voted reply on reddit.

"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes."

This doesn't even make sense lol

Simple Meaning (lol):

Have pride because you are *rich* and spent money on our loot-boxes and made us rich.
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#7
here people say that in developed countries there are corruption but not at the grass-root level as seen in Asian and African countries.. but now it seems they are changing the rules there too.. ha ha ha

here they talk smooth up to the point of you getting parted with your money. It is in their pocket and then you hear ..fk off jrk.

what a laughably absurd reply that is on Reddit.
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#8
I also think that this type of practice is done to continuously earn money from your game instead of just one time payment, even then they are charging a hefty amount for the game in the first place.
By the amount of comments and the discussion that is taking place on Reddit, I don't think it would be easy for EA to dodge this and even then their reputation will already be tarnished due to all of this.
#9
Recently came across this article:
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/hawaiian-bil...1000047394

Seems that finally things are moving into the right direction. What's your thought regarding this matter?
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