Last year, the release of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was expected to be a worldwide celebration with many improvements to the game and tons of new campaigns and characters. The new skins and card systems for battle customization sounded incredible. However, sales hit as low as one million below their expected range due to a huge controversy. Both Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Overwatch were accused of endorsing gambling with their loot crate systems.
The loot crate system is the most popular form of microtransaction sales in the gaming industry. While some have free loot boxes that you can obtain, others are what many have deemed “pay to win.” These games require you to get characters, stat-boosting items, and more from loot boxes in order to progress. Others simply grant the chance to get cosmetic skins and movement animations, such as in Overwatch. Unfortunately, there is a huge market for these boxes and many players both young and old have paid a lot of money to get their rarest contents. Many countries that outlaw gambling also banned these types of games due to loot crates.
The main issue appears to be that this form of virtual gambling is in the hands of children. It’s believed that these games influence them at a young age to engage in gambling throughout their lives. Belgium has even moved to have games such as Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and all loot crate games banned from Europe entirely. Amid the controversy, EA has responded in a seemingly negative way.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) January 30, 2018
Star Wars Battlefront 2’s Crates Return
With a move that many are calling greedy, EA’s bringing back their loot crates. While drop rates for credit currency have increased, the loot boxes are likely here to stay and will not be affected by anything. EA’s chief financial officer made a public statement claiming that they do not believe that loot boxes are a form of gambling. Naturally, this has not painted them in a positive light with many people. The microtransactions will indeed return, along with a promised reworking of the progression system.
It’s rumored that this system will only be for cosmetics, but that has yet to be seen. EA has not been very keen on keeping their promises. For example, EA said they wouldn’t allow “lore-breaking” cosmetics, yet they allow the pink and white Darth Vader mods. Disney contacted EA prior to the removal of the old loot box system. Hopefully, they can manage to bring out a better system that will prevent this game from being banned in Europe.
What do you think about the loot crate system? Should games like Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 be banned? Will EA ever make a game without microtransactions? Tell us your thoughts in the comments and the poll!