Oh, boy, where do we start with this one. As you know, on November 17th, the new Battlefront game came out and players around the world immediately cried out in anger and frustration. And the thing that caused this outcry? Lootboxes. Here’s a breakdown of what happened.
Welcome to EA’s Battlefront 2 Casino
The new Battlefront 2 is supposed to be a sequel to the already wildly unpopular Battlefront of 2015. The 2015 game was quite empty, with only minimum content included from the 2005’s Battlefront of which the newer Battlefront was supposed to be a reboot of. This vexed the gamers and their complaints reached the ears of EA’ leaders, leading to the new game being made. At the E3 announcement the game seemed like a dream – all the content was there, plus a singleplayer campaign that nobody really asked for. They include the prequels, the sequels and even the new films, and all the famous characters from the movies. For once, people thought, we’re getting what we want – a Star Wars Battlefront game to stand as homage to the old games. But was it all so?
No, no it wasn’t. Battlefront 2 turned out to be the most controversial game in the industry. It is as if EA and their developer DICE took five steps forward, but then plunged off a cliff back to the bottom, to the starting line. In fact, Battlefront 2 on release became one of the most hated games of 2017.
The worst part? The game is actually good.
Looking at Battlefront 2’s gameplay, the game feels really amazing. DICE made lots of improvements from the original, and everything seems to fall in place. That is, everything except the progression system.
When EA first released the beta, people realized that class progression and the game’s lootboxes are tied by an umbilical cord, i.e. it is impossible to progress without buying the lootboxes. These lootboxes dropped cards that would improve your class’ abilities (there are four classes), but can also be used to improve hero abilities and Starfighter abilities. However, your chances of getting the rarer cards were poor, and lootboxes contained skins, emotes and victory poses mixed in with the cards, further decreasing your chances of getting the cards you want. Furthermore, to be able to play certain heroes, you had to unlock them first, which further sparked outrage. The lootboxes and heroes could be purchased using in-game currency, but the boxes are super expensive, while you only get a small amount of credits per match. In fact, gamers calculated that you would need 4,500+ hours to unlock all content. Naturally, one can buy the boxes with real money, and it is estimated that you would have to pay $2,100 to unlock all content, and all this in a $60 game.
Seeing this, the gamers took to Reddit and expressed their displeasure there. EA responds by saying that they wanted players to experience a sense of “pride and accomplishment” when unlocking the heroes. The comment gets slammed and becomes the most downvoted comment in history of Reddit, reaching some 674.000 downvotes in a matter of days. Upon release, EA disabled the micro-transactions, temporarily, until they make changes to the system.
On another note, the gambling commission of Belgium conducted an investigation whether lootboxes found in games such as Battlefront 2 and Overwatch constitute gambling. The commission ruled that they did, and is now seeking to ban all lootboxes, as they consider paying money for a crate of random goodies gambling.
And, there you have it, the crux of Battlefront 2 controversy. This time, EA has hit a new low by not only ruining one of the most beloved franchises, but also trying to milk the gamers of their money. If you wanted to buy Battlefront 2, please, consider all that’s written here carefully, and then make your decision.