Star Wars Battlefront II publisher Electronic Arts has conceded it made a boo-boo in regards to the controversial addition of loot boxes in the science-fiction shooter. Well, better late than never, eh?
Speaking with the Verge, Patrick Soderlund, EA’s newly-appointed chief design officer, revealed that the industry behemoth ‘can’t afford to make similar mistakes’ in the future, although it’s probably fair to say the damage has already been done in regards to Star Wars Battlefront II.
‘We had the intent that was designed for us to have more people play it over a longer period of time,’ offered Soderlund, adding, ‘and like a lot of other games on the market, to be able to afford to do that we had an idea of getting returns from that. But at the same time, we got it wrong.’
Just in case you weren’t really paying attention to the whole Star Wars Battlefront II debacle, EA received so much backlash from fans around the time of launch that it ended up temporarily removing microtransactions from the equation to quell frustrations, although sales for the game were notably below expectations all the same.
Since then, EA and developer DICE have attempted to patch things up, chiefly by revamping the game’s progression system in a recent update. And, while microtransactions have recently rocked up once again, they’re not anywhere near as intrusive as their previous incarnation.
‘People seem to appreciate what we’ve done, players are coming back, and we’re seeing stronger engagement numbers. People seem to think that for the most part, we got it right,’ noted Soderlund.
In conclusion, the executive noted that the company has ‘taken significant steps as a company to review and understand the mechanics around monetization, 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.’
Star Wars Battlefront II was released for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One in November 2017. Alice saw the potential in the game at launch, though back then the whole loot box shenanigans really hampered the experience as a whole.