EA, what do you have against Star Wars fans?
First I want to say that I dig much of what EA has done since the release of the first Battlefront. Some multiplayer games shipped complete without the need for $29 "expansions" or a "season pass". The $5 a month Origin access deal is one of the best in all of gaming. The Origin application is vastly superior to Steam.
It's as if EA finally got the memo... then this happens... Do you know how many nerds you have to piss off to have the most down-voted comment in Reddit history?
I'm fine with loot crates for non essential cosmetic elements. A new skin, hat, or emote... all fine with me and I think Overwatch has employed that system perfectly. I can tip the developer, but I don't have to. It costs me nothing in gameplay to not have that loot, but hey, I wanted that bitchin Zarya Skin so I paid a couple bucks for some extra loot. That's all well and good, but when the loot is required for a competitive advantage?? When it's required to unlock core game features?? Come on EA... Please be kind to Star Wars fans. We need that extra change for Star Wars POP! figures and vintage Kenner stuff.
I can't help but say that maybe this is not something we should talk about on here.
It is a team based first person shooter based on the Star Wars Galaxy. Has a topic ever been more Icrontic?
Blizzard isn't letting this opportunity pass by to take a shot at EA.
Like they've got room to talk. Look at Hearthstone and Overwatch
Hearthstone is a TCG, by nature you're expected to spend money to buy cards.
Overwatch'es micro transactions are cosmetic.
BF2 has gated content that gives players advantage and or are fundamental pieces of the franchise that you'd expect to be able to play behind absurd amounts of time and or paying more money in a game that already costs $60.
Pretty fundamental differences there.
Yes, and who in Icrontic has to deal with that bullshit on a daily basis? Do we REALLY need a reminder on here as well?
Hearthstone has gotten a lot more expensive in recent months, and it's bothering a lot of people. It's especially bad relative to the other newer CCGs popping up that offer daily rewards, better quest rewards, etc. I still play it, but it's getting harder to justify.
And it's pedantic, but as you can't do anything with your digital cards, it's better classed as a CCG than a TCG, which is another reason people are unhappy (all you can do is dust your cards if you want other ones, and the dust ratios are terrible). I'm in the camp of Blizz shouldn't be firing shots when the subreddits and forums are alight with 'this game is too expensive' threads.
So, I'm not sure why one would think this isn't a topic we'd want to discuss here. This is the kind of stuff we used to do articles about and have some pretty spirited discussions.
This isn't a political thing. This is a legit problem that's been plaguing the industry (Loot Boxes) for a while now, and the BattleFront II launch was just a catalyst that helped explode the issue to the forefront.
The Loot Box problem isn't new. Microsoft/Turn10 caught a lot of flack for its implementation in Forza 7, which is one of the reasons I haven't picked it up yet.
This problem is already widespread in the mobile gaming environment as the pay-to-win model is huge (FoE, Clash of Clans, Game of War, etc).
I'm just gonna leave this here: The Year Of The Loot Box (The Jimquisition)
Jim is often extremely aggressive, at times overly harsh, and in general is just a little over the top, but damn he's good at calling out bullshit in the game industry. Blizzard definitely does not come out unscathed.
I was frustrated with the release of the first Star Wars Battlefront. I felt like they held some content back, the game felt soft, incomplete on launch day. Still, I purchased three PS4 copies for Holiday gifts. I never purchased for PC, I wanted the game, I didn't feel good about the way they were going to stage content and end up splitting up the multiplayer community. I played some on PS4 with family. We didn't get our moneys worth if I'm being honest.
Since then it would seem like EA understood on a couple releases that this kind of Season Pass, more money more playable content in multiplayer games was a bad idea. TitanFall 2 released with all the expansion maps being free for example. The Origin Access deal is obscenely good too. It felt like EA saw a way to both make money and please gamers then all this happens. One step forward, two steps back.
Look, I know vibrant evolving multiplayer games can generate extra long-term overhead for a developer / publisher. I understand having an added revenue stream beyond the initial cost of purchase helps them get to a more profitable long term investment. Server maintenance, community management, bug fixes, balance fixes, all cost money long term in a way that a single player game does not.
