Players probably remember last year’s loot crate controversy that swirled around Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
The game’s publisher EA found itself the target of monstrous ire ahead of the game’s release when players discovered that not only were the loot crates part of a “pay-to-win” mechanic in Battlefront 2, but that unlocking top tier heroes would take weeks of grind work.
By the time the developers walked back the microtransactions, the damage had been done; the game’s sales failed to hit expected targets and EA was more reviled than it ever had been.
EA says it’s learned some important lessons from the experience. In a conversation with The Verge, EA’s chief design officer Patrick Söderlund says the publisher made mistakes with the loot crate implementation in Battlefront 2.
“We had the intent that was designed for us to have more people play it over a longer period of time, 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,” Söderlund said, “But at the same time, we got it wrong.”
Söderlund also said that EA was aware of how the backlash had informed players’ views of the publisher. After the Battlefield 2 controversy, pundits and players alike have been rather vocal about their negative expectations of EA’s forthcoming game from BioWare, Anthem. Söderlund says its a priority for EA to address this.
“We have to take action and show people that we’re serious about building the best possible products, that we’re serious about treating the players fair, and we’re here to make the best possible entertainment that we can,” he says, “And in the cases where we don’t get it right, we just have to listen and learn from it and be better.”