It would be a bit of an understatement to say that EA made a big ‘oopsie’ when they launched Star Wars Battlefront 2 with loot boxes last year. Gamers around the world stood together in their aim to once and for all lay waste to the loot system that had been plaguing our games for the last few years. As result everyone took note, not only the games industry, but all sectors and with that came a huge backlash. When your game has the Star Wars name attached to it it’s something you don’t take lightly. EA’s newly named chief design officer, Patrick Söderlund, had some hard realities to face.
He told the Verge:
I’d be lying to you if I said that what’s happened with Battlefront and what’s happened with everything surrounding loot boxes and these things haven’t had an effect on EA as a company and an effect on us as management
We have taken significant steps as a company to review and understand the mechanics around monetisation, loot boxes, and other things in our games before they go to market
For games that come next, for Battlefield or for Anthem, [players have] made it very clear that we can’t afford to make similar mistakes. And we won’t.
His biggest acknowledgement of where EA needs to go in the future came in the below paragraph:
It’s clear to us that players see the company differently than we do. And in that situation, as a member of the executive team, as the guy who runs all of the studios, I have to take that seriously.
Will they change their stance on microtransactions in the future? Time will tell. One thing is for sure – it hurt their pockets and credibility and they’ll do anything to stop that from happening again.