Here is the problem for EA to solve. How do you build a vibrant evolving multiplayer community and maintain a revenue stream beyond the initial cost of entry. I'd almost rather pay $5.99 a month for the entire evolving game than have this kind of fragmented, this guy has this map, I don't, this guy has that uber gun and is killing me left and right and I don't, this guy gets to play as X character and I can't.. This makes the community feel disjointed and you want the community around your game to feel unified. We all have the same gameplay experience no matter our bank account. I don't know about all of Blizzard's product but I can tell you Overwatch has employed this masterfully. There is a loot system. The loot system is appealing but completely optional. Participating in the purchase of added loot does not change any of the core gameplay mechanics. It does not enable me to beat you because I have more loot money. I does not enable me to enjoy a different character or map because I have more money. In multiplayer first person shooters you must have a unified community. If you don't have a unified community player count drops off and my initial investment is worthless in a few short months. How many of us have purchased a game where you can't find players in a certain mode just months after spending $60 for it? I've been there. For a Star Wars IP, there is absolutely no excuse not to have one of the most vibrant growing communities in all of online gaming. It's Star Wars, it's almost like guaranteed success, and maybe that is why EA feels like they can get away with gouging their fans.
As it stands currently, I won't buy Battlefront II, and I really, really want to go Jedi on someone online, but given the current state of things I can't support it. I won't buy a copy for me, I won't gift it to someone. I'm really disappointed, I wanted to go Yoda on noobs. Come on EA.
Both Battlefront II and Overwatch are being investigated by Belgium in regards to whether or not their "Loot Box" systems constitute gambling under their laws.
I believe China did something similar with Hearthstone recently, but to get around it, they were able to release the drop rates for the 'boxes' (packs in this case) - so knowing that the odds of getting a legendary was about 1/20 was seemingly sufficient to satisfy the requirement for China.
Wonder what Belgium will require!
You did it Reddit.
Reddit be like......
Don't be fooled. They're trying to lure people into buying it, and they'll re-enable the microtransactions later, exactly as they say they will.
I'm enjoying the game. Impressed with how they disabled the money transactions for now. Its a fun game, beautiful and I'm sure I'll get plenty of fun out of it even if I never touch multiplayer.
I feel the same hollow sense of victory as when microsoft finally rolled back the always online requirement to the xbox one. The story is the same, a company thought of a way they could rake their customers over the coals for as much money as possible, regardless of the shitty experience it would result in, and spoon fed a bunch of obviously fabricated bullshit to get us to accept it. Only after intense super over the top public backlash that showed no signs of slowing to the point where it will hurt sales and even stock prices does the company finally backpedal. Microsoft had the gall to imply it should be thanked for spending lots of work changing this features for 'customer feedback' even, which was beyond insulting. At least EA apologized even though the apology was still filled with more obvious lies about the intent of the features. I'm glad that the people have the power to sway these companies, but it saddens me that they still try to pull these fast ones on us under the guise of 'our benefit'. It'll take a while before I can trust them again...and that's not the first time I've had to say that about EA either.
Cautiously optimistic. I really hope they go with the Overwatch model of cosmetics instead of gameplay/advantages.
I'm happy enough with this change to put it on my Christmas list this year, where Forza 7 still remains off.
Hopefully more like Overwatch.
Update regarding Belgium's view on this issue:
EA has lost over 3 Billion in stock value since the release of the game, down about 10%.
I take no pleasure in relaying that, but it does show the power of public perception when a passionate group is unified. Gamers are an odd lot. We argue, in fight and disagree a ton until we don't... It's fascinating what happens when a passionate and completely unified group mobilizes for or against something online. Might be nice if we could figure out how to do that for other more important matters.
Lol this is correlation if anything not causation.
Maybe not a one to one relationship, but I think it would be foolish to not see it as a driver.
It's reading way too much into what is likely normal fluctuation.
The financial writers at CNBC seem to think they are aligned. - https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/28/eas-day-of-reckoning-is-here-after-star-wars-game-uproar.html
As a 4-year EA employee I can tell you with 100% certainty that every single one of our high level fortune 500 business decisions are made as a result of reddit comments.
I know many multi-millionaire investors who drive stock prices and encourage boards to make critical business decisions and I will tell you this with absolute certainty: Demographically they are ALL ABOUT reddit. I know the visual you get when you picture "multi-millionaire, 66-year-old white male" is that they read old fashioned stuff like WSJ, Forbes, and NYT.... but I can assure you, they go straight to Reddit when they put on their slippers in the morning.
I also have a hard time believing that loot crate nerd rage dropped EA stock by 3 billion and it being the sole cause.
Like I said, someone at CNBC seems to think it was a driver to losses. I think it's foolish to think gamers have so little power as a congregation of consumers. The reditt community are your customers? I suppose if we want to say that doesn't matter to EA... we kind of knew that already.